I n 2017 web design trends aligned more than ever with mobile device trends. This year website design trends are taking off in some exciting new directions. Here’s what you need to know!
The shift in the way we access the web towards mobile content is nothing new and is a trend that has been on the rise for years now, with a recent study revealing nearly 70% of all media time is spent on smartphones. 2018’s web design trends are drastically leaning towards mirroring the look and feel of their counterpart mobile applications.
Mobile app usage accounts for 90% of all mobile media time where a mere 10% is spent viewing websites. The ever-increasing frequency with which we turn to mobile applications for information only further confirms that web users are looking to visit a website that is user-friendly, uncomplicated and fast – just like the apps they’re used to using. Incorporating the latest web design trends will ensure that your website’s visitors return again and again.
Here are Rogue Creative Studio’s
hottest web design trends for 2018.
1. Speed and Performance
Mobile responsive website design is now a requirement across the web design industry. If your site is not mobile-friendly, the truth is you’re already several years behind the times. As the methods we used to access the web changed, the cellular data network speeds simply were unable to keep up with this change in consumption. Along with the mobile-friendly conversion came a necessity for lighter, faster-loading sites. Studies have shown that if your site is not able to load in under four seconds (maximum) on both desktop and mobile devices that you are losing half of your potential customers. A faster site has been proven to increase conversions. That increase in conversations increased your bottom line and puts more money in your pocket at the end of the day. Fixing any problems you have with your website speed also increases your search engine ranking. This year, make decreasing the load time of your website one of your top priorities.
2. Negative Space
Because they are so user-friendly, apps garner the majority of our mobile usage time. This friendly user experience (UX) is due in a large part to the limited screen space that application developers have at their disposal. Because of the screen limitations, app developers have to work with, to increase conversions only clear calls to action and critical information can be presented without the app appearing overwhelming or cluttered. To showcase their products or brands, app developers have begun to employ a significant amount of negative space to assist users with navigating the content. The trend of websites cleverly using negative space has taken off in 2018. Sites are shedding a lot of the old bells and whistles in favor of content-rich information and clean, concise calls to action. Complicated navigation menus, extra clutter, and clunky design have all be left in the past.
Here is a perfect example of this. See how Apple has used negative space on their landing page to direct users directly to their education special event.
For the past several years, we’ve seen genuine photography (as opposed to stock photography) showcasing authentic brand messages as the new gold standard. This year, however, we’re seeing illustrations rise as the new trend in web design, especially in place of large background images. While illustrations are great way to emphasize and convey a brand’s message, the key to why they are rising in popularity though, is simply that they are much lighter (faster to load), and as we noted above, this increases your website’s user-friendliness and leads to a marked advantage in search engine rankings. Additionally, illustration can be used to help the user visualize complicated concepts in a way that photography simply can not.
Geometry is as vital to a web design as it’s ever been. Web and mobile applications use geometric shapes to quickly familiarize users with layout and content. In 2018 websites should do the same. In site design, always keep the geometry uncomplicated and simple. Squares and rectangles are easily scalable on to screen size and provide an effective way to group different content types (images, icons, text or illustrations). Familiar geometric patterns reassure the end-user and provide a simple way for your visitors to consume content and make informed decisions.
Right along with illustration, movement (especially subtle movement) is a trend that will continue to rise in 2018. Movement can be incorporated into illustrations. We also expect to see movement rise in the form of cinemagraphs (a still photo with a minor and subtle repeated movement) along with particle backgrounds like the one featured at marvelapp.com. Subtle, understated movements capture the user’s eye and retain their interest longer. This, in turn, leads to lengthening your average site session duration, which also just happens to be great for your SEO!
6. Mobile Navigation
Over the past few years, a growing trend has been to user fewer menu options to increase a website’s user-friendliness and site conversion rate. In 2018, we are seeing navigation options trend ever further towards a mobile-first style that naturally incorporates fewer options, a streamlined style and more negative space (as discussed above, this is an advantage). The use of a ‘hamburger’ (three horizontal lines) navigation icon has now become a standard web practice. You’ll also likely see a change in the placement of site navigation, as apps tend to use the bottom of the screen for an easily accessible sticky navigation menu. By incorporating a mobile-friendly menu to navigate your website, you’ll be helping your users navigate your content in a way that has almost become instinctive to them.
7. Micro-Interactions (AI)
First made popular by the social media titan, Facebook, micro-interactions are small indications when a user has performed any task-based activity. Think of micro-transaction as checking off boxes on a checklist and they let a user know instantly through subtle feedback when they’ve completed a specific task. When properly executed they are virtually unnoticeable, though they still make all the difference in the world. Some examples would be short noises or animations when a button or link is clicked, or a small animation or movement when a screen has been tapped. These micro-interactions provide a more immersive experience and will become an expectation for users in the future.
With all of the new technology, automation, and ad-networks available today, customers want to know when you’re paying specific attention to them. One way you can do that is by providing a personalized experience for each and every customer. Either that’s through remembering their favorite order, items they have been interested in in the past (wish-list) or displaying their name when they log in to your site. With the rise in consumers demanding individual attention personalization is a trend that will continue to see a rise and is one thing, you might want to look into implementing in the next year. Business is all about the customers and their experience matters more than anything. Your users will love you for the personalization and you are all but guaranteed repeat business from it
Website security seems like a given in the industry and it almost doesn’t seem like it should make a list of trends, but users and search engines alike are placing a higher priority on secure websites. Last year Google flagged sites that were not protected by an SSL certificate. Every 39 seconds hacker attacks and every year one in three Americans will be affected. If you have any on-site or eCommerce sales, your users want to know that they can trust visiting and providing you with personal information, let alone trust you with their financial data. In 2018 having ironclad security is a must and your users will not only expect but will demand a secure experience and trusted certificate from any website they intend to do online business with.
In 2017 we saw a drastic increase in the use of bots. From messenger bots on Facebook and chatbots to artificial intelligence such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, the technology will rise in 2018. Users have grown to expect information on demand without ever even having to look for it on a webpage. A mass integration of AI technology is expected in the web design industry this year and you should join the trend and provide your customers a seamless user experience.
If you have any concerns about the security or speed of your website, or you just want to update your design with rising trends such as mobile navigation, custom illustrations or negative space contact us for a free proposal today!