Your website instantly tells the story of your brand, which is important because users make a snap decision whether they like or dislike a website in the first few seconds. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best web design trends and layout ideas of 2017, to inspire you to create a truly eye-catching website that users will remember.
With so much pressure to engage customers within a few seconds of landing on your site, the design and layout of your website are almost as crucial as the content on it. A good layout and impressive design can make all the difference. They immediately set the tone for the rest of your website and help to convey your brand’s message.
So, kiss goodbye to basic html because in this article we’re going to take you on a trip through the eight most innovative web design trends and layout ideas of the last twelve months.
Warning: you may have a strong desire to overhaul your entire website after reading this.
The best web design trends of 2017
Responsive website design
In the last couple of years, the percentage of users browsing the internet on mobile has outgrown the number browsing on a traditional desktop computer. The rise in mobile use has made responsive design and flexible layouts one of the more noticeable web design trends of 2017.
Users are looking for a unique experience that they can access from their laptop, phone or any other device, and more importantly, they want their experience to be quick and efficient. Our fast paced world means that no animation or image is worth a 20 second loading screen, regardless of how amazing it may be.
Besides improving load and response speeds, responsive design also optimises a website’s layout and navigation for smaller, often touch-based, screens. It is not only an extension of your website tailored to mobile – it IS your website and so should offer visitors everything that your desktop website offers.
Hero image / hero video
Image Credit: www.cleverbirds.com
Humans are visual creatures; Instagram has over 400 million users, while Snapchat has 100 million daily active users. Additionally, 65% of senior marketers believe that visuals (video, images, infographics) are essential to represent their brand’s story.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising that so many websites are utilising HD images and videos to capture their users’ attention from first click. Many companies are also ditching stock photos in favour of their own bespoke photography to make their website more genuine and personal.
Image Credit: www.guardian.co.uk
Have you noticed that almost every website you visit asks you to create an account, join the mailing list or subscribe to the newsletter? Capturing consumer data is a common marketing tool to increase engagement and ultimately improve conversions.
Furthermore, with so much competition for visitors’ attention, getting people to sign up to your newsletter and the like can be an excellent way of keeping your company in your target audience’s mind.
You can easily capture email addresses and names by creating an account registration form that pops up once your website is loaded, or while someone has been scrolling for a few seconds. Some sites make it impossible for users to opt out, while others provide the option to avoid registration.
Image Credit: www.nasaprospect.com/
To scroll or not to scroll, that is the question. A vast majority of websites have jumped on one of the more popular web design trends – the long scroll. This feeds users information via scrolling to the bottom of the website, instead of clicking through a variety of pages.
It’s popular for a number of reasons, among which are the fact that all content is on a single page, eliminating the need for large, complex and interlinking pages. Brands can also use the on-page scrolling to engage with users through storytelling. By combining written content with a relevant image, you can almost create a timeline to lure users in and bring the brand alive.
A more practical reason is that long scrolling works well on mobile devices. Finally, it gives the website a spacious and open feel and could reduce bounce rates (the amount of time a visitor stays on the page for).
Rich animations and illustrations
Animations are being included in website design to enhance a company’s storytelling, consolidate information and provide greater value to the user. For example, you could use an animation to demonstrate a product’s innovative new features, instead of using a chunk of text explaining the feature.
There is an extensive variety of animations perfect for specific aspects of your site including hover animations, loading animations, motion animation and many more.
Image Credit: Google Now
This type of layout has soared in popularity because it makes information easy to scan and process, while simultaneously being visually pleasing and engaging for users. The shape of the cards can be altered to fit different content types, including blogs, static pages and videos, which creates the illusion of a stream of fresh content.
Also known as Flyover menus, this design gained its popularity through mobile layouts. On a smaller device, you want to consolidate navigation as much as possible in order to save space, and this menu does just that by revealing items in the menu only when clicked on.
The catchy hamburger nickname was given to it due to the three bars resembling two buns and a burger in between. However, it is not restricted to mobile use, as many websites are choosing to use the hamburger menu as their primary form of navigation to clean the site up and make it appear more minimal.
While it certainly does have advantages, the downside of hiding menu items away is that if the hamburger menu is not in an obvious place on the page, users may become frustrated and abandon the site altogether .
A carousel, or slideshow, allows you to showcase multiple images and videos without bombarding the user or making your homepage look cluttered. Perfect for a banner to display portfolios, offers and galleries and give the user a taste of what’s to come.
As you can see, 2016 set the bar high for innovative web and graphic design with many of these trends set to dominate the web throughout 2017. While some may argue that many modern websites do follow similar designs and layouts, we believe that this simply reflects how we view and consume media.
Understand what’s best for your website and don’t adopt the latest web design trends just because they’re currently ‘cool’. Ultimately, the most important thing to is to improve the user experience and help customers get the most out of your site.
Looking for a new website that uses the popular trends and styles we’ve listed above? Get in touch by completing the form on top of this page and we’ll be in touch to help you find your new web partner.