Design is the bedrock on which your website shines. The way your colors, images, text, graphics, and content are placed on the page will either communicate your brand personality and services…or they’ll do a dismal job of it. Web design is always morphing and changing, and every year brings new design trends. Here are a few of this year’s top design trends.
As the web increasingly had to be made accessible by mobile screens, designs became simpler and less cluttered. A minimalist design makes good use of space and draws the eye to the key element on the page—be it a headline, a menu, an image, or something else. All layouts are visually balanced, with dramatic contrasts drawn between elements. In addition, the trend is to create a longer-scrolling page rather than to cram overwhelming amounts of information in a short squash of space.
Fewer Menu Items
Holding with the increasing minimalist trend, websites have gone from five to seven menu options to three to four. Submenus take up the slack. Now, instead of the clutter and indecision of too many options, users can choose more quickly and navigate to the main section of their choice, which then provides more options to guide them to their final destination.
Designers have come on board with the importance of content in driving the popularity of a website. Users visit a site to see the content on it, so with that in mind, web designs are created to place content strategically on the page, where it can be found and viewed. The content becomes part of the design of the page.
Typography on today’s websites is clear and dramatic, sometimes with an artful flair. While there are less words than before, the words that are on the screen are designed to communicate both visually and verbally. Type may not always be bold, but it is most definitely implemented with strong, clear lines.
More and more websites are moving away from the stiff stock-photo look and toward real snapshots. Sometimes, those shots really are real—of the team, the company digs, or projects in motion. Whether they’re still shots of team members in action or stock photos that look authentic, the focus is on creating a site that visitors want to come home to. Images are large, expressive, and artistic, sometimes full-screen, and occasionally moving.
In the style of Pinterest, some websites are moving to grid-based layouts, where content is shown in a grid and sometimes adjusts to the user’s selections and actions. With responsive design ruling on mobile devices, this type of image-centric layout makes navigation easier. WordPress, the software used by 27 percent of the web design world, offers hundreds of grid-based themes.
An updated web design communicates that your business is professional, on the leading edge, and prepared for business. In today’s competitive environment, that says a lot.
About the Author
Marlene Slabaugh is a resident business copywriter for Optimize Worldwide. She writes for Optimize and for a number of Optimize’s clients. As a result, she knows a little bit about everything, and her encyclopedic knowledge is growing by the day. She enjoys a well-designed website.