Just as fashion styles change year after year, web design trends continually change, as well. As people learn more and more about their technological platforms, and as design capabilities advance, the way we see sites will continue to develop. What looked amazing five years ago most likely looks dated and out-of-touch now. The question then becomes, how can you adjust and change your site’s design to stay on the forefront of innovation and attract visitors? Here are a handful of trends that can help take your site into 2018 with confidence.
Greater Use of Negative Space
Apple does a great job of utilizing negative space to emphasize their product and establish content importance. (Source: Apple)
The word negative may seem a little counterintuitive when talking about improvement, but in this case, it works. Negative space, in design terms, is all of the space on your site that isn’t occupied by another element (e.g., text, video, images, navigation bars). If used correctly, negative space can help your site’s design in several key areas.
On one hand, it improves the readability of your content and makes it easier for visitors to figure out what is actually going on around your site. When you try and cram every single bit of information you have to offer on one page, it can end up looking like this. On this page, it’s nearly impossible to understand what aspects deserve attention, and what the main point of the page even is. It leads to a frustrated visitor, and a frustrated visitor is probably not going to take the effort to dive deeper into your site or visit again.
With good use of negative space, you no longer have walls and walls of copy and images that occupy every pixel of a page. Visitors can easily scan your site to find what they’re looking for, and you can give added prominence to important aspects of a post without having to compete with 17 other factors.
Top Hat’s innovative typography gives their site added personality and automatically grabs a visitor’s attention. (Source: Top Hat)
From a more creative side of things, a change in typography usage could also help elevate your site’s and your brand’s appeal. This isn’t saying to use a different typography for every single aspect within a site, but when you inject a creative and visually appealing design into key areas of your site, you can help add a personality to your brand.
When used correctly, typography can give your brand and your site a distinct look. Take a look at how different sites use specialized typography designs to illustrate what their brand represents. It can help establish your brand as being business-forward, as a creative hub, or almost anything else you can imagine.
On top of establishing a brand identity, typography can also help create a visual hierarchy for your site, and it can also highlight what pieces of content you want visitors to spot on a page.
It’s important to maintain uniformity with your font and type choices, and not to go overboard by giving every single piece of writing a typographic treatment. If everything has its own style, it makes it harder to point out what’s important on a site, and it could lead to visitors being overwhelmed and confused on a page.
Focus on Responsive Interface
Responsive site design helps ensure consistency for visitors on all of their devices. (ToBeResponsive)
In today’s Internet age, people are viewing websites on countless different platforms. Each of these platforms has unique screen and resolution dimensions. Each of them might have a different browser that they’re using to visit websites. In addition to that, some of these platforms use a mouse to click on content, and some only use a touchscreen. With all of these variables in play, it’s more important than ever to design your site with a responsive interface.
If you’re not sure what “responsive” design means, Annie Pilon, a contributor to Small Business Trends, gives a great, quick explanation:
The purpose of responsive design is to have one site, but with different elements that respond differently when viewed on devices of different sizes … with responsive design, the website automatically adjusts based on the device the viewer sees it in.
A responsive site design helps to ensure that your visitors are getting the same experience on your site no matter what device they’re using to view it.
Vympel has a background video playing on their homepage to keep readers’ attention while also showing people what their business does (Source: Vympel)
Using videos on a website is hardly a new thing, but it’s a practice that is continuing to grow in importance. Just like with the other trends noted in this post, it’s important not to produce videos just for the sake of producing videos. The content that you create for your site needs to be relevant to your industry and your buyer personas, and it needs to be done well. Having a poorly shot and edited video on the front page of your site can be worse than not having a video there at all.
When it’s done right, video can help boost your site’s results. According to Search Engine Land, 80 percent of web users remember seeing a video ad in the past month, and out of that group, 46 percent took a follow-up action because of the ad. In addition to the engagement benefits, videos can also help you communicate a message more effectively and efficiently with one researcher estimating one minute of video content equates to 1.8 million words of text in the message that it communicates.
The previously linked article from Search Engine Land gives great advice on how to optimize your video content to help your site’s SEO performance.
Keeping your site up-to-date with current trends, and technological advancements can help paint your brand in a better light. It can show visitors that you care about your image and that you are consistently working to improve their experience and your company. Remember that it’s important that all of the changes you make to your site are well done, and that they reinforce what your brand is all about.
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