If you’re feeling like your website is “sooo 2013” and could use a little refresh, here are some web design trends that won’t leave you begging for a redesign next year.
1. Personalized Experiences
With the rise of AI and “smart” everything, consumers are calling for personalized experiences based on unique preferences. There are numerous studies that confirm the obvious: consumers are far more likely to do business with a company if it offers a more personalized experience. In 2018 we’ll be seeing chatbots and website experiences based on location data, user profiles, or previous activities. If you’re a brand with multiple locations, the time is now (well, actually the time is past) to make sure that you’re showing information relevant to a user’s nearest location THE SECOND they hit your website.
2. Inclusive Design
In 2017, Swarm started to get more frequent requests for ADA compliant websites. Now that so much information is available ONLY online, users with visual disabilities don’t have a choice but to access websites with the help of a screen reader. The aging boomer population will soon bring on a large number of users who are technology-savvy but struggle with websites that don’t have large enough fonts or good color contrast. Don’t make your users struggle for information- inclusive is in!
3. The Death of the Homepage
See personalized experiences, above. How impersonal is a homepage with tidbits of information (nothing too deep) that are just overviews of every page or service offering on your website? If 90% of your users are searching for one thing (you can find this with analytics) and you know their location (trust me, you do), why not personalize the homepage to give most users what they’re searching for and add information that may be geographically relevant? Websites in 2018 will have multiple entry pages and be viewed by consumers as a mobile app, not just a brochure-ware website. Buh-bye, boring homepages (and take your modals and carousels with you on the way out).
4. Storytelling with Animations
Who doesn’t find the process of gathering information more palatable with a good story? Animations are a great way for brands to convey complex ideas to their visitors quickly, and we now have fantastic tools to help us storytell without lagging down websites with large flash files. Gifs and particle backgrounds are lightweight, and developers can now rely on the <video> element instead of embedding from YouTube or Vimeo if a full-on video is what the website really needs.