How to Excel in the New Year: Web Design Strategies for 2018
December 4, 2017
2018 will be the year of efficiency when it comes to web design. Now, think about efficiency, when it comes to your website. Your website primarily exists to increase conversions, right? So, in 2018, what is the user going to expect, and want, out of a website?
For one thing, they’re going to expect your website be mobile-friendly; but more than that, they’re going to expect to see those same interactive tools and scroll-triggered animation, even on a desktop version of your site. And they’re going to want it to be clean and easy: they’re going to want to understand in .005 seconds what your company does and how you can help them; they’re going to want to intuitively know how to progress through your website seamlessly–how to click around with their pointer fingers, essentially; and they’re going to want the opportunity to chat with some sort of Chatbot/AI mechanism, if they have any questions. Virtual reality is an additional cool perk, as well.
We sure are lazy nowadays, aren’t we?
Here are eight web design trends expected to flourish in 2018. Need help getting your website New-Year-ready? I think I know a place…
1. Mobile is #1 Priority
Allegedly in 2018, Google will be rolling out its Mobile-First Index, which means search listings will be based on mobile versions of content, even when someone is searching from a desktop–basically, this means that your mobile content will be seen first in search results, before your desktop content. No pressure, right? If you have a responsive website (all your site pages are the same on desktop and mobile), then you’re all set. But if you don’t, 2018 is the year to get one.
Another necessity for your mobile site in 2018 is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open-source coding standard that allows mobile sites to load quickly. I mean, if 55% of web traffic is coming from a mobile device, not a desktop, and this number is only growing, shouldn’t you make sure that over half of your potential customers are happy–and not leaving you in the dust, in favor of your mobile-friendly competitors?
In 2017, web designers began designing sites to look a lot simpler and cleaner; since websites are now prioritized in search engines for being conversion-optimized and mobile-optimized, websites are transitioning to clean, minimalist designs. These designs load more quickly, clearly direct the user towards the conversion, and have an improved SEO value, both because of their speed, and because the clean and simple text clearly distinguishes concisely and uniquely what their company does, and how their company can help the user.
This design includes a lot of negative space, bright and bold colors, crisp shapes, and interesting typography (over interesting images). Since speed is priority, designers will rely on unique and expressive typography to add creativity to a website, rather than images.
3. Animated Logos & Scroll-Triggered Animation
Animated logos and scroll-triggered animation, when correctly coded and applied to a website, do a few things: first, they allow for seamless transitions (i.e. “about us” scrolls to “our services”); they demonstrate your business as modern, technology-savvy, and ahead of your competitors; and they push the user to a conversion by encouraging them to click on your logo to re-direct to the purchase page or contact-form page. Scrolling over something allows for you to keep the look of your site cleaner and more “minimalist,” and doesn’t slow anything down. Plus, let’s be honest–it’s typically more fun to scroll over something, or see a logo animated to jump up and down, then for the whole site to be static, isn’t it? (Throwback to our middle-school Game Boy days, I guess.) Here’s a great example of a scroll triggered animation.
4. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) technology, in essence, attaches devices to the internet; in 2018, it’s expected that websites will contain more IoT interfaces to associate with your other smart devices. Although some of this is still in beginning-stages, the premise is that eventually, websites will communicate with another device’s sensors, cameras, or tools; this will help websites track buying patterns of customers, locations, or even collaborate with other smart devices for a specific goal–for example, maybe an online food-purchasing site will communicate with your refrigerator, which is connected to your fitbit, to figure out which foods you should be purchasing for optimal health advantages. Spooky, right?
5. Chatbots, AI, Machine Learning
Although I’ve pretty extensively covered the major benefits of chatbots, I’ll recap, because in 2018, it’s going to become even more mainstream. In the new year, chatbots, AI presence, and voice user interfaces on websites will continue to grow–chatbots can be used to simplify and speed-up customer service interactions (the chatbot might say, “Do you have questions?” and you type your question into whatever page your on, without needing to reload or re-direct). Also, Artificial Intelligence can analyze a customer’s interaction with your website, which is undeniably powerful, because it gives you the tools to measure what each individual customer is looking for when they enter your site, and what might cause an individual to hesitate over that call-to-action. Plus, Juniper Research predicts that businesses using chatbots can save $8 billion per year by 2022 (in banking and healthcare industries alone).
Microinteractions will become increasingly popular in 2018; essentially, microinteractions allow the customer to interact and engage with your website without having to reload a page. A good example of a microinteraction is the ability to hover over the “like” button on Facebook to show a reaction: a heart, a smiley face, a cry-emoji… Or, scrolling over a number of stars to leave a customer review. Essentially, by giving users the option to use microinteractions instead of clicking a “submit a review” page, you’re increasing overall engagement by allowing customer interaction to be as seamless and automatic as the rest of their social-media world is.
7. Virtual Reality
Traditional videos are so last year (just kidding, they’re still very much in.) But in 2018, newer forms like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will be implemented for more seamless user interaction–including 360 videos and 360 modeling to understand more clearly what a space or product looks like, and interactive videos to create a more in-depth user experience. Although this sounds price-y and complicated, there are a few apps out there to help you make your own virtual reality videos.
8. Progressive Web Apps