In 2018, web design is more important than it’s ever been. The competition is out there, and if your website isn’t responsive and intuitive, people will navigate away and find somebody else with a smoother customer experience. With an incredible variety of devices, screens, and operating systems out there, this is quickly becoming problematic.
It’s also important to ensure that your brand stays consistent. You’re reaching out to people in many different channels, including social media, digital advertisements, traditional media, and of course your website. Sloppy design will reflect poorly on all your other efforts and any discrepancy leads to confusion and less success.
You also need to make sure that your website is designed well for natural SEO purposes. Using the wrong elements, content, or failing to implement the right SEO fundamentals will reduce the amount of natural search traffic you receive dramatically.
Clearly, website design is a huge challenge for companies of all shapes and sizes, and that isn’t about to slow down. In order to help you stay ahead of the curve, we’ve put together three of the most important website design trends you need to know for the upcoming year:
1. Widescreen Displays
Desktop monitors have grown rapidly in size and widescreens are now the norm. Even smartphones are getting larger, with tablets and large-sized options for popular phones such as the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. If your website is largely text-based, you’ll want to make sure that the text stays in a nice, readable layout and doesn’t stretch too far that it becomes difficult to follow. Likewise, if your website is graphically rich, you can consider making it responsive to larger screens by automatically rearranging content whenever possible.
2. Social Proofing
Since there are so many competitors out there and it’s so easy to throw a website up, visitors not familiar with your brand will naturally be skeptical. Social proofing is a simple way to show your association with well-known brands or influencers, which solidifies credibility in your own brand. One good way to do this is by including quotes or reviews on your homepage, and including small logos (also known as badges in this context). Likewise, if your company is a member of any professional or industry associations, or has received any recognizable honors, including those badges is also a good idea. When people scroll through your website, they’ll know how credible you are with a simple glance.
3. Leverage Video Content
Video content should be a crucial part of your website design. Research from the past year find that video is still just as valuable as ever:
- Over 70% of people who watch videos related to their industry do so on a company’s website, more than YouTube or industry aggregator websites.
- 65% of people watch more than 75% of a video once started.
- People want videos at all steps of the purchase-making decision, but their content needs depend on where in the journey they are.
This means that video can and will have an important impact on your success. However, you need to tailor your website and landing pages with the right content for the audience you’re seeking. If you’re trying to help people evaluate your specific goods and services, for example, video reviews tend to be the most valuable. However, if people are still determining a need, news and research content is most valuable.