New year, new you, same website? You’re no longer good to go if your website simply boasts functionality in a conventional design layout. It’s not enough to make something that just looks pretty anymore.
Ever-expanding tools make web design a constantly changing digital medium that can and should be regularly updated to remain relevant.
As always, visuals are the first thing that will draw someone into your site. Your homepage and landing pages need to grab users’ attention with striking visuals.
Font choice has always been important for good design, and that’s not changing in 2018. However, the rise of typography, typeface design, and custom fonts will continue to take center stage.
Except for Internet Explorer (crossing my fingers for its death), most browsers can support CSS-enabled custom typefaces. Contrasting sans serif with serif fonts for large lettered headings is newly popular, as well as color and variable fonts.
Bold, vibrant, and saturated color schemes are on the rise as well since advances in monitors mean designers are no longer stuck with web-safe color palettes.
Custom illustration is another growing trend, with product and marketing design prominently featuring tailored illustration to match brand tone.
Broken grid and asymmetry have become more popular too, shaking up more traditional layouts. Just make sure to keep the layout clean, or you risk offending your viewer’s delicate design sensibilities.
Speaking of design sensibilities, gradient is making a comeback. But like, in a cool way with subtle fading and complimentary color. Shout out to this fun original web throwback revival.
However, looks aren’t everything. If your site is not offering user-friendly, updated functionality, you’ll fall behind the curve.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) elements aren’t new tech, but their rise in popularity due to their rapid progress can’t be ignored. While these are more relevant to mobile apps, elements can be incorporated into site design as well.
Mobile-first design still dominates (duh) as mobile browsing continues to overtake desktop use, so make sure your site plays nice on-the-go too or risk alienating mobile users.
Using speech as search tool came into play as devices like Alexa and Google Home have people searching using full sentences instead of keywords. Optimizing your site’s content to allow search with speech can put you ahead of the game as the world of SEO evolves.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage too, with more sites implementing smart chatbots to handle customer service and frequently asked questions. AI can also help with voice-based search using natural language processing technology.
As animation and micro-interactions become more advanced, combining form and function for delightful surprises are another rising trend in 2018
Integrated animation engages users too, using smaller animations and graphics for abstract or concrete concepts. Your site could feature graphics that animate during a load page, or appear when users hover over a link, scroll, or as the main focus of the page.
Micro-interactions can set your website apart from others using more complex visuals, skilled animation, and seamless data transfer. Implementing fun on/off toggles, load status indicators, and light animation when like buttons are pressed can delight users and keep them engaged with your site.
Try out some of these trending changes on your site for 2018 and watch the users roll in.