Essential Web Design Trends to Follow in 2018

Progress is an unstoppable force, and new trends and tendencies are its inevitable result regardless of the niche at hand. Web design is no exception, and its importance in today’s market makes it a rapidly changing one. Web design affects every industry because you would be hard spent finding a company or business without a site. These sites serve as the identity carriers of any business and more often than not create the first impression in the minds of the target audience. About 50 percent of visitors on your site are interested in your “About Us” page, and 65 percent view your contact information.

Image Credit:   https://designadvisor.net/blog/web-design-trends/

It only makes sense then that companies are willing to invest in their site. The impression a website leaves in the minds of visitors could impact the commercial success of the company it represents. According to DesignAdvisor, 75% of users base their credibility assessment of a company on web design.  One sure-fire way of attracting new customers and creating a pleasant first impression is by keeping your site up-to-date regarding the current trends in the market. This way, you would be sure of offering visitors new and enjoyable experiences. 2018 has seen quite a few web design trends, so let’s take a look at some of them.

Current web design trends

1.  Mobile takes priority

Mobile devices are the new norm and have been for quite some time now. The continuously increasing amount of traffic seen by mobile devices these days makes them a priority for when building any website. The rule of mobile only becomes solidified with time as evidenced by statistics. According to Statista, about 43.6% of total traffic on websites globally was generated through mobile devices, which was a 35.1% increase compared to the previous year.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source coding standard that makes loading sites on mobile quick and easy. AMP is pretty vital for any site in 2018. In fact,  48% of site users believe that a business doesn’t care if their site has low compatibility with mobile devices.

2.  Irregular Grid Layouts

Grid layouts make it straightforward to tie all the elements of your web pages together, making navigation a breeze. Although this is an old design concept, there has been a recent shift in how it is used. The introduction of the CSS grid in 2017 has led designers to use irregular grid layouts and neutral space to achieve a more modern design. Text and images can now be made to overlap fluidly without affecting the overall appeal of a site.

3.  Integrated Animations

As technology improves, many web designers are moving away from static images and incorporating animation into their sites instead. Animation is an excellent way to engage visitors on a site and improve their overall experience. Animation can also be used for storytelling – a concept becoming popular with businesses and web designers in a bid to capture and retain the attention of users. In 2018, the use of animated logos is a growing trend. Designers have also found new and creative ways to use GIFs, which can be another great tool for attracting the attention of users.

4.  Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Like it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are here to stay. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, stated that AI is going to have a bigger impact on the world than most of the most popular innovations in world history. AI has gradually infiltrated the web design industry, and more and more companies and web designers are beginning to accept the concept and integrate it into their sites. Common website uses for AI are automated personalization and machine learning – an application backed by statistics saying that 75 percent of consumers will make purchases from a site that remembers them and can suggest potential products to them.

5.  Chatbots

Another form of AI which has been gaining popularity among businesses is chatbots. This is a clever way to satisfy your customers and provide a unique experience while allowing them to get answers to any questions they may have. Chatbots are chat windows which allow visitors to your site to chat with a representative. But there’s a catch – the representative is programmed. Pretty cool right? You can program the chatbot to answer common questions customers may have. You can save your staff plenty of time by incorporating the chatbot into the site.

6.  Illustrations

Images have always been very crucial to any site because they attract more attention than texts, which has further encouraged designers to find creative ways to incorporate them into their designs. Smart business owners have realized its importance, and they are now integrating more visuals into their sites. It is essential that your illustrations are original and playful while communicating your brand to your customers at the same time. If you are looking for a designer for your business, you should also consider an artist who can help with excellent, eye-catching illustrations.

7.  Social Proof

Social proof is one of the most affordable trends around today. All you have to do is showcase evidence of your success on your site. This is a pretty smart way to drive traffic to your site as it shows users that your business is reliable. You can impress your customers with numbers such as the amount you make in revenue and the number of subscribers you have. Allowing customers to leave comments and reviews on your site also helps increase the credibility of your site. When it comes to the success of your business, a little bragging certainly doesn’t hurt.

8.  Vibrant Colors

In 2018, it is imperative that a site stands out. This makes sense if you think about it because the proliferation of websites nowadays means users have many options to pick from, so your design should be tailored towards standing out. Using bold and vibrant colors gives users a more memorable experience on your site. Another innovative way designers use colors in 2018 is by using them to direct user attention to particular areas in the site. Therefore, if there are parts of your website that contain information you’re especially eager for your visitors to see, you can direct them using colors. A good example of this is coloring CTA buttons red.

9.  Unique Fonts

For years, web designers were very cautious about how they use fonts, and strict rules were followed about the number of different fonts to be used on a single website. The main fear was that too many different fonts would cause the site to look unprofessional and overwhelming. Designers in 2018 are reinventing the rules and using fonts in creative ways. Rather than using a great number of different clashing fonts, the new trend is variable fonts which allow you to achieve a diverse effect by using one font and modifying it. A neat example of variable fonts in action is this GIF.

Site visitors are unlikely to take notice a font unless it catches the eye, either for being an eyesore or looking particularly pleasant. When choosing your font, it is important to make sure that the style doesn’t trump the clarity of your text.

10.  Accessibility

This has been overlooked for many years, but fortunately, things are changing in 2018. Optimizing your site for people users with various disabilities ensures that you take into account the needs of all your users. It is easy to forget to consider how user-friendly your site is for disabled people if you don’t have any disabilities yourself. A key step in designing your website for accessibility is identifying the specific needs your design should cater for.

For example, motion effects or parallax scrolling can cause vertigo in some users, while others experience seizures when exposed to flashing lights. Putting these people and many more like them into consideration while designing your site means adding them to the list of your potential customers.

11.  Flat Design 2.0

Flat design is an old design concept which was revived in 2018 with the introduction of Flat Design 2.0. Also called semi-flat design, it relies on adding depth and nuance its entirely two-dimensional predecessor. By applying a few gradients and shadows – two design features that have been shelved in recent years in favor of simpler 2D designs, it has been able to remain relevant, though these additions are implemented with moderation.

12.  Readability takes priority

It is no news that readability is crucial for the success of a website. No wonder the concept remains on the list of top trends in 2018. It is essential that your pages are legible and pleasing to the eye. Most users nowadays don’t want to spend a long time wading through a website, so it’s essential that you make it easy for them to spot the information they are looking for on your site. An excellent way to do this is by including lists and bullets as often as you can. About 55 percent of site users look at lists without bullets, while a whopping 70 percent of users will check out a list with bullets. This reiterates the importance of readability on your site.

13.  Big, Bold Typography

Typography has always been an essential visual tool, helping evoke emotion, create personality, and set the tone of a website, while still conveying the vital information. An increase in the use of custom fonts due to better resolution of modern devices is being predicted. Most browsers support handmade, CSS-enabled typefaces for browsers. Serif and sans-serif headings help improve UX and create dynamic parallels on a webpage as well as keep the attention of visitors on the site.

14.  Voice Search Optimization

Another fast-growing web design trend in 2018 is voice search optimization. Smart business owners and managers have optimized their sites for mobile devices and voice search is a function that is rapidly gaining popularity. About 40 percent of adults use voice search daily, and according to research, about 50 percent of users will use voice search by 2020. You can breach the language barrier by implementing AI into your website. Voice search optimization is a fascinating trend, though it is also one of the most tedious to implement.

15.  Personalized Contents

Personalization is one of the most significant drivers of success in today’s business. Whether it’s articles, images or videos, content is crucial on the internet. This is another trend made easier by implementing AI into your site. A great example is websites such as Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, and other content-based platforms which implement a constant stream of suggestions for new videos, music, and other relevant materials based on your history. This ensures that users are continually exposed to content that interests them.

Benefits of following web design trends

It is not enough to identify the web design trends in 2018; you also need to implement them to reap the rewards. Some of the benefits of following and implementing these trends include the following:

Getting new customers and retaining old ones

The most obvious driver of business success is the number of customers you have. By incorporating web design trends into your business, you provide your customers with new experiences, thereby increasing your chances of retaining them. According to a study, about 95 percent of users stated that user experience is one of the most significant factors whenever they visit a site.

SEO and SERP

Besides aesthetics and user appeal, adhering to the latest web design trends can be a very useful way to achieve better search result rankings and optimize your website for SEO. Search engines take notice – over time established practices in web design become features officially recognized as indicators that a website is relevant and worthy of a good ranking. Following along and staying up to date can pay off manifold.

In conclusion, 2018 has seen many web design trends, and it’s down to companies and their web design teams to implement them. While some of the trends have been around for some time, others are just starting to gain popularity. We have highlighted 15 web design trends in 2018 that will help you improve your customer base, and consequently increase your profit margin.

Author: Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IITs and IISc. She holds 2 patents and over 20 publications in her name. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.