Animations And Interactions
The web is not a static medium and it allows for much more than just words on a page. Also, as technology advances, more and more websites are moving from static images and using animations to engage users in their communication approach.
People rely on visual cues to get as much information as possible. The attention span has taken a nosedive so in order to keep visitors engaged, you really need to present them the information in a way that is more innovative and engaging than text or an image.
Animation can really make ideas easier to understand. People are constantly in a hurry and their time is short, so in that case, animation can convey complex ideas in a short amount of time while at the same time being engaging.
There are several different ways and places where you can use animations to make your content more engaging and explanatory such as the homepage banner. However, there are other subtler ways how you can use animations such as implementing them at places where there is a waiting period such as the moment when a user has submitted a form or when the page is loading. This is a good way to keep the user engaged and preventing them from leaving.
The volume of creation tools that are available to designers has played a big role in making animations this popular. So, when you combine the availability of these tools with constant browser improvements, it’s clear why animations are big in 2018.
It is important not to include animation just for the sake of including it. It has to be right for your website and you must choose when and when not to use it. Think, does it enhance your message and adds to the positive experience? But in the end, when it’s done well, animation can easily transform a good website into a great one.
There’s also a movement towards more user-focused animations called microinteractions. They originate from mobile apps and has made their move onto the web. Microinteractions work like animated responses to user behaviours. For example, when someone clicks a button, the animation would respond accordingly. These animations can come in the form of fading effects, bouncing effects, changes in depth of the page, and much more.
Vibrant And Bold Colours
You can see across the web that designers are slowly moving away from a safe colour palette that was used in the past years and adapting colour schemes that are bold and vivid. This year has certainly been the year of super excess colours. This was partly helped by tech advances in monitors and displays that have the ability to reproduce rich colours.
Smart selection of vibrant colour tones, your company can set a branded tone to its web project. No matter what colour scheme you go for, the main rule is that a website should feature no more than 3 main colours. Sometimes, companies ignore this and make their website colourful like a rainbow which can have a negative effect on the visitor’s perception of a web page in general.
When doing rebranding update, you may opt for bold colours in combination with pastel hues. This will have a clean look and it’ll be easy on the eyes. Don’t forget to use neutral colours in the background to provide better readability of the content.
Innovative Typography And Fonts
Typography has always been a staple visual tool in web design. Designers should be careful while choosing the right font, size, and typeface because it is really crucial to the website design. The exact typography will help you express the message that you want to convey to your users. Your font size should be big enough because it’ll better utilise the white spaces.
Variable fonts are one of the most popular web design trends this year. This is where you use fonts that vary in height, styles, and width. It is also advisable to be careful about this and playing with different types of typography as it is easy to make it impossible to differentiate words on the page. When you use different weights and widths, the creative effect will give the audience a more interactive browsing experience.
Because screen resolutions are getting better and sharper, designers are starting to use custom fonts more frequently. There’s another trend – typography cutouts. This technique uses a block of colour over an image that appears through clear lettering.
You should try intertwined typography if you are looking for a more 3D look. This trend layers various elements of the graphics and text to pull out specific details and trick the eye into seeing it like it’s realistic. There are many ways that you can implement this look into your website and add an extra dimension to your design.
AI (artificial intelligence) has worked its way into mainstream web design in 2018, mainly through chatbots (conversational interfaces). You are probably already using an AI in your day-to-day life without even knowing it. AI also powers voice assistants like Siri and Google Home, smart home devices, self-driving cars, and more.
It’s really not a rare thing to see a brand implementing AI into their web projects because you need to remain always online in order to keep the clients or customers with you. That is the main reason why businesses massively started using chatbots as a good alternative to the real-time communication.
Unconventional Grid Layouts
Back in the days, web designers have opted for a more structured look of symmetrical grids and clean straight lines. Broken layouts have actually been introduced back in 2017 but this web design trend is still popular in 2018. The main appeal of this type of layout is that it’s unique and distinctive. It is a really good way to set your brand apart.
The broken layout works well for a design that is not heavy on text and features more images (because the text is always best viewed in a well-structured layout). In this technique, the images and text begin to overlap, creating unexpected beautiful combinations.
Floating Navigation Menus
One of the most established elements of web design has been the navigation menu at the top of the website, however web designers have been playing with the navigation menu positions and one of the most used techniques this year has been the floating navigation menu.
Fixed navigation has been a go-to menu option for sites that are conversion focused because the call to action sticks with the user as they scroll. But this year, designers have been taking this idea a step further and detaching the navigation from the rest of the design and moving it below the top of a browser window. The way to achieve this is to simply add a drop of shadow to the navigation bar and move it a bit below the top of the site.
Making The Most Of Mobile
It is known that mobile browsing has surpassed desktop. Most people shop and orders things on their smartphone. This trend doesn’t seem to be going in any other direction anytime soon. Because of that, it is critical that web design follows this trend and makes new ways to render seamlessly on mobile devices of all screen sizes and resolutions. This means the introduction of innovative layouts, smart navigation styles and UX-focused design that can bring a lot of information on a small smartphone screen.
The most important trend in mobile design is a time-saving design. When people use their smartphone, they want to get something done right away. Users want to use websites that help them reach their goal as fast as possible.
Smartphones have a lot of built-in sensors like location tracking, touch sensor, accelerometer, and the camera and web designers can leverage all of them to improve the user experience. One of the examples is biometric authentication which can minimise the number of steps required to use an app and bypass the traditional password. Research shows that most users prefer biometric sign-ins anyway (89% of Apple users use Touch ID).
You should also make sure that users have a seamless cross-channel experience. This is because using a mobile app or a website is not an isolated experience. Users should always be able to switch to a different medium and continue where they left off. 37% of online shoppers tend to do research on mobile phones but then switch to the desktop computer to complete a purchase.
The release of the iPhone X introduced some changes about how people interact with a mobile device. The phone lacks a physical home button so all of the interactions with it are gesture-based. For a designer, this means that users are ready to adopt gesture-only interfaces and buttonless UIs are a big step towards interface that will rely only on gestures or voice.
New websites from forward-thinking brands are moving away from a traditional homepage and towards more dynamic user entry points. Users can expect a more personalised experience when they visit a website based on their location, history, and other data.
As mobile apps and social profiles continue to evolve, the website as a business brochure is also changing. Websites are becoming hubs for different pieces of information and there is real innovation happening on how this information is organised. We are seeing that websites are becoming just one part of a representation of a business message. Web designers should start looking at the website as one part of a cross-device experience.
There are even more web design trends that are popular that we didn’t emphasize – flat design, minimalism, layouts with negative space, biometric authentication, and many more. We covered some of the newer techniques that you should really consider.
Implementing some of these ideas can bring a new vibe to your website. Web designers have to see the bigger picture and make a decision on what kind of techniques to apply and take inspiration from.