Web Design Trends

With the pace of ever-changing digital technology ramping up, website user expectations are higher than ever, making staying on top of web design trends crucial to the success of your business or e-commerce website.

After all, an outdated website that looks, feels and functions below user expectations will not only hurt your reputation, but leads and conversions, too.

Many things change over the course of each year, so it's a good idea to evaluate your redesign options every 12 to 18 months to incorporate new functionality, algorithm updates, visuals and best practices into your site.

That said, there’s a difference between relevant industry trends and passing fads. Here are five trends that will sweep across the web landscape in 2019.

  1. Speed

    Generally speaking, you have a maximum of three seconds to make a good impression on web visitors, and that's before they start exploring your site. Yes, BEFORE!
    In our age of instant gratification, 50% of web users say that after clicking a link they expect a website to load in two seconds or less, and that they abandon sites that take three or more seconds to load.

    So, having the most functional and beautiful site in the world will do you no good if would-be visitors never make it there because it takes too long to load. That means a slow-loading site could be costing you business.

    Making matters worse, Google's speed update, which went into effect in mid-2018, now gives ranking priority to websites that load faster. This means that factors that impact speed MUST be priorities during the design process. And that huge images, uncompressed videos and bloated Javascript, all of which slow down loading time, must be things of the past.

  1. Flat Design

    With the steady increased in mobile searches, developers and designers has focused on creating simple, mobile-first sites that load quickly (even on desktop) and have high search engine optimization (SEO) value. The so-called “flat” designs are necessarily two dimensional — as their name implies — but use a clean, minimalist design aesthetic that eliminates clutter while focusing on contrasting bright colors and simpler imagery and fonts to provide an eye-catching and engaging user experience.

    The result is data-light websites that both load and optimize quickly. This makes them attractive to Google, Bing and other search engines, allows them to rank higher, and engage visitors better, which tends to encourage longer visits and increase conversion rates. And with the rollout of 5G networks across the U.S., mobile-friendly flat design will truly come into its own in 2019.

  1. Broken Grid Layouts

    Despite the trend toward flat, minimalist web design, 2019 will see more designers think outside the box (or, more appropriately, the grid) and opt for asymmetrical designs with broken layouts and striking appearance. Traditionally, the grid structure that has been used for decades to design everything from magazine pages to websites, helped maintain order and consistency when incorporating various design elements — from headlines and articles to navigation and web content.

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    In the past, not using grids has resulted in sloppy, poor design that inadvertently drew users’ attention away from the the most important parts of a website. But some of today’s talented web designers are using the asymmetry of broken grids to give sites more creative flair, without being unattractive or distracting. Using unusual combinations of color, shape, texture, typography and imagery, they are finding ways to direct visitors’ to content and CTAs in a new, engaging way.

  1. One Page Design

    Single page design, also called “pageless” design, perfectly fits with the trend toward both speed and minimalism. Referring to websites that have only one page or blogs that using a neat, siloed hierarchy, the use of single page sites will continue to grow in popularity this year and beyond.

    While sites in this format find it harder to rank for keywords — the lack of multiple pages can hurt them from an SEO perspective — they do come with certain perks. Just as sites that focus on speed and flat design are becoming search engines’ best friends, pageless designs aren’t slowed down by heavy HTML, CSS, Javascript and image data, which tends to make them load much faster and appear attractive both from a user experience perspective and that of search engines.

    Single page sites also look great on all devices and browsers, and are easy to quickly update and manage, since there’s much less content to worry about.

  1. Video

    Keeping step with the meteoric rise of video on social media platforms, the inclusion of data-heavy video is one area of modern design that bucks fast-loading, minimalist and flat design trends. Videos are a much more compelling form of content than text or static images, and many marketers says that video backgrounds in headers and on landing pages have significantly increased their web conversions.

    Because of their attention-getting nature, when visitors reach a site that has a video plays in the background, they’ll probably stick around to watch it. And the fact is, the longer visitors stay on your site, the more likely they are to be converted to customers. The most important things to remember are to make sure that videos are short, muted and high quality.

  1. Conclusion

    Everything considered, this year will be all about delivering a superior user experience with web development and design that give people what they want: speed, mobile-friendliness, eye-catching simplicity, unconventional asymmetry and immersive video. Staying atop of these trends will help to keep your site a fresh, beautiful and functional conversion machine.

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