In 2016, the Internet has over a billion websites. With that mind-boggling number, every company website you can think of has dozens of direct competitors, and standing out in an environment like that often depends on the smallest differences in web design to help your company gain a competitive edge.
Here are some of the web design trends (some old, some new) that we’re seeing a lot of this year, and why they’ve gained traction:
1. The return of scrolling.
You may have heard that the concept of “the fold” is dead. For years, designers did everything they could to keep the most important parts of a website immediately visible, thinking that the more users had to scroll, the harder the information would be for them to find.
Then, something weird happened—social media sites adopted feed-type layouts that were entirely dependent on scrolling, and mobile phones and tablets showed users how easy scrolling could be on a modern device. Now, more and more websites are choosing to display information via scrolling instead of taking the user to different pages. As a matter of fact, “clicks” have become the new fold, with many designers trying to make websites navigable with as few clicks as possible.
2. Card and tile galleries.
In juxtaposition to the minimalist, feed-based sites, card and tile based layouts are inspired by visually arresting sites like Pinterest, which feature a cornucopia of images in a tile view that reflow as the user segments then in different ways.
Sites that features a large amount of content can benefit from these layouts because they are intuitive for users and they also reflow easily for all screen sizes, making them equally appealing on a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. New, more complex designs allow for the cards to be dragged, flipped over, shuffled, or to reveal more information when the user hovers over one, without having to click to find out more.
3. Large hero images and videos.
This is not a new trend, as websites with large hero images were around even a couple of years ago. The difference is that now, the rest of the population has caught on, and many more sites are making use of large, dramatic images.
Why do these work so well? For one, they’re visually arresting. They create the illusion of space, and help the visitor focus on less, but more impactful text. They also allow companies to be artistic, authentic, and to feature inspiring imagery—in a word, they show the company’s personality. And in the modern age, having personality is key for standing out among your competitors.
4. A return to authentic art and photographs.
For a while there in the 2000s, stock photography was king when it came to developing a company website quickly and efficiently. However, as with many other things, users got so inundated with stock images that they’ve become immune to them. These days, visitors to your website expect to see images that are unique to your company, even if they’re not as perfectly composed as the generic ones you can find online.
Need some input on which web design trends can help your company put its best foot forward online? Little Jack Marketing can help at every stage, from brainstorming, to wireframes, to the full development of your new company website. Contact us today to find out more about our process!