It’s essential to stay updated with all the changes in the web design world. While design trends come and go, there have been a significant amount of trends that have become standard in the industry. Experimenting with the newest trends can lead to breakthroughs in your engagement numbers, conversions, UX, and visitor loyalty. Here are some of the popular trends that you should be paying attention to.
1. Magazine Style Content and Layouts
Magazine-style editorials have always been designed to grab the attention of the readers. Many websites are using this content and layout format to get and keep their visitors glued on their site. They use well-placed photos, blurb excerpts from the content, multiple font faces/sizes, and other elements to keep the reader engaged through lengthy articles.
2. Mobile First Design
Having a mobile-friendly site today is essential whether the business model is based on reseller hosting, professional services, or eCommerce. But many businesses have learned how hard it is to optimize websites for mobile, even with responsive design. As a result, many businesses have adopted a mobile-first design approach. The idea is to start designing for mobile first because it’s the more challenging task and to extend it to the desktop browsing experience later.
3. User Experience Design
User experience design has gotten the attention it’s deserved only in the last few years. But it’s going to receive even more attention as the user experience will have a direct impact on search engine rankings. With a large number of businesses relying on the search engines to generate revenue, they’re going to be investing more heavily in user experience design. The main focus will be reducing bounce rates, faster loading times, increasing engagement numbers, and better navigation menus just to name a few things.
4. Infinite Scrolling
More content sites, blogs and eCommerce stores are using infinite scrolling to serve continuous content to their users. Implementing infinite scrolling eliminates the need for the user to click a link that takes them to the next page of content. It also loads up the next page only when the user has reached the end of the current page. The reason why infinite scrolling has been receiving a lot of attention is that it reduces bounce rates. This can mean big things for both content and eCommerce sites as it strongly correlates with their earnings per visitor.
5. Visual Storytelling
For a long time, visual storytelling has been something that only big brands have been talking about. The visual storytelling approach would help tell their brand story and replace the cold corporate voice that is commonplace with big brands. But smaller businesses have embraced visual storytelling. They’re using strong visuals in their sales copy, content, and in their website design. The storytelling approach also helps them connect better with their audience and differentiate their businesses from competitors. The significant part about it is that it can also be used for all types of businesses, from reseller hosting services, fashion boutiques, and restaurants, to medical practices.
6. Modern Retro
Designers have always avoided retro-style designs because they were scared of making their websites look outdated. But retro has made a big comeback in the last few years. Designers are updating the retro look to ensure it fits in with modern times. The reason this design style works so well is that it stands out in the sea of websites that follow traditional designs. It also managed to strike an emotional chord with specific demographics like millennials and Gen-Y, who remember these classic styles.
7. Bolder and Richer Colors
More companies are taking risks with their design in terms of colors. There are more websites that use big bold colors, a wide range of pastels, and even neon colors in their designs. Some sites are even designing their sites on a dark or black background and creating contrast with brighter colors. While many traditionalists will say that these colors serve as a distraction to users, there are many examples that show that they can work very well. In fact, these colors really help distinguish these sites from all the others.
8. Animated GIFs
One interesting trend that the industry is starting to see is the use of animated GIFs. GIFs are small image files that work well with short animations that are compiled with multiple images. Websites are using it to demonstrate how their product works, provide instructions to users, and even use it as part of their background designs. It’s a great alternative to videos which are bigger files and take a longer time to load up, especially on mobile devices.
9. More Accessible Navigation Menus
More sites are ensuring that their navigation menus are always accessible to users. Traditionally, the user would have to scroll up to get back to the navigation menu. Instead of forcing users to go back up, websites are using various solutions. Some are using fixed headers to make sure the navigation is available. Some are offering tabbed navigation menus in addition to the standard menu. There are even sites that use navigation menus that fade out until the user puts their mouse cursor on the top of the page.
10. Ambient Video
Instead of big hero images, some websites are taking that space and placing an ambient video for a more exciting presentation. The ambient video is simply a short, lo-fi video that loops in the background. It’s hard to deny that it’s a big attention grabber and is quite captivating when you land on a page with ambient video playing. Many sites are using it to add context to their headline, and since it’s an actual video, it goes so much further than a big image. The only problem with this setup is that it may not work well with mobile devices.
These are some of the latest web design trends that people are talking about. This should give you plenty of ideas to experiment with, regardless of what type of website you have. As always, don’t be afraid of trying new things, as you may discover a slight design adjustment that can significantly improve your website’s performance.