Web design is always changing. Innovations seem to be happening every day. The best web designers continue to tackle the challenge of staying on top of the latest trends to create websites that are innovative, affordable, and responsive. 2017 saw a number of advancements including mobile webpage browsing superseding desktop browsing. This year, web design trends are all about maximizing user experience with features that promote a simple and efficient experience. Check out these 6 web design trends to look out for in 2018:
1. Flat Web Design
One of biggest web design trends in 2017 was flat web design, but it may be even more popular in 2018. Flat design uses a minimalist user interface, replacing heavy images with 2D graphics without stylistic elements such as gradients or shadows. Flat user interfaces are sleek and streamlined, making them visually appealing and easy to read. Some of the main advantages of flat design are rapid loading, easy designing, and clean appearance.
In my opinion, flat websites are the most practical and usable design. They load faster than websites full of bloated graphics and flashy animation and aim at a wide array of users on all devices with at any level of technical experience. They place much more focus on user-friendliness over form, which lead directly to higher conversion rates. On top of all, flat design has good mobile responsiveness, which helps your site achieve higher SEO rankings.
Everyone is in a hurry and consumers prefer to spend the least amount of time possible finding what they want online. Animation provides a way of offering complex information in a brief amount of time. It is also a visually appealing and engaging way to capture your visitors’ attention. You can use animation to add your unique personality to your brand. This is a powerful trend that can help your business immensely. Animated logos can be scroll-triggered and used to draw visitors to conversion points such as contact forms. The scroll-triggered animation does not require downloading large amounts of data to look appealing. Streamlined transitions are possible and can be used creatively. Animation can make your brand look professional and more attractive and stand out from your competitors. Animated logos are also becoming increasingly popular because they are easy to remember.
3. Expressive Typography
Shifting emphasis from images to typography is another powerful way of creating web pages that load more quickly. Different styles of typography can evoke different kinds of mental associations. For example, the Script font embodies elegance, while Serif is associated with reliability. Some companies, such as Airbnb and Intel, have invested in creating their own fonts to define their brand. While you don’t have to have your own unique font, using expressive typography in combination with flat design can make your website stand out above the rest.
Using a specific style of typography can be welcoming to first-time visitors; it can also assist your regular customers with brand recognition. Remember to maintain consistency in your typefaces and avoid using too many different fonts. Choose just one or two fonts which portray the character of your web content. Also, take note of the way you align the text on your site, as this can have a great impact on how readable your information is. There are four types of typeface alignment; left, right, justified and centered. A web designer can align your content whichever way you prefer.
People are becoming more and more familiar with communicating with bots. Thanks to constantly improving artificial intelligence, chatbots are getting ever-smarter. In 2018, you will see more intelligent chatbots which will help make web interaction seamless. For example, imagine a chatbot that knows exactly what your customers want to look at based on their previous web interactions and purchases.
Having a live chat option on your website can also boost your business because it offers immediate customer support. Bots can help with simple customer queries and can respond instantly. Chatbots can also increase sales by tailoring an automated conversation to each new visitor. In some case, a chatbot may even be able to guide a customer through the whole purchasing process.
5. Voice User Interface
Voice user interface, also known as natural language processing, refers to speech interaction with a computer. Cortana and Siri are two well-known examples. In 2018, you can expect to see websites built with their own user interfaces. Voice search is becoming increasingly popular, so it’s important to make your web content conversational. Visitors behave differently with voice interaction than they do with manual web searches. For example, someone who is searching for an auto dealer in Atlanta may type in “auto sales Atlanta,” whereas the same person may ask Siri “where is the nearest auto dealer?” A voice user interface can revolutionize your website by enhancing the customer experience. Not only can it “humanize” your brand, but it will also make your business more accessible to online consumers who have disabilities such as impaired vision.
6. High Security
It seems that you see stories about malicious hacking almost every day. Malware attacks and data breaches are becoming more and more common, so safety is an important issue for your website in order to instill consumer confidence. This is why security is currently at the forefront of web design. Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities which allow them to install their malware. One thing you should be aware of about your website is if it is using any out-of-date apps. Typically, apps regularly update their programming code to ensure that they are safe to use, but it is up to you to make sure that your applications are up-to-date. If you have a WordPress website, having 24/7 monitoring and daily backups of your database and files could save you from a disaster.
Hackers can use outdated applications to install their malware. You should also be wary of using free software programs as these may have malware hidden deep within their code. In this case, the malware will only surface after you have installed the software. Always think about the security of your customers’ personal information. Ensure that your security certificate is up to date on each of your website’s pages. People are only going to visit your site, give you their details, and download your information if they are sure your website can be trusted.
Known as the “Wordpress Ninja,” Dockman manages Responsive Web Design and development projects for LTC clients, oversees LTC’s team of designers and developers, and manages LTC's website support & maintenance programs. He also leads creative on other teams at LTC including conversion optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.
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