Technology changes fast, and website design trends are no different. Design elements and website features that were once modern and innovative may have become tired, overdone, and cliched in recent years. The last thing you want as people arrive at your site is to lose conversion because your website looks outdated or ignores critical web standards.
There will always be aspects of web design that are never going away – user-friendly navigation, data security, and fast load times should just be a given on your website. However, you can keep your site at the forefront of design and search engines by adding some of these innovative website features and elements.
One of the most important web design standards is ultra-fast load time. Quick loading times have been essential factors in UX and SEO for years, and it continues to be a top priority for websites that want to rank well and convert better.
Studies say that more than half of internet browsers expect a website to load fast and no more than two seconds after clicking a link. If it takes more than three seconds to load your site, your visitors most likely will leave, and it’s not likely they’ll be back, ever again!
Website performance has a direct impact on a companies bottom line. Pinterest reduced perceived wait times by 40%, and this increased search engine traffic and sign-ups by 15%. (citation)
Inclusivity and accessibility are more than a trend, but there is a growing need for web design to factor in the needs of people with disabilities. Having a site that every visitor can navigate and interact with is more than just part of good customer service and providing an excellent experience. It can increase conversion, boost your SEO, and help you reach a bigger audience.
Elements that improve accessibility include:
Geometric shapes were a big website design trend in 2019, but in 2021, it’s all about organic shapes. Organic or fluid shapes are anything that doesn’t involve straight lines. Think of the shapes that happen in nature, like hills, the edges of a lake or river, and how they are asymmetrical and winding.
Fluid shapes are a great way to break up sections of a website without harsh lines or angles. They’re also great to use in the background, like how Android uses circles behind products on their homepage.
Minimalism, sometimes called “flat design” isn’t a new trend in web design. Still, it has typically been associated with a lot of white space (think Apple.) In 2021, we expect people will be experimenting with colorful minimalism. It doesn’t have to be all white to be minimalist.
A great example of a site that does colorful minimalism well is Shopify. Each page of their website features a bold background color with clean text and minimal design elements to create an attention-grabbing and easy-on-the-eyes page. They’re proof that minimalism doesn’t have to be stark or boring.
Excellent website design is crucial. At the most basic level, constructing a website that is both appealing to the eye and simple to use is critical for the conversion of clicks into customers. Think of web design as a first impression: if a new visitor is turned off by the looks or functionality of a website, they are not going to stay for long, and they certainly are not going to buy anything. So, what are some of the key characteristics of a well-designed website?
On the homepage, a good mixture of above-the-fold CTAs - especially those that offer more information or helpful training - allows a business to appeal to as many different types of visitors as possible. Plus, if those next steps following the CTAs allow the business to collect information about the visitors, the marketing team can determine who is qualified for their product or service before passing leads along to the sales team. Testimonials, case studies, trust icons, and other forms of social proof are also key for a good homepage; it’s best to be personal and specific, and videos work great. It is also smart to offer content - whitepapers, webinars, etc. - in exchange for visitor information.
Across the website, a business must make sure to appeal to both visitors and search engines. When it comes to the former group, a user-friendly and clutter-free interface is essential; make it easy and make it pretty. Oh, and make it relevant: the vast majority of online sessions begin with search engines queries. If a first-time visitor accesses a website through a SERP and does not quickly find something to relevant to their search, they will bounce and likely not return. Clearly and concisely presenting good information is the name of the web design game.
When it comes to search engines, site structure and navigability are crucial. The more easily Google or Bing can crawl a site, the more content it can index, and the more relevant that content is to search queries, the better a business performs in search engine results.
Marketers in the web design industry must take all the above information into account when crafting their strategies. Make sure prospective clients understand the risks they undertake - and the profits they forgo - when they do not invest sufficiently in their web design. Present lots of clear and informative data regarding the benefits of a good website as well as the dangers of a bad one. Consider the AdWords Grader we offer here at WordStream: tell the potential client what they need to improve and how you can get them there. Our blog is another point of inspiration: consistently produce great content to drive traffic to your site and capture leads.
I have always loved to write. Over the years I've put my thoughts, experiences and opinions on paper. Some of these posts are old and some are new.