Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Seven trends in web design to provide the best user experience

By Liam Abbott, Head of SEO at Go Top Shelf

Web design trends keep changing, and businesses have to adapt to these trends to remain relevant and compete effectively with their competitors.

Check out these seven design trends that are shaping how people design and experience the web. Adopting them will help you level up your web design game exponentially.

1. Load Time and Page Speed

This is one of the most important website features that users hope every business would improve on. Users expect to experience ultra-fast load time as they visit their favourite websites.

Fast loading time has been at the centre of UX for some time now. It is also relevant in SEO. For a website to rank well in search engines and make more conversions, it’s got to have very high page speed.. With good internet, users expect a load time of at most two seconds. This means, your designs should be centred around being able to load effectively on mobile and desktop devices. So get rid of the fancy sliders with a dozen images. Stick to design elements that load well and still look fantastic at the same time.

2. Voice Search

The way website users search for information is changing. Voice search is becoming more and more popular as people seek convenience in their use of the web. If you want to make the most out of your website in 2021, you must consider adding a voice-activated interface to your site. Replace the traditional text search with voice search to stay up-to-date with your website.

This will help your website be used by people who own smart speakers and do lots of online shopping and browsing using their devices. There is a whole new market to engage with, and many websites aren’t jumping on this opportunity. This can definitely set your client apart from their competitors.

3. Maintaining A Mobile-First Philosophy

The majority of the people across the globe access the internet using mobile devices. This is because they can be used to access the internet from anywhere as long as one has an internet connection. If your website is going to perform well in 2021, it must be optimized for use by mobile devices. According to a study conducted by Hootsuite, about 87% of smartphone owners use them to visit the internet at least once a day. About 60% of all searches on Google are conducted using mobile devices. As a result of this, about 70% of Google’s first page results are mobile-friendly.

4. Dark Mode

This may sound far-fetched, but believe it or not, dark mode will make a huge difference between a good website and a not-so-good one in today’s digital landscape. Having a dark background with lighter text and darker elements across the user interface is becoming popular, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.

Dark mode is becoming increasingly popular because it improves the battery life of devices, it reduces eye strain, makes content easier to read, makes certain colours more conspicuous and gives a futuristic feel to sites.

5. Micro-Interactions

These are the small changes that occur when one visits your website. They are ‘small’ animations that give feedback to web users. For example, you can have your mouse cursor change into a different image relevant to the link which it hovers over, or change the colour of the link when the cursor mouses over it. Micro-interactions are a superb way to improve user experience and make your website look aesthetically appealing. 

7. Parallax Animation

Parallax animation goes hand-in-hand with micro-interactions, and it is a growing trend in 2021. It is an optical illusion that gives images a 3D feel when the user either moves closer or further away from the image. Parallax makes websites look ‘more real’it is more like seeing objects in real life. This animation improves user experience and intrigues users by making them feel like they are seeing real objects.

6. Data Visualization

Humans are visual beings. To effectively convey your information and data, you’ve got to utilize this technique. It puts your data across engagingly and intriguingly which keeps your audience engrossed. Data visualization engages your audience in such a manner that it creates images out of the data you present. This is one of the most effective ways of making your audience learn about your brand.

Data visualization works best for technical information that would usually bore the user. Common data visualization techniques include the use of graphs and infographics. They bring data to life!

7. White Space

In 2021, you want to give your website a simple look even if it is cluttered. Do away with texts and images that may distract users. Users want to save time and not stare at irrelevant content all day. So get rid of anything that isn’t essential to the success of your site.

Don’t try to cram a lot of information on one screen. Allow your most relevant content to stand out to improve your users’ readability. Visiting your website will be a more relaxing experience for your website visitors. Keep your website clean and allow your users to see only the information relevant to them. Avoid flashy distracting colours, irrelevant conspicuous images, and blinking texts; they may become irritating. 

Disclaimer! The term ‘white space’ does not mean that your website’s background has to be white. ‘White space’ is a term used to refer to the space between elements on your website. It can be of any colour of your liking. Just keep it simple!

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