Web design is constantly evolving, and designers are considering multiple platforms and new design choices to engage users. Technology drives innovation in design, and mobile platforms are becoming increasingly popular ways for users to connect with brands online. Savvy designers are considering mobile platforms from the early stages of web design to ensure their brand’s image flows across multiple platforms and device types.
Target customers are younger and more in tune with technology than their predecessors. They’ll disregard anything that looks like an ad or is obviously fishing for customer information. Web designers should consider not only how people connect with a brand, but also who is connecting. Design for your audience, and your brand image will resonate with visitors to your site, regardless of the platform they use to connect.
If web designers want to reach a younger, faster-paced, tech-savvy generation of users, they’ll need to change with the times. We’ve gathered a few of the new trends that are making waves in the web design world, and are sure to gain traction as they do wonders to improve user experience.
Top 10 Web Design Trends that Improve User Experience
1. Adaptable menus
Web designers are focusing on mobile devices in their design efforts, and rightfully so. More people are using mobile platforms to shop, browse, and buy than ever before. A bloated menu (on desktop or mobile device) is complicated and frustrating to visitors. Thoughtful web designers are focused on building menus that drive visitors to the content that is most valuable and content that turns the causal visitor into an interested lead.
2. Modular layouts
Rather than designing from the standpoint of entire pages, many designers are designing basic elements that respond the same ways on different screens. By breaking down the page elements into core components, such as text input boxes, link buttons, and scrolling images, designers can ensure that the smaller page components not only work, but also work well and intuitively. Basically, you design a modular page from the bottom up, ensuring that the smallest pieces of your web pages work correctly as part of the whole.
3. Flat typography
Typographical trends have shifted greatly in the last few decades. Readability is paramount to web design. Overly ornate typography is being dismissed quickly as extravagant, because flatter, simpler text is easier to read. When designing for smaller screens on mobile devices and smartphones, busy text is confusing, and more designers are opting for smoother typographical choices.
4. Material design
Dynamic, realistic web page elements give the impression of classic papers and organic content. “Material” is a metaphor for the theory of rationalizing spaces in a way that resonates with the real world. Material design incorporates ideas of space, shadows, contrast, volume, and perspective to create engaging visuals.
5. Bold color choices
If you’re trying to reach a customer with a bold statement, color choice is a prime component of getting users’ attention. Color choices should resonate with a brand’s image and not turn visitors off with unpleasant, “try-hard” colors. Simple palettes with strong hues can create dizzyingly beautiful and elegantly bold designs.
6. UX focus
The user experience is a growing concern for web designers. Allowing customers to “choose their own adventure” has been successful for many sites. It engages users on a personal level by allowing each one of them a portion of control in their experiences. This may be more a practical consideration than an aesthetic one, but it’s an important choice that adds value to your site’s content. Showing users that you’re willing to adapt to their preferences inherently builds trust and shows you care about your users’ experiences and want to make their engagement with your brand as rewarding as possible.
7. Video content
Video content is becoming increasingly popular, and designing to accommodate embedded videos enhances the user experience. Online videos now account for 50% of all mobile traffic. That’s an enormous amount of potential wasted by not designing for video. The amount of video content on the web is only going to increase, and wise web designers are incorporating it into their web design.
The digital age is extremely fast-paced. Users want valuable information, and they want it quickly. Infographics are an excellent way to convey statistics rapidly. Well-designed infographics not only provide the information quickly, but the visual representation can make a huge impact compared to reading percentages buried in a block of text.
Users like to know when they’ve done something correctly. Small animations that confirm an action was successful make a huge difference in user experience. An example of this would be heart animations on Twitter when you “favorite” a tweet. A small burst of color shows you successfully added the tweet to your favorites.
It may seem insignificant, but these micro-interactions convey attention to detail and make a more robust experience for your users. These small animations and messages convey instant gratification, and although it may not appear so at first, do a lot to convey value to your users.
10. Dynamic storytelling
Graphics and text need to work cohesively to tell a story or convey a message. Rather than inundating your users with a flood of information, get your message across and convey the value of your brand through poignant images and infographics supported by effective, concise text. Dynamic storytelling goes far beyond smashing images and text together in seemingly logical ways. It requires a careful eye and great skill to convey your brand’s message or story effectively and attractively to engage your audience.
Web design is no longer about simply attracting customers and making sales. Brands need to offer valuable, engaging content to their sites’ visitors. High-quality content doesn’t matter much if users aren’t attracted to it and encouraged to explore what a brand has to offer.
Mobile device use is one of the biggest influences on web design in the modern age. Users are connecting on a wider array of devices than previously seen, and mobility is becoming more prevalent in various aspects of our digital age. Consider these trends from the first stages of your web design, and you’re sure to make your brand image resonate with more users on more devices.