5 min. read
5 min. read
In an era where last year’s en vogue is this year’s old hat, it’s important to stay on trend. Web design – much like society – moves fast. Blink, and you may fall behind.
At the risk of contradicting ourselves, though, not all web design is constantly in flux. Some trends stand the test of time, while others are cyclical, resurfacing to make the strongest comeback since flared jeans.
To help you navigate the confusing and often nonsensical world of web design, we’ve put together some top tips you can apply to your website. There’s a combination of old and new trends in here, but all are proving real hits, strutting their stuff up and down this year’s internet catwalk.
Vibrant and creative colors are on the rise. This was never more evident than when color aficionados, Pantone, bestowed the prestigious honor of 2019 ‘Color of the Year’ upon the shade ‘Living Coral.’
In the institution’s own words, Living Coral represents ‘innate optimism and joyful purists’. The creative color movement is further backed up when you look at the last two Color of the Year recipients: Ultra Violet and Millennial Pink.
Vision is the strongest of all our senses, and color plays a massive role in marketing. It’s actually believed that up to 90% of consumer product assessment is made on color alone.
Vibrant and passionate colors are here to stay, so incorporating them into your website appears to be a smart choice. After all, there’s enough doom and gloom in the world already without staring at a screen featuring dingy grays and ominous blacks.
Animation helps bring your website to life. It adds personality, and can help deliver your brand message to visitors in an interesting, non-invasive way.
Not only that, it’s also proven to increase time-on-page – something Google looks favorably on when constructing its ranking algorithms.
And they’re not just great for SEO, either. Animations also play an integral role in improving conversion rates, grabbing visitors’ attention and diverting their gaze towards CTAs. What comes across as a playful aesthetic to your audience can act as a money-boosting machine for you.
The key to animation is moderation. It can be tempting to go overboard and animate everything your visitors come into contact with. Be warned, though – this often leads to poor UX and high bounce rates.
Interactions are similar to – but not to be confused with – animations.
They can range from common micro-interactions, like hover effects, product zooming, and social shares, right the way through to gamification – the process of turning your web pages into an online game.
Gamification started off as a quirky novelty, used by developers and artsy types to beef up their online résumés. However, it’s since infiltrated mainstream web design, and is a fad that’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Of course, gamifying your website is far more appropriate if your target market is youthful. There’s no point in making Dorothy try and level up before she can book her latest hearing appointment!
Another obvious, but not always adhered to, rule of interactions is to make sure they work across mobile and tablet screen sizes. 58% of all site visits now take place on mobile, so it’s vital that your interactions aren’t limited to desktop.
Now, let’s take a step back from futuristic design, and learn how the past is fuelling modern website trends.
Deriving from a mid-twentieth century style of European architecture, Brutalism has played a key role in web design since 2016, and shows no signs of going away. It goes against just about every rule in a creative’s playbook – much like its architectural sibling – but its effectiveness is proven.
Think bold and striking, raw and loud. It’s in-your-face web design – once condemned to the history books, now finding a new lease on life online.
Despite its inspiration coming from years gone by, Brutalism in web design was brought to the table by the younger generation. It’s not recommended for white-collar businesses, but it does have a place in creative fields.
Small businesses are often accused of following the pack, but Brutalism is here to change all that. Lay down your rationality, throw inhibitions to the wind, and embrace the illogical success that is Brutalist web design.
Advancements in chatbots mean they no longer represent cheap gimmicks, but a real revolution.
Artificial Intelligence innovations are popping up everywhere you look these days, and chatbots are just another example. A far cry from their early days, chatbots are now more emotionally intelligent than ever, capable of handling individual scenarios and sensitive situations.
One of their main draws is time efficiency. They can help you automate customer service – answering queries and complaints – while you dedicate yourself to more pressing matters, like marketing or management.
Another benefit of chatbots is their cost effectiveness. You don’t have to pay for dedicated support staff to handle customer-centric tasks – instead, they’re taken care of for free. Not only that, it’s a service that’s available 24/7, meaning your customers can ask around-the-clock questions.
There are no set rules to web design. Even things like ‘making sure your site has good UX’ are now being challenged by Brutalism’s uprising. Ultimately, you have to take into account your target market, and incorporate trends that will suit them.
Not every small business has a coding expert in their ranks – or a mountain of money to pay a developer – so it’s good to know what your alternatives are.
Many small businesses use website builders to create their site. These are online tools that help tech novices create their very own website, without the need for code. They use pre-designed templates and make editing web pages a breeze.
WYSIWYG Website builder are also constantly updated with the latest web design trends in mind. Color palettes, interactions, and chatbots are all commonly included, so it’s easy to create a fashionable website – even if you don’t understand the code behind it!
The same goes for online stores thanks to ecommerce platforms. They essentially work in the same way as website builders, but are designed to help you sell online. Either way, these five trends have proven to be more than a mere flash in the pan, and should serve you well for the foreseeable future.
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