Current trends in web design

Web design continues to evolve, with continuous improvement in user experience, functionality and cross platform optimisation.

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Web design continues to evolve, with continuous improvement in user experience, functionality and cross platform optimisation. More than ever the right online approach and web design can give any business a huge advantage.

We thought it would be valuable to detail the web design trends we have been seeing over the past year. Whilst many of these factors have always been important, modern users have higher levels of expectation and are becoming increasingly aware of what a good website design should deliver.


Clean, simple web design and graphics

In the modern web design world, less is more. Many leading website designers advocate the approach of designing for mobile devices first and then adding content and scaling the website design for desktop versions. This helps ensure web pages and layouts are not cluttered with non-essential content, which can distract the user from the essential content they are searching for.

By ensuring website architecture is focused on clear browsing routes, easy to digest messages and effective content, it becomes easy to create a website which truly answers the needs of the user.

Flat panels of colour, simple buttons and vector style illustrations and icons have been driven into the mainstream by global brands, such as the Windows 8 OS (love it or hate it), Social Media websites and consumer focused technology companies.

Engaging content is king and half-baked thinking made to look pretty will not cut it. Web designers and developers are spending more time considering effective transitions, intelligent layouts and well placed, enticing call to actions and less time applying layer after layer of graphic effects.


Scrolling web design layouts

Until recently savvy website designers and clients have been sceptical of a users willingness to scroll. And with good reason, even in the last year, W3C statistics demonstrated that 10% of users would never scroll a web page! However, with advancements in touchscreen technology and swipe gestures users have become used to moving the viewable area to find what they want. Furthermore popular scroll based Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have engrained the philosophy of scrolling into most users psyche.

Whilst it remains important to present vital navigation tools and information in the initially visible area, the fold has never been so blurry (the fold is a web professional term for the point at which the web page disappears from the bottom of the screen). Website designers can dictate a narrative as the users scrolls down, present infinite content and make the web page more ‘sticky’.

Apple have done this to great effect on their website. As you scroll down the page viewing large product images and easily digestible features you just want to keep on scrolling. Removing the need to click and load a new page ensures a seamless flow of content.


Smartphone and tablet web browsing

The effect of mobile web design is evident all around us. Users want to find what they want, where they want and when they want. This trend will continue to grow and the increase in tablet sales and improvements in hardware will continue to drive users to their mobile devices. Additionally software and operating systems continue to evolve and improvements in JavaScript engines and HTML 5 functionality will enable increased levels of functionality.

The trend in mobile browsing is affecting some sectors faster than others. Google and Rightmove have published staggering statistics in the property market, with over 50% of property searches being made on a mobile device. It is predicted tablets will account for around 60% of property searches in the next two years as affluent users switch to tablets over desktop PCs.

However, common sense should prevail and in industries such as construction and other less technology driven B2B sectors mobile browsing represents a small percentage of internet traffic.

However you choose to optimise for mobile browsers you can be sure you are future proofing your online strategy. The nature of your business and customers should dictate the best option for you and your website analytics will provide the answers. Your choices include adding a dedicated smartphone version of your website, a responsive website design or just ensuring your desktop website is usable across all platforms.


Video, infographics and diagrams in web design

By replacing pages of words with a short video or diagram it's possible to deliver large amounts of information quickly and easily. Additionally larger graphics, headlines and call to actions make it easy for your customers to access, understand and interact with your business.

Videos also help to drive traffic to your website and improve Search Engine Optimsation. Relevant videos will appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Google has recognised the desire to view video as a means of receiving information and continues to strive to appease its huge user base. This was cemented by their well documented purchase of YouTube, which is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google itself). Your business can both attain visibility by posting videos on YouTube and improve web traffic by appearing higher in the SERPs.

Professionally produced videos can be expensive. A good alternative is to create diagrams or infographics to illustrate your business processes or product features. Humans find it far easier and more engaging to digest information quickly by scanning an image. In simple terms, a picture paints a thousand words and web designers have latched onto this preference for innovative and informative website graphics.


In conclusion

Modern trends in web design are about putting the user first. Ensuring your business and your content is easily accessible, is engaging and can be easily digested. This has a positive spin off in terms of Search Engine Optimisation as leading Search Engines rank your website based on these factors.

If you are interested in any of these approaches, would like to discuss a new website, mobile website design, promotional video or maximising your online marketing ROI we would love to here from you. Click here to contact us.

Created by Melon, a small but perfectly formed web design agency near Milton Keynes.