As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to sum up conclusions about what the year has brought about in the world of web design. With many brands investing heavily in their online presence and the proliferation of web design services allowing even the smallest companies easy access to quality online presentations, it has become clear that staying on top is getting tougher.
In short, this year has seen a significant increase in smart design – design choices that serve not only aesthetic purposes but also guarantee maximum efficiency when it comes to user engagement and satisfaction, but also conversion rates and revenue. And it’s paying off. As DesignAdvisor points out, more than 90% of users will bounce from a webpage and stop trusting it if it has a degraded design, so keeping sites up to date and on-trend is not just preferable but necessary for the well-being of any business.
Investing in Engaging Content
Companies both small and large are coming to realize that customers want more from a website than completing a purchase. They want stories. In fact, custom content has proven to be an extremely useful tool for increasing engagement and branding, as well as revenue as statistics show that 82% of customers will trust a company after reading its content.
Web designers are incorporating elements such as vlogs and blogs into their design and marketing strategies for this reason. Smaller companies sometimes start with a revamped About Us page to kick-start the conversation with their customer base and then move on to more complex alterations. The hand dyed yarn store Sweet Georgia Yarns is an excellent example of how big of an impact engaging content can have. They managed to increase gross revenue by 24% and their order value by 215% after launching an engaging content campaign.
Focus on Layouts
With competition on the rise, there’s a growing need to diversify, and web designers have responded accordingly, by continually envisioning more creative and impactful layouts. We have seen an increase in brutalism, the practice of giving an artist free rein to do what they please with a site’s looks. While in some cases this results in a slight lack of functionality, it pays off in other ways, as visitors are submerged in a parallel artistic experience hosted by a brand. At the same time, on the opposite side of the design-usability spectrum, minimalism is all the rage with clear, concise design and usability prioritized above all. Both approaches, though very different, have shown excellent results.
The Little Things
While engaging content and layout changes may seem like large-scale and time-consuming things to change, web designers have also been focusing on smaller tweaks that still carry significant impact when applied. For example, decreasing loading times and scheduling regular performance testing have become key factors of web design. Site managers and business owners are coming to realize that keeping track of performance come with great benefits; a simple optimization can yield a 113% jump in site visits, and a five-second decrease in loading time boosted conversion rates by 7-12% for Shopzilla, an online retailer. Small, data-backed changes such as adding bullet points to lists to increase readability, illustrate the importance of research and testing, and results are often evident mere hours after changes are implemented.
If there’s one thing to take away from web design tendencies in 2018 and apply it for years to come, it’s the need to focus on user experience. The trends mentioned exemplify how important user experience can be in terms of revenue for brands, as even the smallest tweaks can lead to impressive results. Check out many more in the infographic below!