Website Design Trends in 2017
So, what’s got us so engrossed that we’d rather be staring at blue light than catching up on some much needed z’s?
Not surprisingly, almost half of our online time is spent on social media; checking Facebook, creating snapchats and sending WhatsApp messages. When we’re not virtually connecting with the world, we’re partial to a bit of online shopping or, at the very least, browsing and researching.
- Online shopping retail sales in the US are predicted to grow steadily to $370 billion in 2017, up from $231 billion in 2012.
- Consumers aged 25 to 34 lead the way in smartphone usage in-store, comparing prices, reading reviews, buying products, and engaging with brands on social media while in physical stores.
- Seventy-two percent of Millennials research and shop their options online before going to a store.
Online shopping is big business; 2014 saw us Brits alone spend more than £100bn online for the first time and this figure is set to continue rising. But with more than 1 billion websites, making your site stand out and appeal to potential customers has never been more important.
One of the most significant ways to attract, and retain, customers is having a website that looks good and works well. We want to connect to brands, and a modern, well-designed site can help companies achieve this.
What Trends Will We See in Website Design in 2017?
The rise of the smartphone played an important part in the popularity of online shopping, with mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 of every 3 minutes spent online.
As we said in our website design retrospective ‘This isn’t just a passing phase. It’s predicted this will rise in 2017, with more than 63.4 percent of mobile phone users accessing online content through their devices.’
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, perhaps the most crucial component of your website is to ensure it is mobile friendly. Mobile-first design and development will continue to play a hefty role in 2017, with sites concentrating on delivering their content to smaller screens, rather than as an after-thought to the desktop build.
5 Website Trends We’ll See More in 2017
When we start talking about website trends in the office it always creates a real buzz. It can, at times, be a contentious topic between our designers and developers. However after much debate, and research, we’re pretty much unanimous on the below points (apart from white space; our designers think more white space, our developers think less – time will tell…)
If a picture paints a thousand words, imagine what a video can reveal. While static images are flat and motionless, video provides a more dynamic, engaging experience which captures your audience’s attention.
Video is by no means new for 2017, but it’s a trend that will continue to grow and evolve. Hubspot expect that by 2018, 79% of all consumer internet traffic will be video. We feel there’ll be a move towards full browser-width video, particularly used as backgrounds and replacing more traditional image carousels and slideshows.
We also predict an increase in ‘product explainer videos’, which offer a quick (usually around 90 seconds), concise way to show the benefits of a product. It’s important to include captions when creating these videos, both to ensure the web is accessible to all and also for social sites where people don’t want to click away from their feed.
2) Real Authentic Photos
As website design becomes increasingly UX (user experience) focused, many sites now look and work in similar ways, making it vital to find new ways to stand out. As internet users we are becoming savvy to stock images, either because they don’t feel authentic to the brand or because we’ve seen them elsewhere (how many images of black-framed glasses, iMac and cup of coffee strategically placed on a wooden table do we need to see!).
While it may be a while before a lot of this overdone stock photography disappears, 2017 will see more home-grown media, with images that are more representative of the company and brand story.
3) Animations Advance
Along with original videos and authentic images, animations are a great way to engage users in a unique way. They come in many shapes and sizes; from tiny animations which entertain while content loads, to full-screen visuals which tell your company’s story.
We think more companies will be implementing animation in 2017, it’s easy to get carried away with animations though, and they can affect site load times, so ensure they are there to enhance the user’s experience and not just for the sake of it.
4) Load Times
While we’re talking load times, remember that our hectic lives have left us pretty impatient, with 40% of people abandoning a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So, while videos, animations and whizzy elements can help your website stand out, make sure you’re doing everything you can to ensure they are loading quickly enough for people to see them.
2017 will continue to see an emphasis on making web pages load faster: including use of vector design artwork (such as SVG) where possible.
5) Flat design
Flat design, a minimalistic approach that emphasizes usability, saw a rise in popularity as a way to effectively design for a smaller screens such as smartphones. It features bright, contrasting colours to help attract and focus the user’s attention and big, bold typography to create personality and evoke emotion.
Flat design omits any aspects that may distract from user experience so, along with providing a modern looking website, it also often means quicker load times and a simpler browsing experience.
Another feature of flat design is clean, or white, space. This can be a controversial area dividing designers and developers. Designers generally feel we’ll see more white space next year, while developers think less – I’ll guess we’ll watch this (white) space to see who’s right.
We all agree, however, that 2017 will see an increase in over-sized and full screen type, along with beautiful, unique, hand-rendered typography as brands try to differentiate themselves.
Website Trends Compared
While technologies continue to develop at an astounding rate, the way we consume websites is seeing more subtle changes and tweaks.
Top 7 Website Design Trends of 2015
- Keep It Simple
- Video backgrounds / HD Backgrounds
- Parallax Sites
- Flat Design
- Big, Bold Dynamic Typography
- Single, Strong Colour
The headlines may remain similar, but that doesn’t mean the subtleties won’t be noticed. After all, jeans have been a fashion trend for decades but you can identify an old design.
If you’re still on the fence when it comes to whether you need to update your website or not, here are a few statistics to help:
- Given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.
- 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load.
- 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive.
We anticipate that 2017 will see brands finding new and original ways to stand out from the crowd online. Unique, well-thought out designs are the name of the game here. These trends work well on sites when they are there based upon the needs of the users, rather than because they’re in vogue.
If you’re interested in updating your website and giving your users the best possible experience then contact our friendly team on 01763 877110.
We can help you see if any of these trends would benefit your customers and, ultimately, your business.
You may also be interested in our article on the future of digital marketing in 2017.