The end of one year and the start of a new one is always a time to think about how to get a fresh start. As you’re making resolutions this January, why not make one for your business website too? Get a jump on the latest web design trends of 2017 by redesigning your website. Read on to learn about some of the biggest trends that are likely to make a splash in the coming year.
Why 2017 Is the Year for Website Redesign
In considering why the start of 2017 is a wonderful time to focus on website redesign, think about the role your website plays in your business, marketing, and outreach. Today’s economy, no matter what your field or industry, is highly technological. People no longer rely on the yellow pages to find a business that meets their needs; they may ask a friend for his or her input, but they’ll likely turn to Google and the web for a solution.
From major corporations to a local plumber, businesses with great-looking, interactive, user-friendly websites are much more likely to drive business. And with technology advancing all the time, the web is only going to become more and more central to the way people connect and do business. Start 2017 on the right foot by making sure your website is ready to meet customers’ expectations.
Trends in Web Design for 2017
In addition to web design becoming a more important component of a successful overall marketing and outreach strategy, the way that potential customers interact with websites is changing. From mobile user experience (UX) to simplified navigation and the role of video in web design, let’s take a look at some of the trends in web design that are likely to continue gaining ground in 2017.
Improved User Experience
For better or for worse (we think for better) the way people interact with the web is changing. Once upon a time, all a website needed for people to consider it outstanding was some nice images coupled with clear information. But in the age of social media and online networks, people aren’t going to websites anymore simply for information. Better web design in 2017 is going to be all about enhanced UX.
Simply put, UX in terms of web design refers to the experience users have when they visit your company’s website. You can start putting some thought into your website’s UX and how you can improve it by asking some simple questions:
- What do I want users to do when they visit my website? If you’re hoping they’ll contact you for business, for instance, make it easy – add an easily accessible contact form on desktop platforms or a “Call Us Now” button that automatically dials your business for mobile devices.
- Why are users likely to visit my website? If you think people will come to your website seeking general information in your business blog, make it prominent and easy to access. If they’re more likely to come to find out what services you offer, make that information easy to find and navigate.
Over the past couple of years, designs unveiled by major tech companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft have launched flat colors for web design into the spotlight. The use of flat color in website design was a major trend in 2016, and it’s likely to continue to be popular in the new year.
The concept of flat color essentially refers to the use of one solid block of color, without any shadow or gradation to it. Part of its popularity for web design lies in the fact that the use of flat color creates a simple and streamlined look. It doesn’t have to be a bright color either, although that’s been one popular manifestation of the trend. Even a neutral or pastel palette (if it fits the mood and feel you’re trying to create with your website) can be successful.
While the use of flat color has taken off and will likely continue to be popular in web design, it does have some drawbacks that have led many designers to start opting for a semi-flat design approach. For example, flat design tends to obscure some usability features of traditional website design, such as clickable items, and requires users to be a little more intuitive than they sometimes are.
Enter semi-flat design. Web designers are using simple gradations of color to create some shadow and add dimension. This has allowed them to harness the benefits of flat color and design without the usability drawbacks. Just as flat colors are likely to simplify and streamline your web design, a semi-flat design can add depth and interest to your site’s overall feel and appearance.
Human beings can’t hold a large amount of information in our short term memories; a seven- to 10-digit phone number is about the maximum we can accommodate at any one time. If we incorporate this concept into web design principles, it sheds some light on why simplified navigation structures have become increasingly popular and will likely continue to be in 2017.
Image: Christian Betancourt
The age of the stock photo is quickly coming to an end. Using photos that are clearly posed and overly staged will do nothing for your website other than give it a dated feel that’s likely to turn visitors off before they’ve had an opportunity to learn about your business.
Instead, opt for authentic images that give your website relevance and substance. Experiment with new photography trends (such as selfies and drone shots) to convey your unique brand sentiments in a way that adds interest to your website’s overall design. You can also take a full-screen approach to your image use, making one image the centerpiece of your website or landing page.
In many ways, video is the new photography when it comes to web design in 2017. As more users have access to faster internet connections and increased bandwidth, web browsers have improved their performance capabilities. These innovations have pushed video into a more central position in web design than ever before.
There are many different ways you can think about incorporating video into your website redesign. If your business sells a specific product or product line, consider adding a demonstration video that showcases the product’s many features and benefits. Video testimonials from customers can also be effective and add legitimacy to your business. A welcome video in the background of your website’s landing page can be effective, catching interest and inviting visitors to learn more.
Blending Personal and Professional
Blending the personal brands of your business’s leadership with your company’s overall professional online image can go a long way to improving how customers and users perceive your web design. Consider Facebook, for example. Much of what the public learns about top executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg comes more from insights into their personal brands than formal press releases.
Letting the personal blend with the professional in your web design can be an effective way to attract new customers and engender the loyalty of your existing ones. This formula enables you to send messages that convey your company’s sense of ethics and integrity, letting customers know not just what you do but what you stand for as an organization.
As the world continues to become increasingly technological, great web design is only going to become more important to the success or failure of any enterprise – no matter how large or small. Start your business plan for 2017 on the right foot by spending some time thinking about these and other web design trends and how you can make them work for your company. For a minimal investment, you’ll likely find that you can increase revenue and conversions with just a few design tweaks that make a big difference.