Web design trends for 2018
Creative trends should always be taken with a pinch of salt. There is nothing innovative about following “what’s hot” lists or watching what everyone else is doing. Very few people will be able to spot the difference between the game-changing next big thing and the passing fad.
Ultimately nothing will destroy your digital creativity quicker than blindly following the latest trends. But, you can prepare your business for the inevitable future demands of your audience. However, as we prepare for a new year, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a look at how we expect the web evolve in the coming months ahead.
The End of Pop-Ups
In a world where businesses must disrupt or be disrupted, the removal of any pain points is now paramount. Ads that block most of the content on a page just frustrate users and are notoriously difficult to close on a mobile device. Google is also stepping in to punish repeat offenders forcing websites to clean up their act.
Smartphone browsing may have overtaken laptop and desktop surfing, but we still expect the same experience on every device. Equally, small businesses and retailers are running out of excuses for still having websites that were not designed for phones and tablets.
Companies that cling to the past with websites that are not optimised for mobile devices and are dominated by overbearing pop-ups could soon find their businesses disappearing from Google’s search engine results.
VOICE AND NATURAL LANGUAGE SEARCH
When thinking about web design, it’s natural to assume that it’s 100 percent visual. However, our online world is evolving and it’s time to start thinking about how your website will serve a new set of requirements that will be increasingly demanded from your audience.
The rise of digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Home means that an increasing number of the online community are turning to voice search rather than typing away at a keyboard. This shift in online behaviour will change the rules of SEO but also increase the need for web interfaces that can listen and understand voice commands.
A combination of voice and language will eventually rise to the top of wish lists for website design projects. But the time, to start preparing and getting the edge over your competitors begins right now.
Welcome to the Omnichannel Web
Although many believe we are now living in a mobile-first world, this does not tell the full story. With an almost never-ending list of always-online devices at our disposal, we are evolving towards omnichannel experiences rather than just mobile.
We no longer distinguish between smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even Amazon Echo and Google home. A device-agnostic online world where we seamlessly have the same experience wherever we are is our new expectation.
Designers must follow every possible direction that the customer can take so they can transition smoothly between devices. For example, requesting an Uber is the same whether the ride requested by using your voice on Amazon Echo or from any model of smartphone. Can you offer the same experience? If not, your customers could soon find a competitor that can.
Authentic Content and Authentic Experience
Online audiences are replacing contrived reality shows or celebrities with authentic and relatable YouTube stars. Online content is evolving, and stock footage of middle-aged guys shaking hands in a boardroom wearing white shirts should finally be retired.
Your content will need more than generic images to resonate with your audience. Images and illustrations need to be upgraded by your design team to bring your website to life and offer an authentic experience. Savvy users will spot fakery and desperate attempts to be cool within a few clicks or swipes, so stop trying so hard.
Authenticity is the new currency, and it cannot be faked. Your content should tell your story, and highlight why you are an expert in your industry and walk away from clichéd stock images once and for all.
2018 looks destined to be the year where dynamic web design is at the heart of transforming the customer experience. If we wave goodbye to annoying pop-ups and bring vibrant colours, authentic content and enhance visual websites by making them audible too, it could be an exciting year ahead for web design.
An omnichannel web, with an increasing reliance voice search, is almost here. The only question that remains is what is your business is doing to prepare for the inevitable.