Design ideas emerge in one year and solidify as trends or fade as fads in the next in every industry, from automotive to fashion to mobile phones.
The same applies to both consumer-facing and B2B website design. The pace of change in the digital world dictates a design refresh or a website redesign every three years. The New Year is a great time to resolve to take a hard look at your site and spot the dead giveaways of obsolescence, recognize enduring design classics, sort fad from trend, and take advantage of the latest web design thinking.
Get started with this quick survey of the Top 10 web design trends that will carry over from last year or emerge in 2018.
Dead Giveaway No. 1: All your important information crammed at the top of the screen. This confuses users. They don’t get your message. They don’t know where to click. Clear the clutter. Put one important message or one important button at the very top of your design. Use the negative space below it to tell a story and direct the user’s eye further down the page.
We identified long scrolling pages as an enduring and important facet of web design in our 2017 web design trends blog. Long pages allow users to consume your message without getting lost among pages in your site or clicking through your site to find what they need. Longer pages also correlate directly with better SEO results. The average word count for a page listed first in a Google results page is 1,890. Long pages serve your readers, make your site look up to date and raise your search engine rankings. What could be better?
This one is obvious. Many browsers, Google Chrome in particular, have been upping their security requirements. Chrome now flags websites that don’t comply by marking them with a Not Secure warning. Are you okay with a Not Secure in front of your site URL? Your users will not be okay with it. Furthermore, that Not Secure can drive down your search rankings.
How can you guarantee a secure site? Make sure you are using https vs. the standard http protocol. Https is the secure version of the http protocol; the “s” stands for secure. Https is used to protect data sent between your browser and your website. If you look at your browser to the left of your domain name, you will see a green lock. It means your site is secure. Read more about this important update.
More users are browsing the web on mobile devices than ever before. As you probably know, not all mobile network connections are lightning fast, and many users have limited amounts of data. The number one way to keep your page load time fast is to optimize your imagery.
If you are using large imagery (you probably are), make sure you save and optimize your images for the web. The rule of thumb: No images over 200kb.
If you have images over 1000kb, have someone optimize your images immediately.
Squares, rectangles, circles and angles – we’ve seen them everywhere in past years. Better browsers have allowed designers to be more creative in their CSS techniques. In 2018, look for this to continue with even more patterns, lines and creative geometric shapes.
Sure, you want a website that looks professional and gives a great first impression. This calls for a diverse color palette that matches your brand. Give the designer enough freedom to create a beautiful site.
Accent colors matter especially in your primary calls to action. They stand out from your primary design colors and draw users’ eyes to the call to action.
Great imagery can improve any web design. Generally, it’s better to make your own than to take the stock photography shortcut. You don’t want customers to see the same image they’ve spotted on your competitor’s site – or anywhere else. If you have the budget for unique photos with a professional photographer, take that opportunity to make your website feel more authentic.
Fonts have always played a major role in site design, and that won’t change in 2018. Bold and big are still trending this year, in part because bold and big read well on mobile. Regardless of what font trends you follow, make sure your text is readable. It conveys your info.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Consider using of one of Google Web Fonts’ 848 families!
By now, you probably know the hamburger menu. And no, we don’t mean the list of burgers at McDonalds.
We mean that button and three lines you see, especially on mobile or tablet views of your website, in the upper-right or upper left-hand corner. A click on it opens your site’s main navigation menu. In 2018, look for the hamburger menu to spread to the desktop. The hamburger menu is a great way to focus on your messaging and declutter your page, and it makes the transition from desktop to mobile more seamless.
Expect to see micro animations as you scroll down a website or when you click a button. You can see them in action on our Titan CMS site.
Animation, done correctly, can create a very sleek user experience. Just don’t overdo it. Too much animation can look sloppy and distract your users.