Every year, new web design trends redefine the browsing experience. No wonder web designers are on their toes sifting through the latest trends, features and functionalities. If modern elements are incorporated thoughtfully, they can truly help a brand stand out in the crowd. While it’s not necessary to follow every new trend, the popular ones help boost your website’s traffic.
Well, that’s one reason we rebranded our website fantastech.co (which was earlier built in 2015) so that the design can be fresh and relevant. So, are you also ready to design an awesome website this year and ahead?
Here’s a list of non-negotiable standards that your website must have in any case.
Modern Website Design Standards
Well polished design always gets the job done. Visitors don’t pay much attention to design details but instead are looking for information or take some action. So, it is vital that you stay on the course and avoid gaudy design that serves no purpose. Let them accomplish what they have came for – get information!
So, colors gamut should be kept simple with a maximum of 5 different colors. Typefaces should be instantly recognizable and legible. Stick to popular fonts to make the right impact. Graphics must be limited to specific areas. Basically, Keep it Simple Silly (KISS)!
Here are some examples of simple website designs.
2. Visual Hierarchy
The visual elements must be organized in such a manner that users gravitate towards ‘focused’ elements naturally. Remember, the goal of UX is to lead the user towards completing a desired action – without forcing them. When you create a sense of uniformity in color, position and size of the elements, a designer can draw a visitor’s attention positively.
This one is a good resource on visual hierarchy that you should really help you.
Visitors should be able to locate everything easily on your website. They should simply surf through various pages and swiftly reach their desired location. An intuitive navigation helps them find what they’re looking for.
The primary navigation structure must be kept simple. Use breadcrumbs on every page and the footer of the page must include navigation pattern. Having a search box also helps visitors find relevant information.
Besides the navigation, there must be consistency in overall look and feel of your website’s pages. The color scheme, backgrounds, banners, typefaces etc., all come together to create an impact on your website’s UX.
Yes, there can be adequate differences on two pages in terms of layout. However, the color change should not be drastic so as to change the whole vibe of your concept. For e.g. landing pages can be different from service pages in order to focus on call-to-action.
Over the years, users have become accustomed to certain design features. It’s good to let them have them, so you don’t come out too awkward in terms of design philosophy. For e.g. the top logo with the link back to the home page, navigation menu at the top or a shopping cart icon etc. All these design conventions don’t make a website old, it makes it relatable. Take advantage of the conventionality to help visitors familiarize with the website. Let them navigate through the pages conventionally.
Each user is different. So, how do you create a user-centric website for all of the visitors? You simply focus on the user-centricity. Testing and user-feedback can help you gather information and make necessary changes as per the popular demand.
Being clear and honest about your website’s services/products helps build credibility among the users. Users shouldn’t have to dig through tons of navigation to reach their desired page. Being user-friendly helps you build long-term brand value.
Modern Web Design Elements Every Designer Should Know
Whether it is old website renovation or a brand new project, designing futuristic websites will earn you client’s respect.
Besides the basics, a good designer always chooses the best modern elements to add sparkle to a website. You should also pay attention to the basics. To narrow down your choice, here are some of the trends, elements and ways you can truly design a website for modern users.
1. Large and Unique Typography
Today, there’s a large selection of typography and fonts to choose from, helping designers better express the content. Users move across content better when expressive fonts are used since they evoke subtle hints. The content can be fun, information, functional or serious based on the font or typography employed.
The suitability of fonts across various browsers should also be considered. Selecting an unsupported font means that your content is not displayed or comes out awkwardly. Uniformity of fonts across the webpages is a must. It should also be represented well across various devices.
2. Responsive and Large Hero Images
Large images help overcome the limitations of over and below the fold issues. Large images present a strong visual experience, along with minimal social buttons or CTA, which encourages the visitors to read more content. Large images with overlaid content in beautiful fonts helps you create an initial interest in the user.
Premium websites cater to high end users. Naturally, expectations are high! They can be browsing on phone, desktop or tablet computer. Thus, a responsive image is a powerful medium to convey your message. Powerful banner lines that evoke a sense of action can truly help you convert more visitors.
3. Background Videos
Five years ago, background videos would have been a big ‘no-no’. Connections were slow and data limits were regulated. But modern users are mostly browsing on fast connections and have more data limits. Thus, auto-playing videos in the background can add a lot of impact on your page.
They can help tell a story much easily compared to other content. Users don’t have to read lengthy content. Background videos are a brilliant way to illicit the user’s interest the moment they land on the page. Designers should ensure that key points of the message are short and crisp so users can digest easily.
Videos are digested much faster relative to heavy blocks of text. With increase in mobile devices, you can bet that your modern users would love to hit the play button more often.
4. Semi Flat Design
Famous brands are shifting to flat design due to its increasing acceptance among users. Simply put, when there are no depth or 3D shadows associated with a design, it is called flat design. Since it does not have overly-technical or complicated elements, it is far easier to load.
Be it Apple, Samsung or Uber, flat design is becoming the rage. Users comprehend it and relate better to the basic icons. Designers can add their touch to flat design by implementing subtle depth or angular corners to bring them to life. It is vital that all your webpages represent the same design cues to bring about uniformity everywhere.
5. Hamburger Menus
Classical menus can occupy a ton of precious screen space. But you can’t eliminate menu either. Enter the ‘Hamburger Menu’! It was first employed in web applications and slowly found its way to websites today. Even Google uses one. It integrates menu options into a hamburger like setting that pops open and close when you scroll over.
Hiding a busy and long menu creates a clutter-free look. Users can browse through the various options distraction free. Moreover, designers should keep the important navigation options only to further streamline the browsing experience. This increases the likelihood of finding the information.
6. Gradients are Making a Comeback
Gradients are back! Today, designers are using them extensively to make a bold statement in a retro way. They channel emotions and help customers connect better with the product or service. Even a simple hue transition creates a powerful impact while navigating.
Designers use gradients to create something new simply by blending colors. Refreshing mix of colors with flat icons creates a symphony of sorts especially on latest high-resolution mobile devices. Whether it is unsaturated or saturated, gradients create a beautiful sense of depth and dimension. With popularity of augmented and virtual reality increasing, designers will definitely use gradients to add more immersion and realism to the website design elements.
7. Large Product Images
This is important for ecommerce websites. Even B2B websites with many products to display have started to display large product images. The number of products displayed on the webpage can be regulated to ensure that each product gets suitable attention. The images can be responsive so that there’s uniformity in viewing across different devices.
Large images aid in better representing the various product features effectively. You can highlight a certain feature through various related images. Here, too, the primary benefit is that images convey the feature better as compared to words.
8. Card Design
Modern users are fascinated with cards. Designers and marketers both understand that cards can help disseminate the information visually without being overwhelming. When articles are broken in cards, users can get a peek and decide which one they want to read further.
How you serve content to the users is the key to success. Breaking up content into various cards is a clean and organized way to present content to the visitors. You can highlight multiple articles or products (in B2B websites) without relying on excessive text.
By breaking up different pieces of content into cards, users can pick and choose which articles they want to expand. This helps to keep the homepage feeling clean and organized, without relying on a ton of text. Remember, each card must be responsive and adapt to the screen size easily.
Basic Web Design Precautions For Happier Users
Establish design principles: Designing websites with well-defined principles helps consolidate visitors. If users are spending time on a webpage, its basics are taken care of.
Standardize the Color Palette: The color palette must not deviate too much from the standards. Use precise color codes in addition to choosing a standard naming convention.
Well built Icon Library: Create and maintain a well-stocked icon library and UI inventory. This creates uniformity across the pages that users can relate to.
Bold Lines and Geometry: To draw attention towards a secondary image, bold lines can come in handy. Intersection points and color must be in sync with the focal point.
Tactile Design: Coming from material design realm, it helps digital objects appear real. Just like geometrical patterns, tactile design can help distinguish various graphical elements.
Multilayer Design: Highly realistic look can be achieved with multilayered design. Drop shadows can be employed for distinguishing layers and create more realism.
Hover Effects: Avoid using excessive hover effects on every link. Gesture controls and tappable buttons have emerged as viable alternatives to information flow.
Animated effects: Simply them since most don’t perform well on mobile devices. Instead, animated GIF’s work good on simpler mobile devices.
Voice Activation: With faster speeds, you can surely implement voice activation that not only increases intuitiveness of your website, it also serves queries faster.
Still struggling with designing websites for the modern users? Not to worry! I regularly share my insights about fast moving web design industry right here. Or you can get in touch to discuss in detail.