More than two-thirds of people will give up on a website if it is ugly to look at. What people view as unattractive web design can change over time, too. You definitely don’t want to be stuck with a gimmicky design that is five years out of date.
Knowing what is trending going into the next year can help future-proof your brand. Web design is more than just looking sleek and modern, it’s about taking advantage of advancements. Updating your website could give you more speed, flexibility, and room for growth.
The design trends for 2019 contain some familiar themes, as well as some cutting-edge designs. Some of these changes are going to change the way the user experiences your site.
Here are ten good examples of trends to look for in 2019.
1. Flatter is Better
For 2019, we’re going to continue seeing minimalism and clean interfaces. These designs enhance the experience of fast-loading and simple navigation. Flat designs are also easier to scale based on screen resolution.
Designing flat helps reduce the amount of stuff going on, decreasing your website’s page weight. This doesn’t mean your website needs to be two-dimensional to be lightweight. Flat design is all about contrasts, clean edges, smart use of space, and seamless transitions.
Flat design is ideal for both small businesses and large enterprises. It can display a lot of information without being busy and save on server costs.
2. Drop Shadows and Pop-Outs
Continuing on from the theme of flatter design trends, drop shadows and depth is important. A smart use of shadows can add a lot of character to a website. Heavy use of shadows will make pages look like a virtual office space.
Adding shadows to a logo or a featured object can add dimension and professionalism. For example, a really great stock photo can be further enhanced with a drop shadow on a white background. This faux-shadow continues the theme of modern minimalism.
Be careful when trying to use shadows to make menu items pop. Heavy usage of drop shadows can make things look dated.
3. Background Videos
Landing pages and headers with videos automatically playing in the background sounds bad on paper. Auto-loading videos are starting to become more common on major sites like Forbes, ESPN, and the Guardian. These videos are different than background videos.
What we’re describing are HTML5 videos that take very little processing power or bandwidth to stream. They load quickly and embed seamlessly with the page design. This creates an exciting visual presentation that captures the visitor’s attention.
These background videos have shown to increase conversions rates. This is partly because they are spending more time on your website. In turn, your SEO benefits from lower bounce-rate statistics.
64% of consumers will make a purchase after watching a branded video. Make sure your first video impression is a good one.
4. Chatbots and 24/7 CS
You’ve probably noticed this latest website design trend already. Minutes after landing on a webpage, you get a popup in the corner of your screen. Memories of AIM and Yahoo! Messenger days flood us older folks.
This pop-up is, unfortunately, a robot, not a real person trying to connect with you. These chatbots are actually very helpful and will become a required website feature soon. Artificial intelligence has come a long way–now it is capable of providing real help to customers browsing online.
5. Voice Search Optimisation
SEO has been all about tailoring your website for what customers are searching for on their keyboard. That is, until the advent of virtual assistants like Echo, Google Home, and Siri. Now, there’s a huge surge in searches made using speech-to-text.
What this means is that there are now more complete sentences being searched. Targetting a few keywords will cause you to miss out on this growing trend. You will need to focus on long-tail keywords and exploratory questions.
6. Particle Backgrounds
Websites that want to add a little more activity and animation to their pages should invest in particle backgrounds. One of the biggest design trends for 2019 is solving the issues with animations in the past. Particle backgrounds are small scripts that don’t require individual frames of data.
This means fast load times on any device and slower connections. Particle backgrounds can be used for simple backgrounds or add to your interface. They are the perfect complement to flat web designs.
7. Big Gradients
If you want to display colour, you have to go big. Think Apple’s marketing strategy of combining clean, flat backgrounds with huge splashes of colour. Instead of using them as a cheap representation of depth, gradients should be about colour spreads.
Layer gradients over stock photos, underneath menus, or as spacers in-between lots of white space. Gradients are trendy and make for an easy source of colour.
8. Bold Typography
Say it loud and proud! Put your business’ motto or a quote to grab the customer’s attention front and centre. Bold typography is all about large texts that represent your brand.
Customise a sample of your typography to make it act as a logo in of itself. Have it spill over edges and dominate the foreground.
9. VR Video
You may not see your business as an appropriate match for VR video, but you would be wrong. VR is only going to grow in presence online, as the barrier for entry lowers. Everyone with a smartphone made in the past five years can experience VR videos with a cheap accessory.
Filming VR can be done inexpensively, either DIY or by hiring a photographer. Stock VR footage can add a lot of value to your website, without needing much investment. For any business that utilises stock photos, consider incorporating VR or 360 videos to your showcase.
10. Card Layouts
This last trend is very popular on news websites, blogs with multiple categories, and portfolios. A card layout is simply a design that has columns for each section, identified by individual display images. This makes it easy for visitors to browse through content at a glance quickly.
Card layouts are great for post archives or budding businesses looking to show a larger presence.
Optimising for Design Trends for 2019
Mimicking these design trends for 2019 isn’t the end of the story. Don’t make any compromises in quality in order to stay relevant. Web design must have practical solutions the customer’s experience in mind.
Throwing a bunch of flashy designs and videos on a page only get you so far. You have to build your business on a solid foundation.