Website trends in 2017
It’s that time again, where we look backwards at what has occurred during the year and look forward to the possibilities that the new years promises. It’s been a busy year at FHML Digital Design Agency with many new businesses taking the step into the digital world or enhancing tired and worn-out sites. The following article looks at what we think is going to be the website trends in 2017, with a view to working on some of the new functionality and design elements with new and existing clients.
Landing Pages that let content shine
Over the last few years we have seen many changes in how people view website designs in business. Design has shifted from “optimized” to focus on maximizing the impact your content has on the visitor.
A fascinating element has been the shift back to a focus on content; which is actually what you want your visitors to read and digest. Designers have finally realized what we have know for a while which is that visitors come for the content and design is only a tool to facilitate that.
When we talk about content, don’t be fooled that we are moving back to the days when a good website design included a diatribe of text that nobody has time to read. What we are talking about here is content that imparts your core messages in the fewest lines as possible.
We are expecting that this trend towards content being king over design to continue throughout 2017, but we are also looking forward to seeing a more productive dialogue on how design can enhance and help content driven sites to become stylish and stand out from the crowd.
BIG BOLD TYPE FONTS
So building on the fact that content is more important than design it brings to the front of mind how do you make your important content stand out from all that other content.
In 2016 we saw a move towards big and bold headlines and straplines. This we see as continuing into 2017 with one slight change, we see a move towards dedicating significant screen space to a single, simple yet encompassing message, delivered in an engaging and imaginative way.
In a world that’s as fast, busy, and information-overloaded as ours is, these concise yet powerful statements will become key for companies of all kinds, and is one of the website trends we have already adopted.
Image Type Formats are changing
The Scalable vector graphics format (or .SVG) offer web designers and developers a lot of advantages over image formats like JPG, PNG, and GIF.
The key advantages of SVGs is alluded to in the format name itself: scalable and vector. Instead of being raster or pixel-based, SVGs are composed of vectors: mathematical descriptions of the object’s shape. This means SVGs are resolution-independent, so they’ll look great on any screen, on any device type. No need to worry about making everything retina-ready anymore. This is one of the website trends we are really looking forward to working on.
Make it bright and colourful
As trends like minimalism and brutalism came popular in 2016, designers have looked for ways to show more personality into their design work that still worked within those stripped-down aesthetics.
it’s not just about bright, enthusiastic color either. Gradients also came back in a big way, blending and blurring those exuberant hues into spectra reminiscent of a noonday sky or a splashy sunset.
There’s a sort of synthesized naturalism to this re emergence of bright hues and bold gradients, and we are looking forward to seeing more of it in 2017.
Designing content delivery
An increased focus on design as a means of delivering content effectively will be a stress on delivering content to the right person at the right time, all with an eye to increasing the desired actions.
Personalization of content has been an extremely hot subject matter in certain circles for quite some time now, but no one seems to have perfectly cracked that answer yet. Essentially, the goal is to serve up content based on characteristics like:
Demographics: Who is the visitor and where are they coming from?
Behaviour: What is the visitor doing now? What have they done on your site in the past?
Context: What device and browser is the visitor using? How did they arrive at your site?
We’ve seen some interesting experiments in this direction across the web, many of which revolve around a manual personalization of content recommendations by the user, recommendation of “related” reads, and some algorithmic solutions more akin to what Facebook is capable of doing.
Of course, it’s worth remembering that conversions aren’t the only metric content personalization can drive. Personalization of help documentation can help lower support request volume. Educational materials can lower churn and improve lifetime value. But it’s not like conversions will ever not be valuable.
Menus go on a diet
As we are becoming a more mobile society, I believe that because most of us access the web through our phones more than our computers, the overall trend to make things easier to navigate has taken over and reformed our navigation on websites.
Instead of overly complicated and long navigations, more and more sites are starting to simplify their navigation down to about four to five items. Keeping navigation to a minimum also helps visitors to focus on the intent at hand, instead of trying to find a way off the page.
It’s a Landing page not a home page
As we refine content and opt to market and share it more, in 2017 we will likely see a rise in landing page designs instead of a home page design. While every website needs a home page, I think that as content marketing spreads, marketers will want to direct traffic to dedicated landing pages to better target their visitors and their needs.
It makes sense: The idea of content marketing is to increase awareness and conversions, and what better way to increase conversions than to have visitors land on a page strictly made for them. These pages will be as well designed and thought out as others on the site, but target the visitor much more.
2017 is sure to see some great websites, and these website trends will most definitely be seen on some of the best website designs yet to come. If you are looking for a uniquely new website talk to us about your next project.