Web design is a rapidly evolving field, one that overlaps with SEO, content marketing, social media, and other areas relevant to online marketing. If you want your website to attract clients and rank well in the search engines it’s important to keep up with the latest developments. Let’s look at six of the top web design trends for 2017 to help you plan a profitable year.
1. Emphasis on Content
As Google continues to reward websites with quality content, more website owners will make sure visitors aren’t diverted by flashy banners, popups, graphics, and other elements. This doesn’t imply that all content will be text; in some cases, videos, images and infographics are the content. However, eliminating unnecessary secondary elements and distractions provides a better experience for visitors. Google also favors this approach for SEO purposes.
2. Distinctive Fonts and Colors
As mentioned, content is more important than ever. One way to make sure visitors don’t miss the key messages is to present them with large and bold fonts and distinctive colors. Bright colors and bold fonts are eye-catching and ensure that the visitor absorbs crucial headlines, menus and calls to action. This is actually part of a wider trend introduced by Google several years ago called material design, which is now found on platforms such as Gmail, YouTube and other popular Google services.
3. Mobile-Friendly and Mobile-First Design
Mobile devices are quickly overtaking computers as the primary way people access the internet. Because of this, more websites are using responsive design, which automatically adjusts pages to fit different screens. Now, however, the emphasis is moving towards mobile-first design, an approach that assumes most website visitors are on mobile devices. Making your website easily accessible to mobile users is essential, both for the sake of your visitors and for SEO.
4. Higher Quality Images
The internet is increasingly favoring visual content. This is partly due to the rapid growth of social media, where photos, memes, and videos are the most widely shared content. This trend also affects website design. In order to stand out, you need compelling visuals in addition to quality written content. This trend also means that the standards for visual content are rising. Stock images, for example, no longer impress visitors. In order to make your website stand out, you need high quality images, whether custom illustrations or original photos.
5. More Video and Live Streaming
The growth of video is another trend that’s not new but that’s sure to dominant even more in 2017. Until fairly recently, videos mainly appeared on YouTube and other video sharing sites. Now, websites need their own videos, whether embedded from YouTube or using a video player.
Facebook Live, Periscope and other platforms are popularizing live streaming, a sub-trend within the video revolution worth watching this year. Live video gives people a direct and engaging experience, whether you are promoting a product or conducting a live event. Although live streaming is now mainly shown on social media platforms, websites can stream using services such as Google Hangouts and Livestream.
6. Visitor/Customer Interaction
Website visitors are no longer content to passively absorb content. Increasingly, they expect features that let them interact with the website owner directly (or at least a customer service rep). This is part of a trend known as conversational commerce. The most popular example of this is chat capabilities that let visitors talk and ask questions directly on the website. This type of feature is a competitive advantages for businesses as it helps them acquire more customers who would otherwise leave the website if their questions aren’t answered on the spot. This trend actually transforms your website into more of a social site.
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