Top Trends in Web Design for 2017

Has your website looked in the mirror lately?

Imagine this scenario: You meet some colleagues for a business lunch. After the meal, you slip into the restroom and see your reflection in the mirror. But the person staring back at you looks 10 to 15 years older than you remember. Your face is smudged, and your shirt is disheveled. In fact, all of your clothing looks like it went out of style more than a decade ago! Imagine the embarrassment as you suddenly realize how you must have looked to your colleagues!

If websites had emotions and could look in mirrors, many of them would feel the same humiliation. They have a look that says, "Somebody left me here to die." Just as you wouldn't make a good impression driving up to a business meeting in an old beater, wearing a cast-off, patched up suit, an outdated website doesn't attract or impress customers. The web is the world's most dynamic, highly competitive marketplace. If you want to compete successfully, your website must not only provide outstanding content; it must also optimize user experience and be visually appealing.

What does that look like? Glad you asked! Here are just a few of  2017's top trends in web design. After reading this (or while you read it) look long and hard at your website. Maybe search some award winning websites and compare. If your site looks like it just walked in off the streets and needs a bath and new clothes--give us a call. We can help.

Top Trends in User Experience

UX (User Experience) as become a priority for obvious reasons: if users don't have a great experience on your site, Google offers them about 50,000 other options! Behind the scenes, developers create apps and modules to more quickly and accurately deliver what users need.

High on the list in development trends is mobile first. Nearly 60% of search queries now come from mobile devices--a fact Google recognizes by prioritizing mobile first development in its search rank algorithms. Google controls 65% of the search market, so if you want web searchers to find you, you play by Google's rules.

Part of mobile first trend is responsive design--which means that your website easily adapts for people using desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Responsive design benefits businesses as well as consumers: research shows visitors stay on your website longer, increasing CRO. They also engage across platforms, boosting your social media engagement. Bottom line: if your site isn't responsive and optimized for mobile first, you're missing out on customers and Google ranking.

So what does the mirror say? Is it time for a face lift?

Top Trends in Visual Design

To attract and keep visitors, your website needs to stand out amid a wide sea of others. Here are some of the top trends for stunning visual appeal:

Asymmetry and diagonal layouts are more frequently appearing in place of traditional balanced patterns. These designs that throw a page "off balance" exploit dynamic qualities of the web to create feelings of movement and energy. Instead of strictly controlling and balancing page elements, some sites are using chaos to generate visual interest.

Text is trending as a design element, becoming something to look at, not just something to look through to find meaning. Text is bigger, bolder, multi-font, vertical and horizontal, and  overlaps images. Words are not just headlines; they are images.

And speaking of images, 2017 trends include greater use of videos and cinemagraphs, gradients, duotones, and layered images. Well-chosen, well-placed, well-captioned relevant images can improve traffic to your website and raise your conversion rate. Poorly chosen and poorly handled images do just the opposite. If your site has old images or stock photos, it's definitely time for an upgrade!

Wrapping it up--

The web in 2017 is brighter, bolder, faster, edgier and more adaptable. Think of it as a sleek Corvette. If your site looks in a mirror and sees an Edsel . . . do yourself a favor and give us a call. You'll be glad you did! 

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