As a digital medium, websites are dynamic and the trends are forever changing. We are just over a quarter of the way through 2018 and thought it was about time we look at the web design trends which are taking hold, giving you food for thought. Balancing aesthetics with functionality can be a difficult task but if you get it right you can set yourself up for increased user engagement!
Playful (Animated) Illustrations: An image conveys a thousand words.
Custom artwork and illustrations are a great way of creating a distinctive and unique look and feel throughout a website. Illustrations can be used to tell a story, used as a navigational aide, or to bring a friendly nature to your site by adding an element of fun and quirkiness.
Dominance of Video: The preferred choice of content!
From web series, service explainer videos, all the way to video backgrounds—we always saw this one coming. Video content is booming and has become a must-have for any organisation. When both video and text content are available on the same web page, people often will watch before reading. Incorporating more videos into your website can capture the attention of your visitors, delivering important information fast, building trust between your organisation and the user.
Side note: There are 55 percent of people watching videos online every day, video has well and truly become a dominant source of attention, and can be a great way to inform. The video format is changing as a medium, more and more videos will be viewed in a portrait orientation, after all, that’s how 94 percent of us use our phones on a daily basis.
Micro-Interactions: They are everywhere!
These are different from animations and play an increasingly important role in online communication. They are seemingly small, yet important bits of functionality that your visitor can use and engage with. Micro-Interactions can help create an immersive experience for the visitor, helping to establish a communication channel with the brand. Liking posts or comments, following authors, making payments, taking part in polls and quizzes, all of these helps to create a connection between the brand and the visitor. Micro-interactions can help you identify what your audiences like and provide valuable feedback on the content and online services you may be delivering.
We often don’t notice these Micro-Interactions, they are subtle and sometimes almost invisible, though ultimately they help guide a visitor through your website in an intuitive and effective way and allow them to perform various actions.
Vibrant Colours: Gradients are back!
Social media has driven this trend so be prepared to see more vibrant colours in website design during 2018. After what feels like a long time, gradients have made a comeback, we see these being used as a way to evoke emotion and to personify a website.
Don’t be afraid to change your brand, all the big brands change to meet current trends. YouTube has changed their colours twice in the space of 3 years. The changes have not been a complete overhaul of the entire brand but changing the red slightly makes the platform look more modern and fresh.
Making the Most of Mobile – Digital Inclusion: Should this even be considered s trend or a basic rule of web design?
In 2017, 55.8 percent of all website traffic in the UK was generated through mobile phones and with increases year on year we don’t see this changing anytime soon. Adults aged 65 and over are now far more familiar and comfortable with using online services as can be seen from a 22 percent usage in 2011 to 61 percent in 2017.
This means to fully embrace Digital Inclusion you must have a mobile-friendly, content-rich website. As the screens people interact with vary in shapes and sizes we need to make sure that we design online experiences that are as flexible as possible, delivering high levels of usability no matter what device is being used.
Side note: Google has now implemented a mobile-first index. This means Google will rank its search results based on the mobile version of your website's content.