One of the things every new business must do to be successful is develop a strong online presence. Having a killer website is a surefire way to grow your brand, and knowing how to design that digital destination is a crucial part of the process.
In fact, a strong website design has a direct effect on your bottom line and digital marketing efforts. According to Adobe, two-thirds of consumers would rather read something stunning and well-crafted than plain (although I personally can’t believe that’s not 100 percent…)
What’s more? A whopping 38 percent of people will just cease interacting with a website if the design is less than desirable. Ultimately, driving people to your website is useless if you can’t keep them there once they arrive.
If that doesn’t convince you to invest in strong website design, I don’t know what will.
The good news? Investing in a stunning website design in 2018 is really quite simple – and there are some buzzy trends that can help you achieve all your goals, conversions and all.
1. Be mobile-friendly
If you take nothing else from this article, take this. Nowadays, everyone is glued to their phones, and you never know when someone is going to want to look your company up or make that impulse purchase. We’ve all been there…
According to Statista, nearly half of all Internet users surf the world wide web on their mobile phones – and that number is expected to rise in the coming years. That means that investing in mobile-friendly design should be more than an afterthought – it should be implemented from the beginning in conjunction with your desktop version.
Zappos is a strong example of a cohesive website and desktop experience. Prominent search bars, intuitive navigation and simple checkout make this mobile site just as easy to use as its full-blown desktop counterpart.
2. Incorporate artificial intelligence
This seems to be the buzzword in design and tech over the past few years, and with good reason. Be it a chatbot that can learn to automate responses to certain queries, or the website itself adjusting to a user’s tendencies through machine learning, the more helpful your AI can be, the more users will come back. Not to mention, there are plenty of services that can help you implement artificial intelligence into your design, such as Molly from The Grid (an AI website designer) or Botsociety (a program to add chatbots into your website design).
Your AI integration can be subtle, too! Take invoicing service Inly for example. Their sleek website design is accented with a small chatbot bubble in the lower right corner, giving users the option to learn more or ask questions in a more personalized way.
3. Feature creative typography
One of the most effective ways to gain and keep a reader’s attention on a website is through the use of inventive, creative typography. Certain fonts even elicit emotional reactions from users. For example, scrawling scripts are often seen as elegant, while compressed Sans-Serif fonts are often associated with government documents.
As described in the infographic from Crazy Egg above, the “design” of letters and words sets off associations in our mind – whether those are with an adjective, a feeling or even an industry or time period. If you have a specific emotion or reaction you want your visitors to have, playing them up with the help of a creative font is a great strategy.
4. Use bright, energetic, wide-ranging colors
While clean designs are classic (more on those later…), this year has seen the resurgence of bright and energetic colors – particularly in intricate geometric patterns or gorgeous gradients. Using bright colors can add to a brand’s identity and draw attention to specific information on the page, making it more than a brand-builder, but a communication tool, too.
Spotify is a well-known website that uses tons of contrasting colors. From its duotone landing page with bright call to action button (above), to its electric gradients throughout the rest of the website, they use color as a means of conveying both personality and the company’s mission – and they do so successfully.
5. Or stick to tried-and-true minimalism
There’s a reason minimalism has stuck around all these years – it’s effective. After all, your grandma said it best – less is more. And the websites that have a simple aesthetic know it, too.
The best minimal website designs are organized and streamlined. The navigation is seamless; the information clear. Take it to the next level by adding a few effects that captivate users, such as simple animations or an embedded video. Need some inspiration before you get started? Look no further that design superstar Apple.
6. Utilize charts, graphs and infographics
Let’s be honest, people are lazy. In a world of instant gratification, users rely on lists (like these) and graphs and charts to show them what they need to know in one quick hit.
Using infographics as a way to display data is an incredibly effective way to get information across. It puts everything people need to know in one spot — and looks darn credible, to boot! In fact, a Cornell University study found that people are likely to believe almost anything they read in a chart, because the appearance of science apparently equates to science itself now.
(Not that you should fudge any charts – make sure they’re all accurate!)
Real estate investment site Fundrise incorporates charts right on their homepage, showing users exactly what kind of return on investment they can expect. This implores users to continue further into the site to learn more and ultimately turns visitors into conversions. By showing users the impact the company has, they enhance the user experience and drive their point home even further.
All in all, finding the right website design trends that will market and grow your business is a learning process. Through plenty of market research and A/B testing, you’ll determine exactly what your demographic likes (and what they don’t…), ensuring you can create a website that’s tailor-made for your consumers and creating brand loyalty that will prove fruitful.