There was a time when websites are all about the visual appeal, aiming to impress visitors of their aesthetics. But we have gone past that.
Sites are now focusing on their functionality, and ultimately, on the user experience. These two are major ranking factors that site owners should really take seriously if they aim to make it big online.
With these changes, trends in web design have also changed dramatically. Gone are the flashy design elements, and what’s hot are conversion-focused design improvements.
Here are five of the emerging trends in web design that are definitely changing the look of marketing:
1. Long Scrolling Pages
An old golden rule in web design is to ensure that important content “above the fold”. For websites, this means significant information and elements such as the call-to-action buttons, should be placed on the screen as the page loads, without the need for the user to scroll down. This golden rule is now considered to have died a natural death.
Users are now expected to scroll down, especially those who are using mobile devices. So the need for putting everything above the fold is gone, and sites are now becoming longer, and there’s a space to put a lot more information to relay to the users. You should put this into consideration as you design your site, so you would follow a rule that is not applicable today.
But as you do long-scrolling pages, make sure that you provide a sticky scrolling menu to make navigation easy. If the user would want to move to another page on the menu, he or she should not have to scroll up again just to be able to do that. The menu should scroll along with the page.
Micro-interactions are some of the biggest trends in site design nowadays. Sites that do not have micro-interactions are seen as old and un-cool. But what really are they?
Micro-interactions refer to small details that highlight an action you have done on a site. For example, the login button of your website is grayed out until the user is able to provide the login details following the required format. It then changes color as the user does provide the required information. This small change is a micro-interaction.
There are also a lot more other forms of micro-interactions but all these try to make the site experience more enjoyable by appealing to the user’s senses. Major sites have made popular micro-interactions such as a the like on Facebook Messenger that comes with sound, and grows bigger as you hold the button.
These micro-interactions aim to make the user experience more interactive so you should study what kind of micro-interaction you can implement on your site.
3. Dramatic Typography
Typography also has a growing impact on web design. What was once just a rule to make text readable has grown into a design element in its own right.
Typefaces are now seen to have their own personality and the goal is to find which one speaks the site’s personality best. There are even sites who have invested to have their own personal typeface, and doing so helps promote brand recognition.
Even if you don’t go as far as having your own typeface, it is always best to have a standard set of typefaces to use across your site. Being consistent helps you manage your site’s design well.
There are also sites whose design really center on the typography, leaving all else simple. And it works for certain sites. Text is a lot lighter than images when done right, typography can help you have an interesting and nimble site.
At the end of the day, it’s really about how you intend to appeal to your users. Playing with typography is an option you can take.
4. Page Transitions
There are some previously ignored aspects of web design that are now being considered as well. One of these is how one page of your site transitions to another. Before, going to another page means going to a blank page and then the new page loads from there.
There are sites who don’t settle for this boring transition anymore. You can see sites that seamlessly transition to the next, promoting a smooth flow between two pages. This is a lot better than how pages traditionally transition and is a definite plus to the site. More sites are expected to practice page transitions moving forward.
Such change, although might look unimportant to some, actually improve the user experience. A good page transition actually promotes a longer stay on your site. Always remember though that it’s not just about how good the page transition looks, but the transition should also be fast and the next page should load quickly.
5. Chatbots Integration
Design is not all about visual elements, but also to how the site is planned in general. This includes tools and functionalities that are being implemented.
We have seen the rise in the use of chatbots in the past few years. With the continuous improvement on artificial intelligence, chatbots are becoming a staple for websites. Tools such as chatbots help improve the user experience and are a definite advantage for those who implement them.
Chatbots help you provide a functioning customer service, and ultimately, a better relationship with your customers. It is, therefore, a good idea to implement chatbots in your site if you still do not have it.
Design your Site for Success
Your site’s design has a huge effect on how your site will succeed. It is therefore essential that you give it a lot of attention. Again, the design is not all about how your site will look – it’s also about how it will perform.
The 5 trends mentioned above are some of the web design trends that have been observed to be changing the online marketing landscape, and you should consider implementing one or more of these to your own site’s design. These have helped other sites and may be able to help you as well when done right.
About the Author:
Kenneth Sytian is the CEO of Sytian IT Solutions, one of the leading web design company in the Philippines. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is considered as one of top influencers in web design and development