As we enter a new year, people across the globe start making resolutions to take on healthier habits and lead better lives. And as most individuals start looking for ways to reinvent themselves come the new year, why not do the same for your business website?
If it’s been a while since you’ve last updated your site or if your current design just isn’t working, then 2018 is the perfect year to bring your layout up to speed.
Before you get started, focus on the mission of your website and its purpose. Once you have that clearly in mind, it will be easier to start incorporating elements that will bring your site up to date and back on trend for the new year.
So don’t get left behind! Harness the power of your website with these nine web design trends for 2018.
Throughout the years, marketing teams often mulled over images to reinforce their overall brand message. After hours of deliberation, they tend to settle into one of two camps:
Both types of media have their benefits. Product shots allow for a company to display what they are offering predominantly on their site, while photography lends a human factor to their brand. However, we are beginning to see more companies turn to illustrations for their branding needs.
This trend is reminiscent of the old days of advertising, where illustrations took up the majority of branding space well into the sixties. It could be an old trend re-emerging and re-imagined. Or, perhaps, companies are beginning to realize that abstract concepts are better translated through an illustration than a photograph. Either way, it looks like this trend will pick up speed for web design in 2018.
For the past decade at least, sans serif fonts displayed prominently on almost every website. With their clean edges and modern feel, the decision to go without embellished letters made sense – especially given the penchant for clean design as more and more web sites started focusing on becoming mobile-friendly. With less space and smaller screens, the logical step was to keep web design as simplistic as possible – and that included the font.
Now, however, we are beginning to see websites branch out into more elaborate designs. A trend that, in its wake, brings forth the power of the serif. The addition is subtle now. While we may not be seeing Times New Roman on popular websites any time soon, softer versions with curvy serif font are slowly making their way onto our computer screens through sites wishing to evoke an elegant and sophisticated feel that is both modern and trendy.
For almost two full decades into the millenium, web designers across the globe often stuck to “web-safe” colors for their sites. While the colors were nice and the logic sound – after all, the purpose of web design is for others to actually see it – the Internet fell into a pattern of using the same standard hues for every site. Their message was easy to see and some beautiful designs emerged using the trusty color patterns.
However, as technology advances, computer and mobile devices are able to support more vibrant colors on their screens without causing vertigo for their viewers. Designers have caught on and are beginning to take full advantage.
We are beginning to see more websites utilizing vibrant colors in interesting ways, often juxtaposing opposite shades and lighting up our entire screens with bright patterns or an unexpected color. While some designs jump right out and appear busy, others pair colors together nicely for an eye catching effect. We predict that screens will only get better, giving web designers a larger palette to play with.
Over the last few years, our political and social climate shed a light on the role and focus of design. Now, web designers need to think beyond practicality and into the implications of certain design choices that may once have seemed small, but have a lasting effect on how gender and race are perceived.
Decisions behind including gender options in drop down menus or implementing race filters in advertising tools can either help or inhibit some of the current double standards and power relations that many companies would like to upend.
As with any design, content is important. Now, web designers are incorporating more diversity and
inclusion into their design. Just like diversity and representation matter for your team, the same holds true for your design. Great design speaks to everyone and an important step is paying attention to what all members of your audience are hearing.
In the advent of smartphones, mobile browsing has showed us one thing – it’s not going anywhere. And in a world of apps and Internet constantly at your fingertips, web designers often struggled with how they could fit an entire website and all of its functions onto such a small screen.
Now, with almost a decade of mobile devices under our belt, designers are beginning to change their way of thinking. The focus has shifted to making mobile design come first and applying the design to a larger desktop platform second.
This natural progression makes sense – after all, it’s much easier to scale up when it comes to design. And while the stunning photograph you used to enhance on your desktop website may not translate well on a smaller phone screen, designers are finding that users are able to identify space-saving icons that improve their overall mobile site experience.
A classic design technique is utilizing a grid layout to strike balance on your site. We’ve seen it used in almost every type of web site, from blogs to product pages and even social media platforms like Instagram. However, even design rules were made to be broken and we saw in 2017 the introduction of a broken grid.
Still utilizing the clean lines of a classic grid layout, the broken grid breaks up the design, leaving the user with a slightly asymmetrical effect that looks purposeful yet naturally broken. With so many websites currently using the grid method, this new design element is sure to appeal to any companies looking to create a unique and distinct layout for their website in 2018.
Remember in the days of old when it took your browser minutes, sometimes even hours, to load up a stationary graphic? Well, browsers in 2018 are like the opposite of that. In fact, they are becoming so advanced that designers are able to seamlessly integrate new elements like animation into their design. And as it turns out, animation is a great tool for focusing your reader’s attention on specific details and important information on your site.
As browsers become more advanced, web site designers are able to play around with different ways to utilize animation. Particle animations generally take up entire backgrounds, adding visual interest and a fun element to website. Other designers focus on smaller animation to help build their story, either while the user scrolls through a page or while they wait for another screen to load, doing double duty as both a marketing and entertainment tool for your website.
Over the last few years, flat colors have often been the go-to look for web design. Considering that the aesthetic was to remain as clean as possible, it made sense to keep things monochromatic. However, as screens expand their ability to support and show off bright, vibrant colors, designers have been taking advantage by utilizing gradient effects on their websites.
A way to keep the retro technique fresh is by applying a gradient filter over photos, which adds another dimension to an otherwise simple picture or graphic. Now, we’re seeing some companies simply revamp their brand by placing a gradient over an existing logo or image, to add a level of interest that shows they’re the same company but with a new look. The effect is a marketing solution that is as simple as it is stunning.
Engaging content has always been the traditional way to attract users. Now, web designers are taking things a step further by integrating content that users can actually interact with. Helping to drive home a message, allowing users to interact with content gets them to be a part of brand in a way they may not experience from reading a simple blog post or article.
Game-ifying your site with polls and quizzes is a great way to personalize the user experience and leave a long lasting impression. Users are much more likely to recall information they consumed in a quiz than they would by just reading details their computer or phone screen. By using content that relates to your brand, service, or product, you can better relay your message on how your solutions can benefit users in a meaningful way.
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