1) The use of large images above the fold.
You see this everywhere, the use of big, bold images spread across the top of the page. These really make a statement, have an impact, and are really the evolution of improving website conversion rates. That is, the website has to create a splash, be engaging and entice the browser to stay and eventually buy. This all came about due to the competitive nature of the online environment where web pages were all competing for the same buyer. The bigger and better the image they initially see, the more chance there is that they will buy from you.
2) Bigger and bolder typography
Typography is becoming grander with the passing of every year. As above with the images, the text has to be right in your face, with a very strong call to action. Again, the aim of most websites is to capture the customer, so like any signage, it must be very big, bold, and attention-grabbing. Reviewing next year is easy. Larger text with more visual images is on the cards It’s all going to be about who can scream the loudest online.
3) Long Page scrolls
This kind of snuck upon us and the evolution of this is due to many factors, one being the need to create a feeling of grandeur. The combination of vertical and horizontal scrolling has now meant that most websites now have so much more information on all pages, with lots more images. These all come together in what is termed parallax web design and my review of the future is that the standard, the static website will eventually die out. Single pages without any dynamic movement are just too boring for the standard web user – hence the growth in these types of sites. Basically, the better the user experience, the bigger the number of potential inbound sales leads.
4) Square page design
It is really only so much you can do on a screen and the 1 thing that remains a constant is the grid design. Whatever makes the conversion and sales funnels easier will tend to stick around. Hence the block style formats are here for the next year or so. It will be interesting to see how my review reads in say 6 months as technologies evolve.
5) Large Icons
The use of icons to represent everything is now the norm. Bullet points are dead. It’s now the use of an icon surrounded by massive images, large text, and the ever-present white space. This is now so popular that unfortunately, all websites are starting to look the same. I even want to throw in there the pictures of the staff profiles. In our website and SEO industry, it is mandatory to have images of staff writing on glass partitions with the odd post-it note, the bearded hipster with those dark-framed glasses in a meeting with a client as well as someone’s dog. I want to also add that the use of a company video is also really common nowadays. I know this has been around for a long time, but the level of production quality has really ramped up a notch or two. Now you have the business owners being professionally filmed in different scenarios; around the office, in meetings, on the go or again writing on that glass partition, and yes there is post-it notes. This is now so common that it is really becoming quite ridiculous and my review or prediction is that the public will see straight through this and simply ignore the video. Like with all popular fads, this will eventually flame out. Saying that website updates are fine if your site is old and has not been touched in years.
6) Responsive web design
Well, this review cannot be complete without the mention of mobile-friendly web design. All websites now need to be viewable on all handheld devices. This prediction will stay for the next years until they invent something else. Let’s look at what consumers are wearing, buying in years to come. I’m thinking wearables / Apple watches etc et – these will also dictate web design in the future. But these are a few years off at least.
7) Minimal design with strong conversion points
If you think about it all you need is your brand with a few reasons why people should contact you with a massive inquire now button and this is the trend emerging. Minimal design templates with big, clear ‘hot buttons’, are now what’s big online. This has all come about from free web templates as designed become more or less the same. The reason for this, it’s easier to customize these ‘same as’ templates by adding your logo and your own images. By making it easier for web owners to create their own free templates, they have in fact changed the web design landscape by making everything look far too similar. Again a recipe for branding disasters as all sites start to look the same. I mean, how are you going to tell 1 business from the other.
Vibrant personalities and uniqueness are the essential ingredients that make up a business. Websites unfortunately are not following this path. This review is sounding a bit negative but with the emergence of so many free website templates (which are too good to refuse by many small businesses), web styles are now too similar. This is the nature of web design. If someone has it, then the next person wants it, so on and so forth.