It’s that time of year when it’s right to reflect on the most significant web design trends 2016 that will dominate 2017.
Flat design dominates
Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colours and two-dimensional/flat illustrations.
Even at times when we could ignore mobile devices, web design was trending to a flatter, less intrusive approach. The user experience is based more on how useful a web page is rather than trying too hard to impress with data hungry graphics or slow loading code.
That could still mean you need data hungry graphics and extra code but it needs to be carefully optimised and its presence serving a very specific purpose.
Branding and logos increase in importance
While your website pages may start to look more generic, the importance of logos and branding are increasing. This means that your graphic designer becomes more significant; a distinctive, original logo with a well thought out complimentary colour scheme become your main weapon in differentiating yourself from the opposition.
Both are different companies with different main target markets, but the web design trend is flat and not dissimilar with greater emphasis on the branding, products and offers.
Original photography and video
We use it, everyone else uses it but stock images from Getty or Shutterstock etc often look like just that. The availability of professional standard camera equipment and modern phones means that it is possible to create original images and video that capture exactly what you need to get your message across.
The use of video will be increasingly important as ever-more sophisticated compression techniques mean that video can be used on websites without slowing everything down.
You should still use a professional photographer for important one-off events e.g. weddings, meetings etc. Also factor in your own or staff time to take photographs and edit the results for the web and then decide whether to hire a pro.
If you create good videos (professionally produced or staff) then you can You Tube and other video streaming websites which helps create backlinks and potential positive interactions.
Micro-interactions keep people engaged
Modern websites need to keep people interested. There will be content to read but also features that keep you engaged with a page. This could be commenting on content or other interactions or filling out a mini-survey etc. These are all interactions that keep people engaged and spending more time on your website.
Google and other search engines measure how long people stay on a website and view this a sign of quality – the longer the better.
More people are accessing the web through mobile devices than ever before. Different screen sizes and operating environments make responsive design a necessity today rather than an option. Google penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly and rank them lower in search when using a mobile device.
They are experimenting with mobile first indexing but we don’t expect this to be used for a all devices – see our earlier blog post on mobile first indexing.
Web design trends prediction is a dangerous game but we expect mobile to as or more important in 2017 and this drives everything.