7 Web Design Trends to Boost Your Website in 2017
In an evolving digital age, it’s important to remain up-to-date about the latest web design trends. Continue reading to learn how to further boost your website.
Keyword(s): web design trends
We tend to think of the internet as ubiquitous — and research bears that out.
According to Pew Research, nearly nine out of 10 Americans are online to some extent. More and more of us are accessing the internet through mobile devices such as smartphones, and that trend is reflected in the trajectory that web design is taking.
There was once a time when all good websites were packed with stuff: pictures, graphics, banners, Flash animation, navigation bars, buttons, hit counters and even 3D animations of dancing babies (remember that?).
Nowadays, if you find a website that’s cluttered with such stuff, it looks like it’s a relic — and that’s because it is.
So what’s next in terms of web design trends? Let’s find out!
7 Web Design Trends to Boost Your Website in 2017
Perhaps the overall theme for up-to-date web design is the absence of that aforementioned clutter. Websites have been getting cleaner and more streamlined in recent years, and 2017’s designs are continuing that trend.
Bold typography, simplified navigational structures (goodbye, hamburger menu!), limited visual imagery, and little to no color — or color used very strategically, which we’ll discuss below — all contribute to the sense of minimalism.
Looking at a modern website feels like standing in a clean white room with only a few essential pieces of furniture. Web design trends of the past have more closely resembled a Victorian parlor, with so much bric-a-brac and knick-knacks that you can barely see the room itself.
2. Content Takes Center Stage
The simplicity that has taken over website design serves the purpose, in many cases, of putting the spotlight back on content.
As the SEO gurus have been telling us for years, content is king, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. It makes sense to strip away any distractions and let content take center stage once again.
How, exactly, does this play out? In some cases, viewers of a site see only one bold photograph, one bold headline, and a paragraph or less of text. A click takes them to the remainder of the text.
In other instances, content decks made up of individual cards or modular design might be the focal points.
However, there are no sidebars, no thumbnails suggesting additional content, no constantly refreshing comments or tweets.
3. Pared-Down Navigation
Mobile browsing is responsible for fully half of all global web traffic, and our third web design trend shows how influential mobile usage has become. Cleaner, simpler sites work best on mobile, but they’re also increasingly preferred even for desktop sites.
Complicated navigation menus, dropdowns, and nested navigation are all giving way to four or five nav options on any given page — at most.
As you might infer from the name, “microinteractions” are small and subtle, yet compelling, ways to interact with a website. Click animations, scrolling effects, and perhaps most importantly, hover or rollover actions in which visitors are rewarded with more information simply for moving their cursor over an image, are growing in popularity.
Such powerful but essentially hidden interactions are one way that websites can streamline design and reduce navigational elements, while still offering the same amount of information.
Look for these microinteractions to become one of the biggest web design trends of the foreseeable future.
Flash animations are most decidedly out — they are not supported on many devices and they drain the battery life of others. Flash is the Gwyneth Paltrow of the web design world: everyone loves to hate it, and yet it never seems to totally go away.
That doesn’t mean that website content has gone back to being static, however. We still love to watch things move on our computers. GIFs, videos, and now cinemagraphs are proof of that.
What’s a cinemagraph, you ask? Well, it’s sort of the love child of a photograph and a video clip. Most of the image is still, but there is a small, repetitive movement that plays in a continual loop.
Imagine a photo in which a beautiful bowl of oranges forms an almost-still life, except for a tiny insect crawling upon one leaf attached to one piece of fruit.
The cinemagraph below (available at shutterstock.com) is most inviting…
6. Fresh, Clean Approaches to Color
Gradient color, in which one shade gently morphs into another without a clear-cut transition, is going to be big in 2017.
So is duotone, which is essentially the use of two colors, but which can have a huge impact. The two colors can be high-contrast or right next to one another on the palette.
Either way, the use of duotone design is increasing in popularity and will likely be one of the hottest web design trends this year.
7. Wild and Crazy Geometry
Geometric shapes used as design elements, along with pictures and images that are geometric in nature, is another hot web design trend that we’re going to be seeing more of in the next few months.
Think avatars that are circular, not square. Photos that are cropped into a triangle or trapezoid. Bold lines that direct the eye around the page.
Is this a nod to the resurgence of a 1980s aesthetic? Perhaps. The increasing use of varied shapes, lines and patterns is, however, a definite departure from the boxy layout that so many websites still rely on.
This means we can forget about all visual hierarchies that we think we know, with the nav bar up top and the featured content in the middle. Get your eyes ready to look at websites differently.
Even if your website doesn’t aspire to be trendy or cutting edge, there are still many lessons you can take away from the world of web design and the direction it’s headed in 2017 and beyond.
Keep things clean and simple. Streamline complicated navigational structures, eliminate unnecessary bells and whistles. Swap out any legacy Flash elements with cinemagraphs or GIFs. Be bold with both your color palette and your typography.
Perhaps most important of all, keep the content front and center.
And if all of this advice is making your head spin, don’t hesitate to consult with website design professionals who can help you achieve your marketing goals.