Another year has passed, and website trends continue to shift based on customer preference and designer innovations. Your website is your online business card, and it is the first thing most customers will see when they look for your services.
What kind of first impression do they get when they land on your site? If you haven’t “refreshed” your website design in years, the outdated vibe visitors see will likely reflect poorly on your business and can even result in lost revenue.
If this is the case, you may want to make 2019 the year you update your website. For inspiration, here are some popular trends for the coming year.
From Flat to 3-D Website Trends (Again)
Many designers are moving back towards adding realism and depth to their graphics to bridge the gap between the digital and the real world. Gradients, drop shadows, video, motion graphics, scrolling effects, and other design techniques bring new life to a website and can entice visitors to follow the intended process. Mortgage Hub is a website that has done a nice job adding depth and natural, asymmetrical design elements.
This is a departure from the flat trends that have been popular in recent years (and continue to be a popular choice among customers).
Not a new trend, but a continuing trend, parallax effects provide a more dynamic user experience which encourages visitors to spend more time taking in the content. Parallax scrolling is a technique where background images move by more slowly than those in the foreground, providing the illusion of depth and capturing the attention of users. With this technique, the user can scroll down the page and as they do, they are introduced with new information or images. This creates a three-dimensional feel on a two-dimensional site.
The Space Needle does a great job using parallax to present information on their home page. Click here to check it out.
Video Home Page Headers
Many companies are replacing the standard sliding images with other elements, and videos are a popular choice to convey a message without saying much of anything! These can run on auto-play when the user lands on the site, or you can prompt the visitor to play the video. Often done without sound, you can add accompanying text over the video for more description and next steps. Himalaya does a nice job with their video header.
Large, Attention-Getting Text
With visitors moving quickly from one website to the next, the push to get the message out has evolved to large, eye-catching text front and center with much smaller subtext as needed to direct users to additional information or action. Himalaya does a good job with this, pairing a video background with bold text without overwhelming the user. Laconia Roadhouse uses large text on their site to get the attention of their visitors.
Detailed Navigation and Footers for Designs that Stand Out
The days of a straightforward menu with dropdown items are over. Thanks to the mega-menu, designers have the ability to highlight certain products and services with images, links, and text snippits to draw in users. Mashable is one good example of this.
Footer boosts have transformed basic footers with contact information and links into multi-element footer areas that get attention.
Large “Hero” Images
A trend growing in popularity is the use of hero images on a website. These can be found not only on the home page, but also showcased on inner pages. High quality, relevant images are key for this type of design. Hero images work great when used with parallax scrolling. Boston Casino Events is an example of a website that relies heavily on large images to convey its message.
Responsive websites are sites that look good and are functional on any screen—no pinching and pulling required. This is not a new trend, but it’s incredibly important for your business. Not only do non-responsive websites turn off users, they also get penalized by search engines for not being user-friendly, which can cost you business.
These small touches, which surprise and/or encourage the user in a given area of the website, can go a long way to foster engagement. When you are on Skype and hear a notification or are scrolling through a website and see text pop up or a button turn another color, you are seeing a micro interaction. The micro-interaction when you mouse over Canva’s website is irresistible.
Great Written Content
Content marketing has grown exponentially in recent years, and there is no shortage of online information on any given topic. The problem is, much of the content we come across isn’t high quality enough to be valuable to its readers. This coming year will focus on storytelling and communicating effectively with your intended audience. If you don’t have great text, your stellar design will be useless.
Blogging will continue to be a great avenue (and SEO tactic) for businesses to promote their knowledge, products, and services to prospective customers or patrons. Website pages should also be reviewed to ensure they are accurate and easy to read, chock full of calls-to-action to draw readers into the next step of your marketing/sales funnel. If writing is not your forte, consider hiring an experienced content writer to help you.
Did you see anything you like? OpenVine specializes in providing small businesses with beautiful, functional websites that help convert online visitors into customers. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help with your website redesign!