Great web design pulls you through a website without you realising you’re hooked. Bad web design is so in-your-face you notice it more than the content.
Keeping people on your website is all about providing a great user experience – and the digital design team here have that as their focus.
Even great web design that works can’t last forever – you have to move with the times or your brand or branding may end up looking dated.
As a website designer and UX/UI specialist, I have to constantly stay aware of the latest trends online and how the team here can use them to inform our digital design decisions.
Great design sits at the core of what we do as a digital marketing agency – it provides the kind of user experience that keeps our clients’ customers happy.
Here are the web design trends that have stood out for me over the first half of the year.
Consistency is key in web design for brands – anything else looks unprofessional.
Design systems go much further than style guides, as they equip a design team with everything they need to carry a brand message with aplomb.
Clear guidelines are laid out in the toolkit, along with reusable components that allow designers to maintain styles across projects, creating a cohesive UX.
Each design system covers everything from icons and shapes to colours and how space is used. That delivers a familiarity that’s appreciated by users, a slick look and keeps branding on message.
These are like tiny rewards for users. You most likely don’t even think about micro interactions but you experience them dozens of time each day – every time you unlock your phone screen, for example.
Micro interactions are the animations and visual cues you get as feedback from an app or web page. Not only are they engaging, they let users know whether they’ve performed an action properly.
This non-verbal communication is a useful reassurance and makes interaction easier. We routinely implement micro interactions in our designs where appropriate – they make a site or app instantly friendlier. Those without them seem bland.
Remember, it’s a key component of digital design to add value to brand interactions. This simple technique achieves that by delighting and reassuring clients.
Less is more: minimalism and white space
Simple, uncluttered web design is both easy on the eye and improves user experience. And keeping things minimal also allows you to cut to the core purpose of your website.
Everything on that web page has to have earned the right to be there – anything unnecessary, even just a word or two, should be removed.
Studies have shown that users can be put off by more visually complex websites. Giving them space and clarity reduces bounce rates.
Minimalist web design puts the focus firmly on the content. Content is given plenty of room at the top of the page – it’s pared back to just the essentials. The further into the scroll users go, the more words or content can be made available to them.
And minimalist sites and responsive design work in harmony, while cutting load times, which itself reduces bounce rates.
As a digital marketing agency, we’re looking to build engagement with users and keeping design simple helps gently reel them in.
Shutterstock can seem like a limitless resource. But wade around the internet a little, and you’ll see the same images surfacing.
One way to avoid this is producing your own images – with custom illustrations allowing you to show-off a little of your brand’s personality.
There’s a human touch to these images that injects life into a website and they lend themselves to driving emotional responses, while being moulded to match the brand values of even more-serious brands.
Superior screen resolutions are ushering in a revival of serif fonts that previously didn’t render well. Once regarded as old hat, serifs are coming back thanks to improved tech and an appetite for change.
At the same time as this return of newspaper-style fonts, design is become more editorial – perhaps driven by the way more browsing is tactile, thanks to the use of tablets and smartphones.
There is also a rise in type as design thanks to creative use of typography. Strident use of bold, all-caps fonts can make a statement in much the same way as hero images or videos – but without the longer load times.
We know how to use the latest technological innovations to a brand's advantage. Contact us now for more details on 0800 612 9890.