Web design is an ever-changing realm, with new trends emerging constantly, and in many cases- there’s always someone trying to set a new one. Usually, those trends are set by ad agencies themselves, trying to stay on the cutting edge of design and aesthetics with their appearances and branding efforts. These new approaches don’t always win people over, as there is a fine line between aesthetic beauty and functionality- all while considering the importance of the mobile users. Let’s take a look at some historical trends and also some new ones!
Clean Layouts and Bold Typeface
In the next generation of web design, particularly in 2018, web designers will be in a fierce competition for mobile users and reduced load time. Layouts need to become cleaner and more optimized and focused on the purpose at hand. The days of complexities and flashy aspects on web designs are over, and now we will be focused on eye-catching headlines and appropriate calls to action, all while being positioned over a fair amount of negative space- pushing other methods of graphics to display out of the focus.
Bottom Menus and Sticky Nav Elements
Hamburger menus, while widely known, yet still somewhat unknown to someone that isn’t quite as tech-savvy with the latest terms, are common. Many design teams lately are opting for tab-based navigation placed on the bottom of the page, so it shows up above the fold and is particularly useful for mobile devices and phones. Also- sticky call to action elements will be common to follow the user as they scroll- and help those users convert to customers that contact you.
Modules and Irregular Grid Use
Another trend in design that peaked in 2017 was that of the modular layout. Designers used them to structure content and visuals and have them be balanced stories that would convert well into mobile screens. With the shift into 2018, mosaic grids and chaotic card layouts will be common, and many designs will likely feature images and chunks of text that are organized into irregular patterns that are also mobile friendly.
Longer Content Forms & Usage
Website visitors lately have become much more willing to scroll through longer content. Search Engine Optimization has essentially mandated many web designers to put much more emphasis on original content, and it is very important to have that content below the fold and ample enough for users to see as they scroll, and have that value delivered to them as they do.
Websites now collect a lot of data about browsing history, and most consumers are used to being addressed by name and shown specific content based on their location and recent purchases. This is simply the way it is now. Tracking behaviors and visitor trends are going to get more precision oriented and people will end up having more unique user experiences based on their emotional bonds to various brands and items.
Cinemagraphs – What are they?
Websites these days are loaded with videos- many of them the full width of the screen, and many of them seem to load with ease. In 2018, cinemagraphs will be a common inclusion on websites to keep users entertained and focused on conversion points. What are Cinemagraphs? They are animated images and they are going to be most functional on product pages to give people a more active experience when viewing a potential purchase. They also load much faster than videos and will reduce strain on websites and on mobile users, and also your data packages.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG’s)
Images, in general, are known to slow websites down, especially if they are not optimized or shrunken down. JPGs, PNGs, and GIFs are the culprit. We will see them being replaced by scalable vector graphics, as these SVG’s do not harm a website’s performance, and their quality remains intact- much like a logo that has been scaled up or down to retain quality.
Micro Interactions with Users
Another trend to track engagement will be options for actions that are available to a user without them needing to reload an entire page. Some of these items included providing feedback and likes, or writing a comment, or changing a page setting on the fly, and dealing with errors. Web application features like push notifications will be embedded into websites, and also splash screens. This trend will really work to increase engagement with users.
In the coming days of 2018, large animations with typography and large buttons will be common and will pave the way for animations that are triggered by scrolling. Many layouts will feature animated logos, headlines, and calls to action while remaining static and clean.
Virtual Reality Videos & 360 Video
Full-screen video and full-width videos were a trend in 2017, but they will be taken to a new level when they start becoming interactive. A 360-degree video, video mapping and augmented reality will start being introduced into many web pages and viewers will start seeing some very ‘wow’ worthy displays on some websites.
Negative Space Typeface Usage
A new trend is the combination of bold typefaces and a lot of negative space. Photo backgrounds and images exist inside of the letters to create a deep, powerful and noteworthy impression on the user.
Gradients and Double Exposure
Use of very bright colors will mark some new trends in 2018 web designs. Gradients will make a comeback for the first time since the early 2000s and will be combined with double exposure background photos.
This technique involves the merging of two photos and placing a monochromatic image on top of another and adding color shades.
Corrupted Images – Not the Bad Kind
Website designers will also aim to cause an overwhelming shock with viewers and ruined images that have glitches within their elements. Using color channels, these sites will resemble that of a favorite horror movie and hallucination. Essentially it will be like a distorted reality and really variable aesthetic.
Sketch Designs – Yes, Really!
The aspect of using hand-drawn images and illustrations as well as hand-drawn icons will become increasingly common, in conjunction with photos. They can load quite fast and add creative flair to any design. Various textures like paper and metallic texture will be merged with classic photo backgrounds that will give them an enhanced look.
Cropped, Messy Typography (Fonts)
Messy headlines and scattered letters that are cropped aggressively will make big headlines in 2018. They are meant to overwhelm visitors and keep their eyes on the screen. The type will be so intertwined with images in a tight manner that it ends up looking like a 3D real-life object.
Open Composition – Like Art
Trends are becoming a lot more open-ended, and having things asymmetric, and loaded with free-floating elements with overlapping text is no longer considered bad taste. Layers of images moving at different speeds and large background photos will be common- which is similar to a Parallax effect.
Chatbots and Language Processing – What is this?
We will be looking at a drastic increase in chatbots that will allow end users to have conversations in an intelligent manner- without having to scour web pages for information. This will be the gateway towards a better user experience and getting a customer in the door or be engaging with your team. Language processing technology will allow bots to understand human language without relying heavily on the use of keywords.
These website design trends will work great for most business niches and industries. However, if you are the owner of an E-commerce website, its design needs are a lot more complex. With more products, the design needs to be more sustainable than creative. To find out what are the essential elements of a great E-commerce website, Click here.
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