With a new year on the horizon, we like to share what we believe are the top web design trends that may be applicable for the clients we serve. You’ll quickly notice that it’s all about designing for the way we access the web now and where the web is going in the future. Mobile is up over 35% from last year and the trend won’t be slowing down.
- Search engine giant, Google, has announced that they will use the mobile version of the web as their primary search engine. This means that Google will rank mobile sites higher in their index than sites that are not mobile responsive. If you’re website is not mobile-friendly yet, it’s time to get serious about a website design upgrade.
- The use of whitespace is becoming more important as designers learn that whitespace, or negative space, makes content stand out so that it’s easier to read and navigate. Here’s a recent sample of ours »
- Irregular grids are replacing the uniform grids that have served as the base for WordPress themes. WordPress will likely continue to have security holes and its bulky, buggy code will continue to leave it a target for hackers worldwide.
- Bold fonts and bright colors are replacing oversize images so users can focus on content that will likely remain the most critical component of page rankings. Unlike images that slow pages down, scaling the size of typography wont impact performance.
- Responsive design has been around for a number of years because we now use phones, tablets, smart watches, desktops and smart TVs. So this design principle is not going anywhere.
- For designers, scalable vector graphics (SVGs) have been part of our toolbox for a few years and we expect this graphic format to overtake more traditional files format such as PNG, GIF, and JPG. SVGs don’t lose quality when scaled up or down and don’t affect page speed, so we’ll be integrating more SVG graphics in the sites we build this year and beyond.
In 2018, our focus will be on designing simple yet powerful websites that are optimized for mobile devices and care deeply about the user experience. We will use new formats, styles, and technologies to help our clients say more, do more, share more, and enjoy a greater return on their digital investments.
“Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014!” That bold prediction from a technology trends analyst was made in 2008. In 2017, we aren’t even asking whether mobile marketing is important. We know it is!
Anyone who markets products or services is challenged to adapt to the new realities of a connected world and the expectations that mobile presents to them and their customer.
There’s a word for mobile design. It’s called “responsive design” because whatever goes on a screen needs to adapt or “respond” to changing screen sizes and shapes. In the last few years, responsive design changed our approach to almost everything we did, from the shape of a logo to the sequence of information. Users were finding it easier to scroll on a tablet or smartphone than press a link, so we responded with leaner, cleaner layouts, brief top level content linking to longer underlying content, and more calls to action.
The best-designed site is worthless until it’s found, and Google rules search results. Last year, just when Google was happily delivering relevant search results to everyone, some unscrupulous characters hell-bent on gaming the system built massive workarounds in an effort to dominate the first page of Google. Google reacted. Now they trust no one. Want to be first on Google? Here’s what you need:
- Tenure. If you’re a brand-new site, it’s going to take time. Those sites who have the oldest “index age” get to be first. When you’re new, you have to work harder.
- Authority. You’re an authority if others turn to you for advice or information. Quality links from a variety of sites qualify. If you don’t have these links, there’s a pathway to acquire them. Tedious work where persistence pays off.
- Relevance. Relevant content is authoritative, well-written, error-free, never plagiarized, and about who you are, what you do, and how your products solve problems. Skimping on content is like tossing off a line to the dock and wondering why your boat slips away. Content must be well-written, lengthy, keyword centric, and highly engaging so that Google “sees” people spending time on your site.
Lastly, flat design ruled the market in 2016. In 2017 a new metaphor came to town: Material Design. It’s about simplicity, with subtle, natural, visual clues that help the eye’s navigation—textures, shading, contrasts, hues and so on. On the other hand, we prefer what we call honest design. No fads, just the right design to advance the brand.