Business owners use websites to create a relationship with their target customers and to build brand identity and product awareness. Increasing competition to draw the customers’ attention compels business owners and the designers to come out with unique website designs. The emphasis is on designing the user-friendly sites. New website design trends are emerging every year to compete for the customers’ or users’ attention.
Website design has evolved so much that the designers have discarded the old and traditional ways completely. In fact, web designers such as Eric Meyr have stopped calling themselves as web designers and rather wish to be known as an ‘’experience designer’’. The web design technique is no more just about making a website look good to the audience. It is now more about creating an experience for the users.
New changes in website designs have already taken place in the current year. Here are some of the key website design trends that we are already witnessing in 2017.
- Making UI more conversational
Massive changes in how people are contacting and conveying message have taken place already. One of the key changes is that people use messaging platforms more than the conventional social networks and app downloads. For example, messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Slack are emerging hot favorite means for chatting.
Taking note of this change, websites too now have conversational interfaces that allow people to interact with companies, services and bots. Such websites are providing the platform to chat and send messages. In 2017, this trend is in its initial phase but it is going to shape up the future of web design in the coming years.
- GIF going mainstream
Many websites and apps use animations to attract the visitors to their products or services. But use of GIFs is gaining momentum in the current year. GIFs are in fact everywhere and built even into Twitter and Facebook. The web designer experts opine that GIFs can be used for website design as well to draw the users’ attention.
Website designers have started using GIFs to provide guidance on how to use a product and explain a workflow. The animation provides a rich product experience to the users. Web designers can use tools such as Giphy, Photoshop to create GIF.
- Responsive design taken to the next level
In April 2016, Google made a revolutionary change in its ranking algorithm. It started ranking up the websites that optimize their content regularly. This change by the major search engine will result in more entrepreneurs making changes in their websites to achieve higher Google search ranks.
So, the responsive website design will go to the next level in 2017 due to the new ranking algorithm. More website designs will become a lot more flexible so that it can be accessible to the different devices.
- Minimalism will continue to dominate
Minimalism as a design trend has been around for quite some time and it will continue to dictate the terms of website design. In their pursuit to make more information accessible from one point, the designers are creating ultra-minimalistic multiple cards. These cards virtually represent a topic and they are enticing enough for users to click.
The designers will use the minimalism even for navigation and menus to keep these features as simple as they can. The users like simple and de-cluttered websites with easy navigational features that can visually explain a topic.
- Use of authentic photos
Web sites had stock-photos once stuffed everywhere. That is not the case anymore. Business owners now create websites to build a convincing brand image. They put authentic photos of their company officials, workers, products and events on their websites rather than taking resort in casual stock photos. In fact, the web designers will prefer using no photos if stock photos are the only option. In 2017, websites will have professionally captured authentic photos with an artistic touch to put a face to a brand.
- Bottomless long-scrolling websites
Long-scrolling websites are convenient for users as they can scan entire information from one page by stretching the site page downwards. They can constantly see new information without clicking away to the new pages. Social sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook already have long-scrolling pages with no bottom.
Now, many business owners are creating bottomless long-scrolling pages for the convenience of the users. Taking this trend further, now the designers are doing away with tabs and menus. They are replacing these buttons by creating a long page and putting every visual and text-based information on it to give users a unique experience. To break the monotony of the design, such pages have multiple images, different typography, and even videos.
- Use of eye-catching big typography
Big typography catches the attention of the website visitors immediately and conveys a message profoundly. With big letters spread across the web page, the visitors cannot escape from noticing a core brand message from the business owner.
IMAGE Source: victoryjournal.com
Use of big letters had been already prevalent in 2016, but in the current year the sites will have the typography on full screen. The letters will also be seen designed in dynamic colors and textures. To amaze the users, the designers will incorporate vibrant fonts. The large letters may also be a web design tool to break up the grids when designing a long scrolling page.
- Clutter-free Simple Homepages
Clean and simple homepages delivers a brand message to the audience in a forceful way. In 2017, a major web design trend will be that the designers will free the homepages from many letters and other clutters such as the number of buttons. The emphasis will be to get rid of the type heavy homepage styles and move to keep only one a word or two on a website’s first screen page.
Such a typical homepage has an image dominating the first frame of the screen. These pages then have a lot of relevant information below the scroll. This design aims at packing the information on the scroll and delivering the core message immediately from the first top screen using an image.
- Navigational styles based on user patterns
Navigation styles have undergone many changes over the years. In 2017, the designers will create these buttons after considering the changing user patterns. The previous pop-out styles, hidden buttons and placing the buttons at the side or bottom are older styles. Now the designers are studying the users’ habits when they use mobile phones to navigate.
More companies are turning to illustrators and graphic artists to create bespoke illustrations for their websites. After years of flat design and minimalism, adding illustrated touches to your site is a great way to inject a little personality, as seen in this charming example from NewActon (designed by Australian digital agency ED).
Wrapping it up.
Whilst we think everything on this list is pretty great, don’t try and fit every single one of these trends into your new website.
Some will work for some companies, others won’t. Pick and choose which styles and capabilities your client both needs and wants. Trying to do too much will instantly decrease the UX of your website. So be selective, be careful, and, most importantly, be creative.
Over to you: What’s the most promising web design trend for 2017?