As we are in the new year of 2022, web designers and digital marketers alike are re-evaluating their strategies. Many significant changes have occurred in the industry this year, like the Google Speed Update and Mobile-First Indexing.
It’s safe to say that speed, mobile use, and ease of access are the common themes that will persist into the following year. That’s because, at the end of the day, an enhanced user experience will always be the bottom line. Now, the time has come to start optimizing for them in real-time, if you haven’t started doing that already.
Yes, the relationship between SEO and design has shifted. Now, 59% of users are more likely to engage with beautiful, yet simple designs. So, 2020 will be all about delivering web experiences to people in a fast loading and mobile-friendly way.
If you’re searching for the best web design in Boston or anywhere else, then you need to keep track of these mechanisms. Next year, they are sure to pioneer the world of digital design.
Mobile Speed Reigns Supreme
If 2018 taught us anything, it’s that people require fast loading and mobile friendly websites. 72% of internet users have expressed this. To accommodate the masses, Google made two game-changing adjustments to their ranking algorithm, forcing businesses to follow suit.
Google rolled out the Mobile First Update in March of 2018. A few months later in July, the Speed Update followed. With the Mobile first approach, google chose to prioritize indexing mobile pages over desktop pages. Therefore, websites that rely on rapid indexing and frequent updates will suffer if they don’t make the proper adjustments.
With over 51% of internet traffic coming from mobile phones, businesses are failing their consumers by ignoring cell phone users. Even with fast loading desktop sites, lagging mobile sites are costing them tons of leads. Now, due to the mobile and speed updates, it will be impossible for those websites to rank well.
The solution is to avoid creating data-heavy sites with lots of large files that will cause slow loading. As striking as these ideas may be, no one will ever see them if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Therefore, the following trends can help website stay ahead of the fray in 2019.
Authenticity in Branding
As millennials occupy more and more of the target markets, the demand for authenticity has risen. Often, it’s emphasized in the inbound marketing approach, which is slowly becoming the new norm in the digital world. Because the state of the internet today is one in which originality is rare, people naturally value it.
This fact should be considered by designers, because 94% of the times users give negative feedback on a website, it is about the design. So, a little authenticity can go a long way in turning a user’s perspective around. Though speed and device compatibility are easily understood by search engines, the consumers are highly appreciative of creative design.
For example, custom illustrations fare well on websites, especially with the millennial generation. Not to mention, this may cause them to spend a little more time on the site than they normally would. But it’s important not to go overboard. When creativity is paired with simplicity, this is often a winning combination.
Single Page Website
Some businesses are choosing to simplify their mobile design down to one page. Although, one could argue that this approach has some downfalls in terms of SEO, the benefits from the clean navigation is undeniable. Not to mention the other positive aspects.
For instance, by default this format is mobile-ready, which allows businesses to connect with more users from the get-go. Furthermore, a strong single page site will reach higher conversion rates, as less space for frills brings more attention to the CTA’s. As you can imagine, this leads to higher conversion rates which will eventually yield more leads.
Not to mention the lack of large files will make for ultra-quick loading time, which is favorable to both your consumers and the search engines. Still, if a one-page site is not an option for your business, you can still find other striking ways to design a fast loading site.
Flat Design in Websites
When speed became a priority, more website designers started turning towards flat design. Of course, this minimalist approach is nothing new, but it is more appealing now. Without all the flashy graphics and other large files, the website’s loading time is greatly reduced. This is why lots of web design professionals are turning to the two-dimensional design.
However, a flat design doesn’t mean that it is not still stimulating. Instead, dynamic gradients, bright colors, bold typography and crisp edges are used to attract the eye. In the same way, simple images leave less to interpret and quickly convey the intended message. For this reason, shapes are commonly utilized in flat designs too.
Shapes & Asymmetry
Not only do shapes make an otherwise ordinary page look more exciting, they can also be functional. For instance, they can be used to create interesting edges or point users in the right direction. Not to mention, they are known for having an emotional influence on the human mind. For example, they carry symbolism or create a feeling of balance.
In fact, shapes are often used in asymmetrical layouts specifically for balance. This is necessary, because asymmetrical layouts abandon the safety of the grid, yet still aim to achieve balance. When done correctly, these layouts can be breathtaking. There’s something tangible about them that users can connect with on an emotional level.
All it takes is a simple image, and one line to perfectly sum it up. Then, a few shapes can show you where to look next. This minimalist approach often keeps people dwelling for longer as they interpret what they are seeing. Still, some other trends would prove that motion graphics can be just as precise and effective.
When a landing page greets users with an expressive, high definition video, it can increase conversions by 80%. This makes sense because it takes users 0.05 seconds to make a judgment about your website. So, a gripping video can automatically sway users.
Still, the file is quite large, and many people have worries about it slowing down their website. In truth, it is likely to slow down the site just a bit, so one must decide whether it is worth it. If you’re looking for a compromise between videos and images, go for simple animations.
Micro & Particle Animations
These little movements are a significant factor in creating responsive website design. Micro animations allow users to interact with the website in a way that gives them a deeper understanding. It can give them queues as to what they can expect. For example, when an item changes color, people will probably assume it is a button.
The Animations may also tell a story or give instruction, easily illustrating what was stated in the text. In this way they act as an aid to people who don’t care to do a lot of reading. They can also be interactive tools that guide users towards the call to action in a playful way.
Particle animations can be interactive too, in a way that unexplainably gives users a small amount of satisfaction. This abstract animation will display particles forming into shapes or moving about aimlessly. Some allow interactions between the animation and the mouse. This genius feature will keep people on your site for a little while longer, if only to interact with your content.