Don't fall for fads when trying to keep your website current.
Web design is ever shifting. The challenge is to keep your site looking fresh and modern. Yet a website redesign is no small thing and performing an overhaul every year is probably not in your budget. If you are thinking of a facelift in 2019, here are the things you should be focused on to ensure that your site doesn’t start to look past its prime too quickly.
When it comes to the web, faster is better. Especially since every year, more and more people are accessing the web via their mobile device. In 2018, 52.2 percent of website traffic globally was on a mobile device, up from 50.3 percent in 2017. Simply put, no one has much patience when it comes to a page loading. According to research conducted by Google, 53 percent of people will leave a site if the page hasn’t loaded in three seconds.
Depending on the industry your business is in, the average load speed (according to Mach Metrics) is 8.66 seconds. It is entirely likely then that almost 50 percent of your web traffic is never even making it to your site as a result.
The takeaway is that any website redesign needs to be focused on speed, to give your users the best, and fastest, experience possible. Planning for speed during the design process is critical.
The use of flat design has increased for websites thanks to its ability to speed up loading times. But don’t get worried that “flat” translates to boring or two-dimensional. The terminology actually refers to design that is uncluttered and offers greater usability. This design aesthetic incorporates clean edges, lots of white space and bold colors to keep the eye engaged without requiring a lot of slow-loading high-res imagery.
The bonus is that using less imagery means your website will load better, whether on a desktop or a mobile device. But that’s not the only advantage. Flat design’s faster loading speeds boost your page speed and optimization in the eyes of search engines, which can increase your search ranking.
Out of the Box
The grid system has long ruled design. But in 2019 that may be starting to change. Yes, the grid is there to maintain structure and symmetry. And, yes, historically, those who didn’t use a grid have been viewed by their fellow designers as careless. But with the desire to set apart a website’s look, a careful and thoughtful breaking of the grid pattern can be a good thing. This “planned asymmetry” can create a striking design with a sense of depth.
The key to success with this trend is to utilize irregular, repeating patterns, white space, color and texture layering, and even unusual placement to direct a viewer’s attention, without distracting them from the content or your calls to action.
Despite the focus on speed of loading, there continues to be interest in video backgrounds and micro-animations. The videos have been shown to boost conversions, while the animations aid users in understanding a site. So even with the latest trends, we still have a few rules that like to be broken.