Diverse Page Design
Gone are the days of single page style web interiors. What was once heralded as consistent, intuitive design is now associated with pre-made templates and lackluster user experience. Diverse page design is gaining popularity and we predict it will continue to be one of the top web design trends in 2018.
Mobile as a Primary Platform
Mobile has always been an exponentially growing platform. In 2017, we saw mobile take the lead to become users’ primary platform for browsing. As a result, web design practices are adapting to this, with special care taken to ensure responsive design is especially suited to mobile experiences.
Yes, we know. Long loading times are a huge web no-no. However, not all users have the fastest connections regardless of site efficiency. Custom preloaders not only allow designers to infuse storytelling into every piece of the user’s experience, but also keep users entertained and interested in the event they have to wait a couple seconds for a page to load.
In the past websites have often used animated elements sparingly, often for primary image sliders or pop-ups. In many cases these animations were actually embedded videos. With 2017 we saw animation move from nice to have to an expectation. But in 2018 the subtlety and performance of animation allows it to be used as a design element more broadly. This may seem like a minor win, but animation helps the web feel more alive. We’re excited as animation becomes yet another unique tool in a web designer’s arsenal.
Fancier Search Algorithms
Half the battle of creating a website is ensuring visibility. Search Engine Optimization is an integral part of web design, with the most successful sites weaving SEO into the content creation process. In the past, shady SEO tactics were being rewarded by appearing in search. But major Google search algorithm updates in 2017 started to punish those who were purposefully scamming the system. In 2018 and beyond, the value of good SEO best practices and engaging content is more important than ever.
Blending the best of dynamic videos and animated GIFs, cinemagraphs create compelling visual experiences for users in a new, innovative way. These breathtaking storytelling aids were brought into the mainstream in 2017 and they aren’t going anywhere soon.
Single-page websites are not inherently bad! We’ve seen some gorgeous single-page web design. Unfortunately, with SEO becoming such a necessary component of a successful web presence, we have to nix single-page websites. They just don’t accommodate necessary advanced SEO strategies as well as multi-page websites do.
Needlessly Complex Navigation
Successful UI is intuitive. If users must figure out how to navigate a site, the navigation is failing. When it comes to user interface design, getting unique and creative at the expense of the experience is an unforgivable disservice to users.
Overdose of Parallax
This is what we call too much of a good thing. Parallax effects can be used very effectively, but overwhelming users with 50 layers of moving pieces can make scrolling through a page an animated nightmare – not to mention make for some ultra messy break points!
Hijacking the scroll feature and changing its functionality (moving only certain elements, triggering fades, moving horizontally) can be jarring and confusing for users. Interesting, innovative design is awesome, but turning UI design on its head for the sake of being different is never a good move.
Gradients are back and slated to be one of the top web design trends in 2018. Expect to see vibrant color transitions creating depth with type and backgrounds in a simple yet bold style.
Gamification of the Web & CTAs
More immersive web experiences means more interactive web experiences, and nothing entices users more than a game. This new way to deliver content to users is popping up all over the web. Moving into 2018, we predict gamification will only grow in popularity and prevalence.
Regardless of media, 2018 will be the year of dimension. In print, expect to see heavy use of tactile 3D elements like embossing, texture, cut-outs, and pop-outs. In digital, expect to see heavy use of overlapping, skeuomorphism, shadows, and depth. In general, expect to be amazed.
360 Video & VR Implementation
In 2018, we see 360 video and VR implementation joining the list of top web design trends. Integrating new technologies into the web is always an exciting process for designers and these unique applications allow for greater experiences and more in-depth storytelling.
Takeaway: Storytelling is bigger than ever. It’s not enough to create a sleek and responsive website – users are expecting an integrated experience from the moment the page loads. These experiences are being facilitated by more realistic elements that take users on an immersive and memorable digital journey. Magical!