Eyes are the windows to the soul, likewise your website is the window to your business. On an average, online visitors take barely 10 seconds to decide whether it’s worthwhile to spend any more time on a website. So, how can enterprises cater to an audience that is low on patience and high on information overload?
First things first, form follows function. Ensure that the content you offer is relevant and original. Then, focus on presentation and user experience. Designs that facilitate simpler site navigation and faster load times tend to produce higher conversion rates and better brand awareness.
Let’s look at web design trends that’ll rule the roost in 2017:
Small is beautiful
Bid adieu to traditional webpages and experience the lure of modular layouts and card-based designs. Minimalism is the name of the game. Given that content is viewed across multiple devices today – smartphones, laptops, desktops, wearables – minimalistic designs, with more white space, are the preferred choice. These are not just pleasing to the eye, but also save valuable screen space as well as reduce the load times.
Break the grid
The problem with web templates is that there is little room for personalization. How do you make your website a reflection of your business? Well, challenge the norms and start afresh. It’s a good idea to ditch the carousels on the homepage and instead opt for partially hidden content cards at the top of the page. Or how about split screens for content diversity? Once you break away from the grid, there’s no dearth of design options.
Do it your way
It may seem like a simple choice. However, the font you use on your website can make or break your brand image. 2017 will be the year of custom typography. From futuristic looks to retro styles, designers have an opportunity to artistically express what the brand stands for in a sea of similar-looking sites. Experts also recommend the use of custom geometric shapes as containers for images, icons as well as text. It’s your canvas, do it your way!
No more stock images. Invest in professional photographers, or look for user-generated photographs curated from social media. In the world of responsive design, there’s no room for run-of-the-mill images that do absolutely nothing for your web layout. This year, give your website an image makeover, get in some real-life pictures of real people.
And it’s time to let SVGs (scalable vector graphics) work their magic. Given that they are resolution-independent, they look great on any device, unlike the traditional image formats like JPG, PNG or GIF.
V for ‘video’
The only thing better than good pictures are good moving pictures. We are already seeing a lot of websites with videos – a great way to get users to know the product. 2017 is likely to witness the evolution of interactive storytelling, along the lines of good ol’ video games. Also, do watch out for the “non-video”. It’s an interesting concept wherein a primarily still image has only a slight movement. With the right technique, it can be a powerful web medium.
Scroll it, baby!
You may have noticed that on some websites it’s possible to move between different levels of the site at varying speeds. Parallax scrolling was the biggest trend of 2016 and this year, we can only expect swankier effects. Using multiple backgrounds that seem to move at different speeds to create a 3D-like effect, parallax scrolling makes for an exciting tool for interactive storytelling. The bottom line is that visitors are likely to be better engaged and stay longer on the site.
Look what is back? Gradients! This is the year of subtle gradients in monochromatic palettes. Yes, it’s time to go back to the basics. Think black and white, beiges and muted colour codes. After the onslaught of bold and bright hues over the last couple of years, a touch of sophistication that’s easier on the eye is much appreciated. It doesn’t have to be boring, though. How about two-colour gradient overlay on photographs? Or perhaps, a darker background with some stunning contrast?
Virtual Reality (VR) is making its way to trendy websites. And the test for web designers is to create designs with 360-degree, highly interactive experiences topped with three-dimensional effects – that don’t require a headset. Many designers across the globe are already using advanced software options to design futuristic VR experiences that promise to take one’s breath away. If you are keen to give VR a try, remember to stick either to realism or fantasy, not a good idea to mix and match.
In the end, what matters is whether or not you are able to capture your visitors’ attention in less than 10 seconds. Because that’s the only way to gain the online advantage in business. So, are you ready for the challenge? Do write in your views to email@example.com
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