Performance is going to be king in web design for 2018, specifically for mobile design. After all, by 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all digital ad spending in the US, so you can assume the same trend will also be for Australian and UK markets.
This begs the question, how mobile is your business?
It’s been said many times already that mobile usage has overtaken desktop browsing, but it seems that there are still many businesses that are yet to truly take the plunge with their number one tool online aka their website.
Clutch’s 2017 Small Business Survey on Web Design found that 79% of businesses surveyed who have a website says it is mobile friendly, so that leaves around 20 to 30% that are not (depending on what research you look at) and shockingly there are 29% of small businesses that don’t have a website at all.
It would be safe to say that many businesses that have old unresponsive sites or no website relies on word-of-mouth and would feel that a mobile friendly site is nice to have, but not a must have. I have run into many a small business owner who feels that it is simply not a priority or it is too hard to navigate the online marketing world, because of a lack of understanding.
The fact remains, in the market today and in the future, searching online for businesses, products and services will only continue to increase. A website can help verify a business’s existence, increase credibility, and relay accurate information, as well as bring in new customers.
If you are a small business that doesn’t have a website or is not mobile friendly, ask yourself – are you prepared to be left behind?
Voice Search, Conversational bots and Geoloacation will drive trends in 2018
In previous years, web design trends have generally been driven by popular platforms and technology trends. However, in 2018, we will expect to see innovations that will fully utilize mobile functionality that have never been seen on our desktops. In previous blogs we have talked about the increased use of voice search, conversational bots and geolocation and it is expected that these features, as well as natural language processing, will drive design trends even more in 2018 specifically for mobile design.
According to Adestra, the two most popular ways to optimize for mobile are:
1. Using a simple template that works for all devices (52% of companies are doing this)
2. Creating a mobile responsive email template (39% of companies are doing this)
Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. If your mobile marketing is not on point, not only are you turning away potential customers you are sending them straight to your competitor.
By incorporating some of these features into your website you are creating a more humanised experience for the visitor. For instance many websites have Q&A pages and with intelligent conversational bots, they could be programed into these pages allowing the user to verbally ask questions instead of scrolling through a fixed list.
Before we know it having a natural conversation with a virtual helper when you type in the URL will be the norm.
Provide a seamless experience
83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. It helps to create brand consistency and generate a universal voice about your products or service. A seamless experience across all platforms will also help to begin building a relationship with your customer and hopefully what we are all after – brand loyalty. Apple has mastered this and their consumers now expect a seamless experience.
The use of negative space in design, video animation and cinemagraph
The use of white space is nothing new, but in 2018 developers will experiment more with negative space especially where speedy, light-weight pages are pivotal within the design. Flashy, gimmicky design has become so passé. Simplicity is key with the driving goal of increasing conversions behind every design element on the page.
Video, animation or adding a cinemagraph (one of 2018’s Buzz words) to demonstrate to the user the product or service being offered will grow even more. A cinemagraph is the in-between of a static image and full-blown video. Again, performance is what is most relevant in design for 2018 so they won’t necessarily be used for flair, but rather to draw attention to critical points on the page. An example would be creating a 360 degree view of a product. Cinenagraphs are a great way to capture visitor engagement, and can be programmed to spin or dance when touched on a screen.
Movement is ‘what’s hot’ and the use of negative space with design elements will draw attention directly to the engagement or conversion point with no distractions in sight.
Have you heard of progressive web apps?
Apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites. Which means consumers might prefer to do research elsewhere, but they want to consume media through an app. Because of this popularity with mobile apps, many developers have now begun developing a blend of traditional app behaviours with web page behaviours. This hybrid is called Progressive Web Apps.
As we enter the development of the progressive we app arena we will start to see a trend in upgrading the functionality of websites to include things like push notifications, splash screens, offline mode, and animated page transitions. Brands such as Twitter and the Washington Post have already incorporated progressive web apps that are easily accessible with just one click.
One thing is for sure, 2018 will see a lot of changes in web design. These trends are just a few that will continue to grow and if you want your business to stand out and compete in an ever changing market it is important to keep up with a take on board any design features that will improve your online interaction with your visitors.