Web Design Trends To Watch Out For
I love researching and understanding the online world. Whilst I am no website designer, I do manage my own website, and have managed websites in the past. I know what works, and what doesn’t.
I am a consumer. I shop primarily online (80% mobile, and 20% desktop) and one thing that bothers me more than anything else is website design. For me, if a website is not functioning properly, or does not meet my expectations, I bounce.
It’s not hard to build a website anymore. You can use the likes of Squarespace, Wix or Wordpress to do it yourself. The great thing about the “do it yourself” way is that you have full control over how a website should look.
The options for web design are endless, but it’s worth noting what is trending. I have done some research, and compiled a list of web design trends to watch out for in 2018, and beyond.
1. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is one of the forward-thinking trends on this list. The active use of VR as part of a website design is still relatively new, but is something that is being implemented and focused on as I’m writing this.
VR is going to be one of the biggest drivers in user engagement, and will be what brands that have a large web design budget will focus on.
Example: Discover Your 6th Sense is a virtual reality website designed to take you through Peugeot 3008.
2. Voice Search
Voice-enabled software has been on the increase and with the likes of Alexa, Siri and “OK Google” now a part of our day-to-day lives, it won’t be long until voice search is part of website design.
Voice search will be used to help customers navigate websites and is a great advancement to cater towards those with vision impairments.
3. Shifting Gradients
Shifting gradients are a great alternative to flashing colours, and moving parts. A shifting gradient is a more relaxing form of animation often used in website backgrounds, and engages the view through colours.
Example: I found a website created by digital art director, and web designer; Lewis Lopez. The way he has used a shifting gradient, and user-intuitive navigation is something to be impressed by.
4. Storytelling Through Visual Data
It’s an animated infographic. That’s what I told myself to actually understand the concept before I saw it as part of a web design. As a website visitor, you can scroll through engaging visual content that’s told in a data timeline.
For a website, using data storytelling is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. You share great information, whilst also visually-engaging your visitor.
Example: I found this incredible website called Quantified Planet. Visually, I have never experienced a website more beautiful. As you scroll through the website, the way they display data is so unique.
5. Page Transitions
It has become more apparent that websites need to be more intelligent. Just understanding a page of a website is not enough. You have to read between the lines and actually look at what happens between pages.
The generic page transition is a blank white screen until the next page that's been clicked on has loaded. A huge trend is going to be actually having a seamless transition between pages.
Example: When researching this, I came across so many innovative websites, I couldn’t just pick one. Take a look at Laborfit, Les Animals, Cuberto, Envoy and Neematic.
6. Animated Content
Animation as a concept is not new, but actually using animated content on a website is something innovative and will definitely be a trend to watch out for.
This covers everything from animated backgrounds, animated hover effects, animated text and animated visuals.
Example: Squarespace is a great example of an animated text and visual combination.
The final web design trend I want to talk about is chatbots. I have managed websites in my professional career that has integrated with Zopim but websites are getting much more intelligent with their customer service options.
Artificial Intelligence will come into play and will become more commonly used to engage with customers so that a physical human does not have to. Whilst large companies may be able to hire staff specifically to sit on a live chat window on a website, smaller businesses do not have the time, money or staff to do this, and AI fueled chatbots will fill the void.