10 Web Design Trends That Will Take Over 2017
Company websites are a critical aspect of any marketing and promotional strategy. Websites are the essential tool when it comes to retaining existing customers and drawing in new ones. Businesses should continually prioritize and refresh their website content. With 2017 now well underway, here 10 key trends that are emerging or growing more prominent this year within the evolving landscape of website design.
1. Emphasis on the content
After years of adding more and more features that clutter websites, 2017 will be about getting back to the basics and refocusing on the main purpose of your company website: content. After all, the content is the reason you want people perusing your website in the first place. In general, more brands are starting to implement minimalist design approaches when it comes to layout, since the main function of design is to present content in an engaging and efficient way that improves conversion rates. So whether companies remove the distractions that clutter less appealing websites or simply have them take up less space, content will be thrust back into a starring role.
2. Geometric shapes, lines and patterns
Another notable web design trend emerging across websites is the use of whimsical and geometric patterns, shapes and lines. For a good example of how these touches can add flair to otherwise flat material, check out Canadian company MSDS Studio, a leader in employing daring, patterned letters and geometric shapes to spruce up their homepage. Geometric shapes, patterns and lines can be integrated into web design in numerous ways, from using geometric-heavy photos; bold, patterned text; or circles and other shapes around images. This trend is likely to remain popular in 2017.
3. Imaginative heading styles
Look for changes related to headings this year. In the past, the pervasive heading style found on websites was centered text, featuring a sans serif font and all capitalization, which, frankly, has become slightly stale. Now, companies are departing from that common style and becoming more imaginative and creative in order to increase the uniqueness of their website. Designers can experiment with changing the typical heading style by adding uncommon, interesting features to the headings; changing the justification and alignment; or even abandoning headings altogether in favor of different features.
4. Longer Pages
User habits are changing. In an online article for TIME magazine, Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile reported nearly 66 percent of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold, and users invest their time “where the content not the cruft is.” Regardless of the device, users are scrolling more to look for the information they want. What that means for web designers is putting a greater emphasis on creating long, yet light and airy scrolling experiences on web pages. Companies will continue moving away from type-heavy homepages in favor of simpler styles, and it is acceptable, even encouraged, to weave in a story that builds toward an ultimate message or call to action (CTA).
5. Virtual Reality and 360º video
Virtual reality (VR) and 360º video are two technologies expected to considerably impact web design trends this year. According to an online article from Forbes, both VR and 360º video “can be incorporated into web design to create a breathtaking, interactive experience.” They can be adapted for numerous uses, such as showcasing a new product or taking visitors on virtual tours. And as indicated by Google’s Daydream VR headset, which is at the forefront of the movement, the technologies’ potential for everyday use has yet to be tapped. To sample a taste of what VR is all about, check out the Web VR site.
6. Prominent Typography
As brands focus on representing strong personalities and highlighting individuality, web ddesign trends in typography will become increasingly non-conventional, bigger and bolder. That doesn’t necessarily refer to the weight of the font. Think instead of devoting significant screen space to interesting typfaces that communicate, in one simple yet complete statement, about a service or product. The growing number of available web fonts and website compatibility has made it much simpler for designers to take risks when it comes to typography and incorporate novel, alluring typefaces that clearly and concisely communicate with users at a glance.
7. Vivid Colors
Just because web layouts are gravitating toward minimalist designs doesn’t mean making an impression through appealing aesthetics is any less important in 2017. However, the trend is to use color, rather than clutter. Stacking and staggering layers of vivid colors can permeate a simple website layout with added depth and texture. For example, this website for Melissa Meio-Fio takes a less-is-more design approach and uses color in a striking way. Not only does this exciting, new aspect of design catch the eye of visitors, but it also has a practical use in helping guide them toward your website’s most important action or engagement features, such as forms, buttons or value propositions.
8. Ghost Buttons
Calls-to-action also will be augmented and rebooted in 2017. For instance, ghost buttons are a new feature that work well for bottom-of-the-funnel offers on websites. Aptly named ghost buttons are those designed using a mere colored outline that contrasts with the background of the page, rather than a solid shape. The trend so far has been to use ghost buttons, which are more subtle, for secondary CTAs or to direct users onto a different page. Many web designers are still testing the effect of ghost buttons on conversion rates before using them to compel visitors to take action on important offers, such as consultations or requesting demonstrations.
This year, microinteractions will continue growing in popularity and influence. Microinteractions, so subtle they feel natural, include hovering over a link; clicking a button or animation; liking a status update; completing a task; pinning inspirational quotes; or retweeting messages. What’s interesting, as Forbes points out, is when microinteractions are done correctly, they “can actually create new habit loops,” instead of just mimicking human behavior. “Once established in the brain,” the article continues, “microinteractions become incredibly powerful [User Interface] weapons because they help designers create intuitive experiences and streamline the web interactions.” Overall, microinteractions are effective for guiding and engaging users.
10. Original Photography and Illustrations
Brands are moving away from stock photos and videos, which reduce trust and often go completely ignored, according to Forbes. Instead, there is a growing reliance on candid, original photography and unique brand-themed illustrations. When you bring visitors to your website, your goal is for them to have a unique, authentic and pleasing experience. Tacky photos or videos directly work against that goal. With authentic photography sites so accessible online, there’s no reason for companies to resort to cheap stock photography when creating visual stories on their websites. Additionally, an increasing number of companies are incorporating bespoke illustrations to inject their exclusive identity and personality into their site, as well as elevate and clarify their brand’s tone.
From custom typography and vivid colors to virtual reality, 360-degree video and evolving CTA techniques, the web design trends for 2017 seem promising when it comes to elevating brands and their websites to higher degrees of engagement, appeal and business success.