Web design is constantly growing and evolving. Staying current can seem like a full-time job — today’s hot design trend could be tomorrow’s cause for mockery and disdain. But at the same time, an outmoded website can send the message that you’re out of touch, or worse, just don’t care. Here are a few ways you can keep your website fresh and stay on the cutting edge for 2020.
Mobile First, Always
Putting a priority on mobile design is nothing new. Mobile browsing has long since eclipsed other web browsing modes, and is going nowhere but up. While it’s important to accommodate mobile users, it’s even more vital to make sure your design is responsive to screens of all kinds — whether it be tablets, laptops, desktops, or other devices. And if you haven’t yet made your website responsive and mobile-friendly, it’s long past time to get started.
One sometimes overlooked aspect of responsive design that stands to be important in 2020: thumb-friendly navigation. It’s likely many mobile users are visiting your website with their thumb poised to do all the work. A user interface that lets users navigate and use your site without having to involve a second hand means more convenience and appeal. Put your navigation buttons, menus, and other UI elements within easy reach of the visitor’s thumb. They’ll be grateful for it.
Big, Bold Typography
With more devices able to support custom fonts, typography is coming to the forefront as a major design trend for 2020. Bold, colorful, dynamic typography can make just as much of an impact as the right photograph or illustration, without adding much to server requirements or load times. In short, it’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective design choices you can make — and there is a wealth of free resources out there.
A Minimalist Approach
One design approach that goes hand-in-hand with bold typography: minimalism. A minimalist approach to web design means focusing on simplicity, ease of use, and aesthetic appeal. A good minimalist design should make use of vibrant, lively colors, be easy on the eyes, and make good use of white space without seeming stark or drab. If your website is feeling a little cluttered and busy, maybe it’s time to get your resident digital media expert to work on a new look.
AI and Chatbots
Like responsive design and minimalism, chatbots aren’t particularly new — but AI and chatboxes are on the rise as a viable replacement for live chat help services. The advent of voice user interface (VUI) will only accelerate the use of AI and chatboxes. Imagine a website where users can ask questions or search for information through a voice interface and get real-time help from an AI. That’s the website of tomorrow.
Vlogs and Background Video
It’s no secret that more and more content creators have been pivoting to video. Estimates show video will account for 80% of website traffic in 2020.
There are plenty of good reasons why you should include video on your site. A well-made video can be engaging, informative, and relatively cheap to produce. While many website users want to come to a website, get the information they need, and get out as quickly as possible, statistics show visitors will stay longer to view useful, informative, or entertaining video content. This means more opportunities to engage and connect with the customer.
While vlogs, informational videos, and entertaining clips can be a valued addition to any website, background video is also a trend likely to gain momentum in the future. An unobtrusive but appealing video playing in the background can add depth, vibrancy, and aesthetic appeal to your design.
Push notifications are something of a controversial subject. While they can be a useful way to manage visitor interaction, generate leads, and provide resources to users, some users consider them obnoxious and invasive.
But push notifications aren’t going away anytime soon — if anything, they’ll probably play a bigger part in website design than ever before. Push notifications are great for building your email list, encouraging users to connect with you on social media, or letting them know about your latest ebook or free download. But at the same time, it’s important to make sure you implement notifications responsibly and show maximum consideration and courtesy to the users. After all, an obnoxious or poorly implemented push notification could easily result in a visitor leaving and never coming back.
Will your website need all these features to be competitive in 2020? Probably not. Some are potentially contradictory (minimalist design and background video might not go well together), and not every website will need a chatbox or vlog to fulfill its purpose. The key is to find those design decisions that will most benefit your visitors and plan accordingly.