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Trends in Web Design to Watch Out For

By Manoj S Pillai | Mar 1, 2019

The success of your website today is critically important as it is what is looked at as the digital soul of the business.

Which is why being in touch with the ever-changing web design and development trends is vital, if you must stay on top of the UI/UX race. Having a sweet user interface aids user experience, which is what all businesses strive for. A website which looks modern and sleek today, in a few months might look cheesy and outdated. It is a testimonial to the talent of designers today, who continue to deal with increasing technical challenges and yet manage to create an innovative, user-friendly, clear, true to the corporate style websites and also adaptable to every possible device

Let’s take a look at a few nuanced web design trends, that every website must keep an eye out for or lose out in the UX race.

Drop Shadows and Depth

What are drop shadows you ask? A flat design has been ditched a long ago and shadows are now a predominant and fundamental feature of web design. All thanks to the advance improvement in web browsers! It creates an exceptionally versatile effect not only for better aesthetics but also in enhancing UX. It accommodates emphasis and also gives a certain 3D effects on screen. The possibilities are many and all of them dependent on the imagination and creativity of the designer.

Super Vibrant Color Schemes

Sticking to safe colors is a thing of the past. The color palette today is mind-boggling and the braver the designer, the more vibrant your website is likely to be. Daring to be bold and adventurous and providing visually appealing and exemplary digital experience to the user is what we need from the web design and the web application team. Imagination here is supported by the technological advances in monitors and devices which sport suitable screens for reproducing richer colors. Testimonial to this development is the fact that a lot of websites now use bright and bold color schemes. It's not something that all brands can pull off, and depending on the type of brand some prefer more subtle colors. But, if they are looking for a way to make their website stand out, this is a must try gimmick.

Big, bold typography

Typography has always been an effective visual tool, able to design personality, raise emotion and also establish tones on a website all while bringing important information. Large letters with contrasting sans serif and serif headings trend help build dynamic parallels and improve UX also keep the visitors interested in your website. Today the devices and browsers are developed enough to support many custom typography, unlike earlier days.If you want a way to enhance the personality of your website, then selecting a unique and distinct font, is the way to do it. The manner in which content is shown/displayed on the website affects its visitor numbers.

Particle Backgrounds

Websites with a video playing in the background have to take extra steps to ensure that the site performance is not affected. A great solution for this would be particle backgrounds. For the uninitiated - it means lightweight JavaScript animations which allow movement to be built into the site, as a natural part of the background, without increase load time. Load time is one of the critical factors for a website ranking and animations are dropped if load time is affected, but with particle backgrounds, they don't need to do that anymore.

Custom Illustrations

Illustrations are fun, friendly and add a playful element to the website. Custom illustrations do come at a cost, depending on how talented the artist is as well as how much work is involved to get the branding right.

Hamburger Menus

A controversial web design trend commonly used on apps and mobile website as an easy method to create a menu which takes up very little space. Hamburger menu eliminates the list of pages in the main menu from all the pages of the website and places them behind the hamburger icon. It helps by including fewer elements and giving the necessary navigation items for each page giving the website a much cleaner design. It’s indeed a controversial trend as it may not sit well with all brands and customers and thus its use must be considered carefully!

Floating Navigation

The websites commonly visited have their navigation in the same place i.e across the top of the website.  While some are experimenting with other options though like hamburger menu option or floating navigation. Since floating navigation remains visible as you scroll, it provides a distinct experience that sets your website apart. The best benefit here would be the fact that all the navigation options will be visible to the visitor at all times.

Single Page Design

Single page design/page-less design is a web design trend that supports speed and minimalism. These websites have a siloed hierarchy and the simplicity of websites makes them apt for every browsing device, support a mobile-first-style and are also easy to manage and update.

Responsive Design

Keeping the website responsive is very important today as smartphone users keep going up surpassing desktop users. This means that it is crucial they work well on mobile devices as on bigger screens. Mobile first design has become a trend as today most brands own shops online and many of their customers are smartphone users. The increase in mobile users has changed the way the websites are designed fundamentally.

Speed

Humans are impatient creature and tend to lose interests if the design is data-heavy, takes too long to load and has other performance issues. A significant drop in website traffic or low traffic means loss of revenue and all businesses need to focus on this aspect of a website on priority. It’s not always possible to rely on the developer to help here and therefore speed needs to be a design parameter.

Microinteractions

Micro-interactions are a particularly interesting trend which takes user engagement one step further with animations, which respond to user actions. For example, as you mouse over at a certain spot the data visualization changes or an animation that is activated by scrolling etc

Chatbots/Machine Learning

Interaction with the chatbots are now an integral part of every website. Considering the fact that a few years ago when these started rolling out, they seemed to cause more problems than aid enhancement of the design. But years later now with improved AI and machine learning, they have become much better and useful. They can kick-start a correct relationship with potential customers and also start gathering info for your sales team simultaneously.

Data Storytelling/Visualization

The growth and influence of data on the tools shape how we do the business and it was only a matter of time before it caught up with web design also. Data visualization is definitely part of the design today as brands find new ways to tell their story and have a distinct digital visual identity. Some make it a part of the main website and others prefer to a separate site with highlights valuable data built.

The Evolution of AI

AI(Artificial intelligence) is already becoming a major part of mainstream web design, over technologies like conversational interfaces. As many say we could already be using it as part of our daily work even without our knowledge. Voice assistants like Google Home and Apple’s Siri are great examples of this.

Including Social Proof

Social proof is a clear way to underscore success stories to new visitors and remind the repeat visitors as to what are your strengths. Showcasing strengths is definitely what sells the brand in the market and finding a way to incorporate social proof into the website design highlights the website's value to visitors.

Reference Links:

https://www.hostgator.com/blog/top-web-design-trends-2018/
https://99designs.com/blog/trends/web-design-trends-2018/
https://www.theedesign.com/blog/2018/web-design-trends-2019
https://www.creativebloq.com/features/web-design-trends
https://www.uxpin.com/studio/web-design/web-design-trends-2018-the-complete-guid...
https://www.uxpin.com/studio/web-design/web-design-trends-2018-the-complete-guid...
https://www.awwwards.com/websites/trend/
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Manoj S Pillai

Founder and CEO of NetiApps
Manoj S Pillai is the Founder and CEO of NetiApps. With over 20 years of leadership experience in the industry across all facets of business, his vision is to create a customer-centric company which is known for its innovative solutions and CX-rich strategies. He holds a master’s degree in Information Tech and has expertise in assisting clients in the areas of IT cost rationalization, strategy development, as well as business IT alignment and governance.