If you’ve ever stumbled upon a site that’s not been updated in a few years you get a stark reminder of quite how far web design has come! What was once vogue is now outdated, incompatible and unnatural feeling.
These changes aren’t enormous overnight shifts in design standard, they creep through years of tiny changes in user behaviour and what’s possible from a technical point of view. The sites you’re using in 2017 might feel like they’re cutting edge – but there are changes just around the corner. To stay ahead of the curve we had a chat with the team at RFK Solutions, who are one of the best web design companies in Scotland who shared their guide to the top 7 web trends we’ll see in 2018…
- Negative space
I know what you’re thinking – negative space is nothing new – and you’re right, but 2018 is going to see new levels of negative space being used.
Lighter, quicker and more responsive sites are driven by one major factor:
When you’re browsing on mobile, big gimmicky homepages and massive resolution pictures just don’t cut the mustard. People want to see what you’ve got to say quickly – and you want them to convert quickly, which means bogging them down with pointless design is little use to anyone.
Maybe you want to show off some visuals – if you’re using a site as a portfolio then sure, but if the goal of your site is to convert customers, 2018 encourages you to start thinking about what you can take away while keeping your message and brand strong.
So what place do animations have in a world that’s increasingly geared toward mobile users, their small screens and a clarity of message?
The difference 2018 will see is one of intention. While animations are nothing new, they have traditionally been sprinkled around a site for the sake of novelty and decoration. The new approach sees animations used with the intention of educating and informing the site user – or at least driving them toward the call-to-action or site goal.
Expect to see animations used purposefully – adding to the classy look fostered by designs with a lot of negative space.
- Stylised typefaces
So, we’ve already said that next year is going to see a lot of unnecessary design stripped away from sites – leaving behind what?
Text – and doing creative things with that text is going to be big in 2018.
Again, mobile users are driving this trend, where images need to be scaled up and down – often impacting quality or design intention, text doesn’t suffer with the same issues. What’s more, going heavy on the images often detracts from the logos, branding and calls-to-action that you’re really trying to focus your customer on – strip it away and your user’s eye is far more easily guided.
While businesses cast increasing consideration to making their physical premises as accessible as possible, there are many people developing their online businesses who don’t see beyond the ‘typical’ user – that’s to say, the user who’ll use their site as it appears and require no assistance to access the content.
In the UK alone, 8.5 million people are registered as having some form of disability – that’s over 10% of the population. By making a site that does not offer a range of accessibility options, you’re effectively turning away the custom of every tenth visitor.
With more developers and designers building with accessibility in mind, 2018 will be another big step forward toward a truly inclusive internet.
- Progressive Web Apps
The average mobile owner spends 2.5 hours every day looking at their screen. Of that time, around 90% is spent looking at apps.
We’re familiar with apps, we know how they tend to work, we recognise the buttons and we’re comfortable with the interface – so you better believe that 2018 is going to see a lot of sites that are designed to look and feel like an app.
This style of site is referred to as a ‘Progressive Web App’ – and you’ve probably seen great examples in action if you’ve logged in to Facebook, Twitter or any number of popular news sites through your browser.
But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just a design quirk that makes you feel at home – app functionality is finding its way into site design too. The information you put in will be interpreted in increasingly sophisticated ways – and Progressive Web Apps will react accordingly, adjusting the content you see based on your preferences.
- Long form content
People like long form content. Google likes long form content. If there are two better reasons to produce long form content we’d like to know about them!
There’s a host of studies by industry leaders like Moz and HubSpot that show readers have a definite preference for sharing blog posts that exceed 1500 words – and, as the word count increases, so does the share count, with 2500+ representing the largest number of shares.
We’re not just talking social shares here either – links from relevant sites follow the same trend.
People’s desire for high-value content shows no sign of slowing – so we can expect to see a lot more of it in 2018.
A cinemagraph is a photograph with a slight moving element. For example, a seemingly static shot of some leaves – but with animated raindrops rolling off a leaf. If you haven’t seen many – 2018 will change that for you!
With significant moves away from clutter and toward purposeful minimalism, a cinemagraph gives the simplicity and load time of an image – but with the type of user feelings normally only invoked by a video.
The brains behind marketing campaigns always have one eye on any form of neuroscience that gives a hint toward the underpinnings of customer behaviour – and in this instance there’s a lot of studies that suggest movement adds to our ability to envisage our use of a product.
Take bacon for example – rarely do you see raw bacon used when the product is advertised, instead, you see crisp bacon in a pan – evoking desire and hunger. A cinemagraph takes this a step further, add the bubble of sizzling fat as the bacon cooks – and your customers will virtually be able to taste the ensuing sandwich…