Out with the old, in with the new. 2017 has seen a massive change in the realm of web design and we can only expect to see a more radical approach to how designers and developers craft websites that truly wow the online audience this new year.
Web design today doesn’t just function for aesthetic purposes. It has to have more meaning and depth that would translate to an appealing and engaging site through the use of innovative design strategies that represent your brand.
What is the first step in stepping up your web design game? Awareness. And without further ado, here are 7 of the most impactful and cutting-edge trends to watch out for in 2018.
1. Bold Typography
Say goodbye to minimalism and say hello to maximalism-inspired typography. According to Kelly Morr, 99designs’ senior content manager, typography has remained a powerful ingredient of web design and this time around, the bigger it is, the better.
It’s important to note that since device resolutions are getting higher and much sharper to the eye, it’s vital to design bold and eye-catching typography that packs in a whole lot of personality and aesthetic value. Subtle is definitely not the theme this year as we see an increase in custom and creative typography, as well as the return of the serifs.
2. Experimenting With Colors
Alongside the rise of bold typography comes the advent of adventurous colors, as opposed to staying safe with neutrals and other minimalist color themes. The use of bold colors has already been in progress, as seen in several content releases across various digital platforms last year. And this time around, web design will become more inventive and striking with more and more businesses going for vibrant and even clashing color themes for their sites.
In fact, experimenting with bold and bright colors may be exactly what businesses and brands need in order to set them apart from their competition. Custom color themes are also integral in establishing a unique user experience and brand identity as well.
3. More Custom Illustrations and Animations
Looking for more ways to inject some personality in your branding? Custom playful illustrations are the answer and the fact that a lot of brands have utilized this last year is definitely no coincidence.
The benefits of using illustrations and animations for your website doesn’t end with just providing entertaining visual aesthetic. Fun and playful illustrations can likewise be used to breathe life into an otherwise drab content. It can present a story or information in a more creative and entertaining manner, and having these custom graphics included in web design can certainly help the site stand out and attract visitors.
4. Creative Layouts
Asymmetrical and broken layouts are some of the most prominent trends in the area of designing a website layout. Of course, not all companies would welcome this trend with open arms. Traditional businesses may still go for the clean grid-based layouts, but experimental brands–startups included–may lean towards breaking the rules of conventional web layout and go for a more unique, distinctive, and experimental route.
On that note, it may also be time to bid farewell to the traditional homepage. More forward-thinking brands are bound to move towards more dynamic entry points. In fact, audiences can even expect personalized user experience based on browsing history, location, and larger online data profile.
5. Emphasis On Storytelling
Web designers and developers are finally catching up to what marketers have long been preaching: storytelling matters. According to Donna Lichaw, the author of the book ‘The User’s Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love,’ building a site is more than just coding and design, it should be treated as a unique opportunity to craft a story for users to experience.
From the choice of typography to the combination of colors, as well as custom animation and navigation, all of these have to form a cohesive and unifying approach to branding and storytelling. Customers these days respond more towards branding that’s presented as a creative, elaborate, and engaging story whether it’s through web design, content, and so on.
6. Videos Anywhere and Everywhere
Videos are on the rise and not just with social media content, but also as part of an interactive and dynamic web design. Before, videos were used as an innovative aspect of content marketing, delivering content in a more engaging and creative manner. But today, videos are also considered as integral aspects of a business’ brand presentation all throughout their website–and not just on the homepage.
It has become an effective vehicle in presenting information quickly and in a visually pleasing way, so much so that some landing pages only comprise of a video and very minimal text and images, if any.
7. Focus on Mobile
Mobile first, desktop second. This is what sites have come to since mobile browsing officially surpassed desktop usage.
Mobile web design isn’t just an afterthought anymore. For designers, it has become a priority–from having a user-friendly navigation to adjusting images and typography, they now have the all-important task of making sure that the mobile version of sites would provide the same seamless user experience as that of the desktop version, or even more.
Naturally, following these trends would prove beneficial for your brand and business. But as with all trends in different fields, it’s more important to choose what’s suitable for your business before advising your designer to make major changes to your web design and apply all of these trends all at once.
Your best move would be to first be aware of all the trends and changes happening, and then discern which of them would work well with your brand’s message and overall identity. Know that there are many ways to translate these trends into your web design and all it takes is a little creativity and a dash of boldness to take the risk.
Scott Donald is Chief Strategist at Creativ Digital an agency specializing in e-commerce website optimization. He designs, builds and provides marketing for websites to perform at their best. Head over to his site to get a free digital success plan for your business. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.