Understanding what’s trendy in web design is the equivalent of fashion sense in the virtual world. To attract and maintain engagement, it is necessary to be hip, modern, and engaging. Components of web design, such as typography and a flat layout, are working to this effect. Continue reading to learn more about which design details constitute the latest fads, and which ones should be packed away for good.
Anyone can build a website, but designing one that is appealing requires talent, experience, and industry knowledge. Because a website is one of the most visible components of a company, design is a serious endeavor that requires careful strategy and expert guidance. For these reasons, it is critical to consider all available options throughout the process. A professional web designer will be a valuable resource when considering these following trends:
- Parallax scrolling. This type of scrolling adds life to images and text, such as with moving graphics and animations that play as the user scrolls past them. Implementing this feature can assist in retaining visitors, increasing viewing time on the site.
- Videos. With advances in technology, videos are easier than ever before to produce and post to websites, blogs, social media profiles, and more. Users often find it preferable to view rather than read video content to absorb information. Videos should not automatically play, however. Allowing visitors to observe your postings with user-controlled videos are ideal.
- Single page design. Websites tend to have a multitude of pages designated to different components of the businesses they represent. Smaller sites that have less content are more user-friendly, however. They often incorporate parallax scrolling so users aren’t required to search through various pages.
- Fixed headers. For websites rich in content, header bars at the tops of pages allow for easy navigation. The header bars are fixed, so it doesn’t disappear as the user scrolls down the page.
- Responsive design. This feature allows websites to detect and conform to the types of devices from which they are accessed. It ensures the websites appear similarly for all screen sizes. Responsive designs also better allow for searching from mobile devices, which impresses Google and other search engines because they value quality. For example, if users locate a site via mobile search, but the site is not optimized for mobile, bounce rates will likely be higher. It would then be ranked lower than its responsive counterparts.
- Flat web design. Gmail, Windows 8, Facebook, and numerous other well-known sites use this design. It means there are no shadows, 3-D effects, gradients, and unnecessary images and decorations. The emphasis is instead on creative typography, bold lines, and saturated colors. These features provide a cleaner look that is easy to digest. Flat web design also contributes to responsive design and fast loading times.
- Large font sizes. Sometimes the standard 12-point font is challenging to read on computer screens and the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones. Larger text is both easier to read and attention-grabbing.
- Storytelling design. Storytelling is compelling and engaging. It means that users enjoy stories via intriguing imagery and concise copy. Stories may describe the birth of their companies, or the people who benefit from given products and services, for instance.
- Simple design. This refers to the integration of all the latest, most effective practices to achieve optimum results. There is meaningful content, powerful images, and purposeful navigation. Simple design also translates to less text – most quality websites have only short bursts of text, and some apps have almost none at all.
- Varied typography. In addition to larger text, font sizes and types are often varied overall. These variations may be responsive as well, conforming to fit the screens on which they appear, and add an element of personality.
- Color changes. Some sites are effectively reducing the array of colors that appear on their pages in favor of monochromatic tones. Conversely, others are abandoning their basic color schemes for multicolored appearances. It may be advantageous to consider color psychology when planning the design for a website.
- Large hero areas. Hero areas are the “intro” areas, usually an image with a limited amount of text. These often consist of an image or promotional video sized to fit the screen on which it appears, and include a small icon that allows users to access the main site.
Trends to Avoid
Even if some of the newest, most exciting trends are deemed undesirable or not suitable for a particular company, successful design is still entirely possible. Conversely, there are some components of web design that may have been effective in the past, but can now be harmful and should be avoided:
- Mobile sites. Simplified websites that are optimized for use on mobile devices are nice, but fully integrated websites are better. Approximately 55 percent of internet usage in the US occurs via mobile devices. With this in mind, many companies are designing their sites primarily for mobile devices, with laptops and desktops being lesser priorities. Sites are now built to accommodate sizes of screens rather than types of devices.
- SEO copywriting. Google’s search algorithms are changing on a regular basis. Although it may be difficult to stay abreast of updates and guidelines, it is necessary. Composing content from a strictly keyword perspective is likely to result in penalties and poor result ranking. High-quality, informative, and relevant content should be created instead.
- Outdated pay-per-click practices. Pay-per-click advertising is still relevant, but it is changing. These ads are more deliberately targeted than ever, and their range has expanded to encompass online video and contextual advertising. For example, it is possible to specifically reach consumers with certain relationship statuses, precise age ranges, within particular geographical areas, and more. Capabilities such as these are possible due to the ever-increasing amount of personal information users share online.
Most importantly, a solid and purposeful web design is preferred over a trendy, visually appealing option full of meaningless content. During the design process, it is critical to work with a professional to consider the goals of the site and the business, as well as to maintain value and brand consistency.