What do you think would be the most important thing that you need to consider when designing web sites in the year 2018? Undoubtedly, it would be customer experience. Being designers, we have always strived and struggled to ensure that our website designs are appeasing, professionally affluent and provides 100% satisfaction to the end users.
The key to customer satisfaction is performance. A website that is compatible with all the aspects of web design as expected by the end users and optimized for Google and other search engines, along with browser and device compatibility wins the battle to finding a way into their customer’s heart. But, from there, it is the designer’s task to ensure that they stay building a forever relationship.
When we say performance, it majorly refers to mobile-first experience. Our website design strategies should focus on ensuring that it compatible with any device, which means rather than optimizing your website for desktops, it should be optimized for all kinds of devices that your end users are expected to use.
In the year 2016, Google ensured that responsiveness became an inevitable part of website design and optimization process, when it declared that it would be one of the strict strategies to rank a website among the search engine result pages (SERPs). And, obviously, a number of sites started experiencing a fall in their rankings and realized that mobile responsiveness needs to be implemented at the earliest to avoid further invisibility from the scene.
As we moved ahead, in the year 2017, there came about further changes and these became trendsetters laying a foundation for further advancement in the upcoming year, 2018. The exciting part about these advancements is that it will revolve around mobile responsiveness and there will be less of desktop functionality renovation. During the initial phase of mobile design optimization, we had numerous limitations, which made it a tedious task for designers to optimize the websites around mobile devices. But, with the advancements and the rise of technologies, we have much more options.
Some of the examples include artificial intelligence (AI), big data, machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), voice search, chat bots, geo location and natural language processing (NLP).
Let us find out which of these trends will drive website design in the year 2018.
Negative space, popularly known as white space, is all set to change the face of website design trends in the year 2018. Web designers are figuring out some really better and fruitful use of the white space in web design.
When it comes to mobile devices, pages that are lighter in weight are found to load faster. Let us bid goodbye to the flashy and glamorous designs that consume more of space and are heavier to load. Alongside, the use of images is going out of trend. The latest attitude of designers is to ensure that whatever they do is directed toward conversions. When you plan to implement animations or videos on your site, ensure that the main purpose is to promote your product or offering or at least to demonstrate the working of your product. This is where the white space or negative space comes into scenario by attracting people’s attention to a point where conversion is directed, eliminating all kinds of distractions. In the year 2017, we have realized the power of minimalism with simple pages. This will be taken forward in the year 2018.
Let us not annoy people with a variety of fonts on our web page. As we discussed in the above point on negative spaces, minimalism will be driving the trend in 2018 and typography would be one of the major design elements that needs to be given vital importance. Many of the designers are seeing artistic and colorful fonts as a better substitute for the flashy images.
When it comes to the mobile design, this should be an obvious rule, rather than a choice. Let us forget the heavy images that will cause your page to take a lot of time to load; it is observed that the use of beautiful typography instead of images could bring about a change to the loading time. While you replace the images with colorful typography, you are building a pipeline that will introduce white space – which will give way to your logo and call to action (CTA) – the most important part of branding. Forget those clickable images and kitschy, they are no more trending. The same applies to hero images that are slowly moving out of the trend along with the text-based designs that will soon disappear from the scene very soon.
If you observe, most of the websites are embracing menus and little headers as the new trend.
One of the latest trends that will be carried forward in the year 2018 is cinemagraph, far away from those static images and videos. These dynamic image creation snippets help to weave a magic on your websites. Our intention is conversion, so we will ensure that these cinemagraphs drive performance and mobile-first strategies, by bringing more conversion. You can either use these cinemagraphs to introduce fun, which obviously draws attention.
Introducing the cinemagraphs toward points where the customers are most likely to notice will ensure that there is an increased conversion rate. Add the 360 cinemagraph to the navigation menu or products’ page and get your user attention.
Well, of course, everyone is aware of scrolled animations and we have been using it for a long time now. But, in the year 2018, we will continue to implement this in our website designs. The good old days of using animations to annoy visitors are nearing an end.
Now, we are creating animations that are minimalist-design driven, which thereby helps in enhancing the engagement and conversion rates. The main objective of this animation is to encourage scrolling that will help in driving the people to the conversion point in your funnel. This brings about conversion, while you manage to educate people about your product and services.
Apps are a vital part of mobile first design. These days, the trend is to create apps that provide a wide range of functionality to the end users (moreover, these apps exhibit both the traditional web page and mobile app behaviors plus the trends). Such, a hybrid web app is referred to as progressive web app.
Now, in the year 2018, while you are working on the progressive web apps, what you should be doing is upgrading and renovating the functionalities of these websites(functionalities, including splash screens, animated page transitions, push notifications as well as the offline mode). There are a number of websites, such as the Facebook, that have already created apps in the progressive criteria, accessible with a single click.
Progressive apps are soon implementing cognition abilities, including automation and NLP. You might have already experienced these when using apps, such as Facebook. On the basis of your preferences, filters or feed are organized to attract your attention.
As in the previous point, we have discussed the blend of web pages and traditional apps; this will bring about an advanced functionality ride for the apps that you develop. The main focus is to bring about changes across heuristic bots, NLP and voice search. People’s interest and the trending mobile apps are making this possible.
There are several ways that you can implement these conversational bots. Some use the Q&A format, which is indeed creative. Creativity plus intelligence will drive people’s interest to your apps, which will increase conversion for your website. Isn’t it necessary that you implement intelligent bots for your app? Now, you know how it helps.
Along with voice search, NLP can be introduced as an important strategy for website designing. Collaborating NLP technologies with the conversational bots that are intelligent will help the computer or server to actually identify what exactly the humans are looking for, rather than typing queries in the search engines and fetching a load of answers, from which the user has to choose an answer that matches the best to your query.
These are kind of apps that we are already using, such as Alexa and Siri. If you have already experienced the awesomeness of these apps, you know how well it helps.
We are all well familiar to the “likes” and “comments” that we receive on Facebook posts. The micro interaction has been made popular by Facebook; this is what brings about an increased engagement.
Now, apart from “like,” Facebook provides you with a number of other emotions, as part of micro interactions, which brings about engagement on your wall. The users can now interact with the post through micro interaction, without having to reload or refresh the page. This is how design elements enable interaction with users in real time, thus bringing about engagement and increasing conversion.
A user always reads from left to right on the website and accordingly, the content is always arranged for this. Mobile app design has been influencing web design to a great extent these days, which makes it imperative that the developers introduce sticky menu items, which take scrolling from the bottom to top instead of top to bottom.
In fact, progressive web apps provide or make this kind of a design shift possible. Developers and designers are beginning to bring about a revolution to the existing contingencies of the web development process, while maintaining the principles of SEO friendly web design.
While you introduce all these apps, it is necessary to ensure that your apps and web pages are secure from the third eye. It is recommended that you take up the necessary measures, including HTTPS to safeguard your web page and apps.
Get help from a professional web design company so that all the latest design trends are incorporated in your website and web apps for the year 2018.
Rajeesh is a Director and Creative Head at Acodez. He helps the company to meet its clients’ needs to craft a compelling online presence. His 10+ years experience and expertise in UX, UI, Information Architecture and Wireframing help the company to develop user-friendly, pleasing and aesthetically appealing websites. He regularly researches and writes about the latest trends in web designing and development.