When you run a company or have your own business, it is absolutely essential to have a robust and reliable website to complement the products or services that you offer. It helps you build a relationship with your potential customers, which then guarantees their loyalty. Besides, if someone wishes to purchase a product or avail a service, the very first thing that they do is research it online.
An excellent way to be on top of your customer’s minds is to have a stunning website with great content so it shows up on the very first page on Google. Your website design should be a reflection of your overall branding and the current design trends so as to be relatable to your audiences. Ideally, a good website is pleasing to the eye whilst also ensuring its ability to communicate the goals of the business effectively without compromising on user experience.
Your website needs to be responsive
We are now essentially living in a world where mobile devices and smartphones are the norms. In their busy lifestyles, people tend to browse and consume content on the go. Therefore, your website needs to be designed in a way that it looks appealing not just on desktop devices like your laptop and personal computer but also on all kinds of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This ensures that their user experience is never hampered and they get access to their content in an engaging manner. This also ensures that the images on your website scale as per the screen size without affecting the quality.
However, you need to ensure that an image that looks powerful on desktop devices has the same impact when viewed on a smartphone screen. The visual appeal of these images must elicit the same emotions across all the devices so as to ensure that the right action can be taken by the user when they land on your website. Check our article: Why responsive design is so important?
A delay in loading your website could cost you a potential customer
You may spend a lot of time perfecting the color scheme and typography used on your website and eventually the simple fact of ensuring that your website loads at the right speed may not occur to you. When it comes to understanding your consumers, the very first thing that you should be aware of is their absolute lack of patience.
This stems from the fact that the Internet is brimming with a multitude of options. Therefore, if your website is not quick to load, they have a million other options to look at and choose from. If you aren’t quick to address this issue, there is a very good chance that you would be penalized by Google and other search engines for not rectifying the slow page load time.
With a slower page load time, you will find that the bounce rate increases dramatically. This, in turn, can affect the conversion rate. Ideally, a website should take no more than 3 seconds to load. One of the best ways to constantly inspect your page performance is using the Pagespeed Insights tool by Google, and using the insights they offer to take action.
Bring animation back on your website
In the earlier years, flash animation formed a huge part of website design but it soon got taken over by other modern trends. Animation is now back in the game and has taken website design by storm and rightly so. Video tends to engage the audiences better and can be capitalized in numerous ways. The fact can be attributed back to the busy and stressful lives of people, which makes them pressed for time.
People generally tend to prefer an animation or a quick GIF as opposed to reading scores of texts. The trick with animation, as with any other design element, is to not overdo it. Minimalism should always be the undertone of your website design. There should also be a purpose for the animation on the website. It should contribute towards telling a story and inject personality whilst doing so. A new trend that has been observed in 2018 is using animation or GIFs for logo designs to keep it fun and interactive.
Take down the carousel and add all content on one page instead
When it comes to web design, certain elements tend to remain a designer’s favorite. Placing content in different design elements like carousels, tabs,and accordions may seem like an excellent way to break down content into consumable chunks throughout your website.
However, recent research has suggested that this, in fact, tends to have little effect on people. For instance, when the content was placed in a carousel slideshow, more than 90% of the people did not even bother to look at other links and images in that slideshow and ended up clicking the first image that showed up.
The same was applicable for placing content in accordion lists and even on different tabs. Website visitors somehow, refrain from clicking on pages and instead prefer to have all the content placed on one page, where they can scroll and click through to a piece of content that appeals to them. This has also led to another important design trend for 2018.
Get creative with typography on your website
In addition to excellent visuals and graphics on your website, what tends to capture the attention of your audiences is the typography implemented. Using the right typeface and fonts can help bring out the desired emotion in the hearts and minds of your website visitors.
Ideally, for 2018, the web design trend that is taking over the internet is big bold typography. Sans serif fonts scaled to robust statures make the website look visually aesthetic and attractive. A good rule of thumb is to use both serif and sans-serif fonts for your website content as it helps with balance. With web design software packages getting more inventive, custom hand lettering has also become immensely popular. Not only does it help create a website design based on a personality and a mood, it also ensures that it is highly personalized and offers a custom experience to its users.
This year has been a year of experimentations and innovations in web design and another typography trend that has stuck is the cutout style typography. In this, a banner in a bright color contains a bold text with a photograph or an image in the background making it seem like the text has been cut out on the image itself. It helps add more dimension and personality.
Let the action happen above the fold
Many people now consider the fold to be a redundant area on a website. Because of the existence of a multitude of screen sizes, it is believed that you need not worry much about above the fold or below the fold content. However, this could not be further from the truth. Irrespective of the device on which you browse a particular website, it is still of paramount importance to have the most important content appear above the fold so that it is the very first thing that your visitors see after the logo.
Some important content pieces that you must ensure are placed above the fold include the headline. While the logo is supreme, there needs to be a witty, concise headline that explains exactly what the company or business is about and what it does. This takes out any doubt or vagueness out of the picture. Secondly, it is also important to have your call to action above the fold. If you want more sign-ups to your website, include an email newsletter sign-up box with an attractive free offer or incentive to grab eyeballs and generate leads. Finally, it is also important to have an attractive visual in the form of an image or video above the fold.
A featured video that gives the gist of your website offering in 60 seconds or less
Video as a design trend is here to stay. It is one of the most engaging forms of media that is available for consumption in the online world. With people being pressed for time in their busy lives, they’d rather watch a video than read long paragraphs of text. This is exactly why your website must have a featured video that explains your product or service and demonstrates its use effectively. Creating video content gives you an immense amount of creative freedom and there are many innovative ways in which you can explain the vision and mission of your company.
Keep distractions to a minimum
We are living in a world today where there is essentially information overload. In such a situation, especially when looking at effective website design, website visitors tend to skip a lot of content and simply skim through it. In such a situation, the best thing that you can do to maximize your chances of an engaged audience is to keep distractions at a minimum. You may have a lot of ideas for content but the more you cram onto your website, the more it will drive website visitors away.
One of the best ways to do this is by ensuring that your website layout is clean and simple. Having a single column layout essentially eliminates the need to have a sidebar. It helps to put the spotlight on the content that is important and the mind does not wander away to other places on the website. You may love thinking out of the box and may have a layout idea that has never been used before. Before you go on to implement it, it would be wise to consider that perhaps, there was a reason why the layout never made headlines. When it comes to website design, the familiar the better. Therefore, stick to the classics and simplify your design as much as possible.
Give your website a human feel
It is a natural tendency of human beings to connect with something that has a more human look and feel to it. Your website design may include the best that technology has to offer but if the visitors cannot connect to it on an emotional level, you may fail to win their trust. The best way to ensure that this connection is by including your team and introducing them on your website.
When people see the faces behind your company or business, it creates an emotional bond and increases credibility factor. It is also a good idea to replace any stock photos on your website with real people working in your company or by commissioning a photoshoot with local models in action in your workplace. It takes out the generic feeling and adds a warm personal touch to your website.
Search and social buttons must be easily accessible
Nothing can put off your audience more than being unable to find something on your website. The search bar ideally needs to be present above the fold. In such a situation, a user wouldn’t have to scroll through unending content and can instead, simply type in what they’re looking for and have the content presented to them within seconds.
Additionally, if a website visitor is impressed by your offerings and wants to learn more, they would certainly want to connect with you on the different social media channels and therefore, you must ensure that your social media profiles are not hidden away or disabled on your website. This is an excellent way to generate leads and strike a connection with your audiences.
Your website is a reflection of your business and its values. A stunning website design that is not just visually appealing but is also backed by strategic placement of elements can practically guide your audience through the conversion process into not just becoming a leader but also a loyal customer. With the constant changes in technology, the web design trends constantly change too. However, these trends for 2018 are backed by strong research and are bound to give your online personality a healthy boost.