Recent years have revealed some of the most stunning website designs since the dawn of the internet. Be it non-traditional navigation or mind-blowing imagery, we've come a long way. But as the landscape evolves, popular trends change in web design … like in all creative arenas. Indeed, much has changed and will continue to change. So what will be the web design trends for 2018?
Website design concepts in the coming year will offer interactive animations, chatbots, intuitive assistance and more rich experiences. Technologies like virtual reality, machine learning, and voice recognition are now advanced enough to be mainstream. You can expect streamlined, clean, and no-frills. Simplistic designs that don't overload the senses, and leave room for those new technologies to entice the online visitor.
Priority On Mobile Browsing
In 2018, design concepts and engineering for mobile devices will take precedence over desktops, notebooks, and other gear. While this won't make headlines, cell phones and tablets have recently taken over as the choice equipment for online browsing. A fundamental in the coming year will be Mobile Performance (or digital experience optimization), so 2018 will see innovations to the functionality on cells and tablets. Things we've never seen before, on any medium.
A Sleeker, Cleaner Layout
In recent times, designers started creating sleeker, cleaner website concepts for better browsing performance. Image-heavy pages are slow to load and frustrate visitors. Simplicity will be elevated to a whole other level in 2018, making smarter use of Negative Space. White space is nothing new, but among the web design trends for 2018, developers will find better uses for it. Particularly on mobile, speedy light-weight downloads will be essential.
Flamboyant, gimmicky designs are out. Everything is there for one purpose now: to increase conversions. Negative space draws attention directly to the engagement or conversion point, with less distraction.
Beautifully crafted typography is known for imparting character, stirring emotion and setting a mood for a page. As visual displays evolve, designers will innovate on typography even further, appealing to users and attracting more visits. Already we're seeing bold, expressive, and artistic fonts taking the place of images, and we should expect to see more unique, hand-rendered typography. Among other web design trends for 2018, expect to see lots of bold headers and text links instead of buttons. This will have a trickle-down effect on SEO techniques and Content Marketing practices, too.
Video Takes On More Importance
All of 2017, we observed the continued rise of short video use on corporate websites. While video isn't new, it remains a multipurpose medium used for marketing, educating, and with a more modern twist than still photography. Indeed, an alternative approach to storytelling for businesses. Yes, video is taking over, and will become an even greater web design trend in 2018. Inspiring greater engagement, we find most online giants are giving more weight to video as time marches on. Facebook, Twitter and Google are among those.
Websites in 2018 will take video to new, thrilling places that seemed like crazy fantastic dreams not that long ago. You'll see websites equipped with 360 vids, 360 modeling, video mapping, and interactive applications.
Technology has evolved and web browsers handle animations much more efficiently than they did before. Animations used to be tacky and distracting, but 2018 will welcome a new dawn of subtle, informative animation. Expect to see cinemographs and scroll-triggered animations, among others.
Cinemographs: Achieving balance between a static picture and traditional video, cinemographs will be seen all over web design trends for 2018. Not as slow or data-heavy as a video, these quick clips create dynamic imagery that does just enough.
Scroll-Triggered Animations: while not new, they'll be used differently in 2018. They'll be employed for a purpose: to draw attention to critical locations on the page. Simplistic and tactical, these scroll triggers will be designed to increase engagement and conversions. The animation entices the user to keep scrolling, drawing them down to the conversion-point, while informing them on the product.
Voice User Interfaces
Perhaps the next major breakthrough that will revolutionize web browsing. Voice user interface is otherwise known as Voice Search, Digital Assistant, or Natural Language Processing (NLP). It refers to a person's interaction with a computer (or mobile device) through spoken word. Don't be surprised to encounter websites with their own voice user interfaces among web design trends for 2018. With voice search on the rise, be sure your company's website content is compatible, as people speak another way when using voice commands directed at machines. This will be especially important for open-ended searches, starting from an engine like Google or Bing.
Micro-interactions allow the user to interact with a website without reloading the page. Historically, the internet has been very static. Every new submission meant a page reload. While this appears minor from the outside, it actually creates a hiccup or bottleneck in the user's enjoyment. Some visitors will simply lose patience and abandon ship, and you'll lose consumer data or possible conversions. Micro-interactions help eliminate those hiccup delays, yielding richer interactions for the visitors, who are now more likely to stay and engage with your site.
Progressive Web Apps
Many designers, recognizing the popularity of mobile apps, have begun developing a blend of traditional app behaviors with web page behaviors. This website-app hybrid is called a Progressive Web App.
As progressive web apps become more popular, we'll see the upgrading of functionality of websites to include things like push notifications, splash screens, offline mode, and animated page transitions. We will see greatly refined cognitive capabilities, greater dependency on natural language processing, and more automation. Apps will learn and then react to your personal preferences and style.
The Power Of Facebook
Facebook is becoming equally valuable, if not more valuable, for offering all the content generally found on a business' website. Facebook is fighting to become a destination for content, offering a blog platform, reviews, live chat, and live streaming. This is especially true since the public has discovered how to use hashtags on Facebook. In many cases, clients discover a Facebook page before a business' website and never even click-through; they'll simply call or message online and become an immediate prospect.
In 2018 building your business' experience on Facebook will become more important than ever. It will use Facebook to drive people to your website, instead of the other way around.
If you haven't heard of responsive web design before, it's a method of building a website using CSS media queries and flexible layouts to design one single, dynamic experience. It then adjusts the display of content, according to the type of device it's showing on. There will be a large increase in the number of companies who leverage this among their web design trends for 2018. Businesses will be utilizing responsive design to achieve the search rankings they desire; keeping consumers happy and informed during their online visit.
Security Will Gain In Importance
In 2017, malicious hacking became an even bigger issue than before. Malware was bad enough, but the Ransomware outbreak was much worse. As you think about your web design trends for 2018, be sure to consider the security of your customer's information. Make sure your security certificate is always updated, and on all pages.
Trust will always be a major concern of users from now on. Your downloads? Your contact form? Their personal information? Will your website infect their desktop or other device? People will only interact with your website, download, and share their info if they trust your technology.
Is Your Web Design Ready For 2018?
As there are thousands of innovations and patterns that quickly emerge every year in the world of web design, it is hard to predict the future. One thing is certain, the online landscape will continue to change, and change quickly. The important thing in business is not to get left behind … in 2018 or beyond.