Trends in Web Design for 2018

Well hello, and welcome to Episode 38 of Aftershock Weekly. This week, we’re going to talk about some website trends for 2018. Right now, it’s November, so you should be planning on what you want to do for 2018. Here’s a couple tips and trends that will help you in your web design for 2018.

First, more negative space: less animation, more cinemagraphs. Now, what is negative space? It’s also called white space. What that means is that you are giving somebody a very clear focus on what you want them to see, so instead of having tiled backgrounds or crazy colors everywhere, use white space to make sure that they’re focusing on the content.

Typography replacing more images. This is important because one of the things images do is they give a visual representation of what you’re trying to tell somebody. But it also can slow down your site speed. So by reducing the amount of images you’re using, it’s allowing your site to load quicker, which can be beneficial for SEO as we’ve talked about in the past, and you can use more typography or words to tell people what you’re trying to get across to them. Not saying that you’re getting rid of all images, but you’re making sure that you’re extremely focused with the images that you are using so they have a bigger impact as well. So more negative space and typography also lead to a very clear Call to Action. Like I said, you’re honing in on exactly what you want somebody to focus on, and the Call to Action is the main thing.

Third: Cinemagraphs. So, a couple examples of this would be Instagram’s Boomerang. I’m sure you guys have seen it, the little short couple-second where somebody’s at the ocean, the ocean comes in, it comes out, and they’re taking a picture of themselves, a selfie. Well that’s an example of a cinemagraph. Also, if you are on a product website and you see the product just rotating around, doing a 360°, that’s another example. So giving an image that has just a subtle movement in it, those are some examples of things that are being used a lot now, and will continue to be used in 2018.

Scroll-triggered animation. The biggest thing you want people to do is you want them to get more information on your website and then to take an action, right? Well, one thing that we’re seeing is a scroll trend: you’ll see little arrows at the bottom, moving around a little bit, trying to get you to take action to scroll down on the page. If you can get people taking action and there’s movement, it’s going to be more effective than just a static call to action or a static button.

Intelligent chat bots. So this can replace menus, provide basic information, and challenge getting users to adapt. Now, I’m sure you’ve seen chat bots. They usually pop up if you have a question, and it’ll say, you know, “What is your question?” And you’ll do a search, and it’ll go through the resources of the site and try to serve up an answer for you. Or today it can even engage you and say, “Hey, how can I help?” And it can, based on the answers that you’re giving it, the artificial intelligence is now giving you an answer that’s probably going to solve an issue that you’re having on the site, based on all the other data they’ve collected. A fun one that, if you’re on Facebook, check out GrowthBot. GrowthBot is the first time I was introduced to a bot, and it was actually not too long ago, a little over a year ago at a conference. And on Facebook what it’ll do is, every once in a while, just come up with a new feature, and you can test the feature and it’s all bot-driven, meaning there’s no human behind it. It’s awesome.

Micro-interactions. Liking a Facebook post, leaving a review without a reload. Micro-interactions are important. These are things that you are using on your site to try to get people to engage, so, liking a post on Facebook by embedding a feed is one example of that, as is leaving a review without a reload.

Next, shift to Facebook. Not just using Facebook to direct to website, but in many cases replacing it. Now, you’ve probably seen this shift. You’ve seen eight years ago when people started building their own business pages on Facebook. Well that was really effective, and they started building these organic audiences, and then Facebook introduced advertising, and the advertising was the only way really you were starting to get the same traction that you used to have organically, because now you had to pay to play. Well what Facebook has done is they’ve allowed you almost to build a microsite now, as a business, on there. Now granted, they do want you to advertise, but you can put things about your business, you can put specials on there, you can run advertisements on Facebook that they never even leave, they actually give you their information pulled directly from their Facebook profile that you get if you’re running a contest or you’re trying to capture leads for something. So a lot of times companies are utilizing Facebook as almost another website for themselves.

Secure websites and apps: SSLs, even for non-e-commerce websites. Now, SSL stands for Secured Socket Layer. What this is, is if you look at the top of your browser, and you look up there where the URL is, you’ll see a little green mark if it’s HTTPS, and that lets you know the site is secure and it’s encrypted. This is becoming extremely important, whether it’s an e-commerce site or not, because Google has made it clear that they want you to encrypt your site to make it secure for their users that are going on using your website, so they are actually penalizing, coming pretty soon, companies that don’t have an SSL or an HTTPS on their site. So it’s important in 2018 to make sure you make that change over to SSL. Couple of quick tips when doing that: make sure that your images, your image source, also has HTTPS as well. Otherwise, what’ll happen is you won’t see the little green button, it’ll be grayed out. And all it’s saying is there are certain resources on the page that aren’t secure, so make sure that anything that is referencing the URL has the HTTPS on it.

So those are some good tips for 2018. If you need help with web design or web development, call us. We’d love to help you. Thanks for tuning in this week, and we’ll leave you with a quote.