Throughout 2016 we’ve seen some radical change in trendy web design techniques – bringing an entirely new layer to web design.
Now as we move towards the end of the year, what’s in store for 2017?
Here are 5 UX Web Design trends we feel all businesses should be aware of and even planning to adopt into their web arsenal for 2017’s content strategy.
1) A refocus on unique photography and the decline of stock imagery
With the state of web design now becoming more similar across many industries (due to the rise of Themes & DIY solutions), experienced UX Designers are now faced with the task of making websites REALLY stand out through bespoke elements that can’t be bought for £5…
Businesses are now investing in more targeted creative, more conceptual web design, more bespoke iconography and more visually impressive photography to ensure their personality and messaging is effectively communicated.
It seems the “Secretary with a headset posing in her office” on the Contact page or the “Happy business people having meeting at modern office smiling.” on the Services page – just don’t cut it no more.
Smart marketers are realising that carefully considered, unique photography is far more effective for representing true appealing personality – this will be essential for 2017.
As customers are becoming more aware and concerned with authenticity from a lot of brands, causing them to lose trust and ‘buy in’.
Why not try:
Add some personal, playful and friendly elements to your site and content marketing – a very concise way to differentiate yourselves from your competitors and add character across all mediums.
Typography can be so powerful in aiding the creation of a clear personality. It helps portray and evoke emotion alongside setting an expected tone of voice before the user has even read a single word.
As mentioned before, people desire authenticity from the brands these days – people are wise to the generic stock images used on millions on websites.
2) Video is about to become even bigger
Large full-width, quality visuals still account for the majority of impact within sites created in 2016, but in 2017 we’ll definitely see an increase in those larger sections of websites ‘coming to life’ with HTML5 video, controllable on scroll.
Moving graphics and animated GIF backgrounds have started to increase in popularity, and now videos are replacing large chunks of content as they annotate a companies message in much less time, although it’s important to get the balance right.
More brands are also moving towards story-telling through social media apps, such as Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Snapchat Stories etc. that help to give customers about their culture and staff persona.
Why not try:
Utilise Video for your ‘social-proof’ and testimonials online. Like with everything though, keep these upbeat and interesting – many companies fail with pre-written scripts and null content that have negative effects if executed poorly.
Plan your social video strategy
Letting your ‘corporate guard’ down here could really help customers get a feel for you and your staff as people, not just as a brand. Get yourself a presence on all of the most prominent social media networks, and use them daily! Experiment with different styles of content.
3) Capture user feedback in different ways
OK, so it’s not a design trend, but worth noting nonetheless. One trend that has emerged in 2016 is that we’re spending less time asking customers to complete lengthy surveys and questionnaires, which is great! There’s simply just BETTER ways to achieve this insight and data with software.
As A.I. continues to develop over the next 12-months, we’re bound to see an increase of savvy marketers using data provided from visual heat-mapping (eye movement) and analytical data provided from Google.
More brands are hiring client-side Testers. These individuals are being brought in to test out the simplicity of completing various assigned tasks on the website. Quicker routes to conversion obviously increase the chances to make more financial progress and our audiences have never been so distracted! Always be testing!
Why not try:
At Limely, we use a great piece of predictive eye-tracking software called HotJar, ideal for experimenting with new landing pages and A/B testing the interactivity of users visiting and interacting with the site. You can get a free trial for 30 days, well worth a go!
Hire a Tester
Another route you could explore is hiring a professional Website/Software Tester. A contractor drafted in simply to test all elements of your website and produce a report on his/her findings and recommendations on achieving pre-defined goals.
4) Bold Duotone colour backgrounds
2016 saw the start of another unexpected colour trend, originating from the Silicon Valley startup culture, these vibrant hues and Duotone background images have really hit home with consumers from all walks of life.
Since the rise of the mobile user over the last 5 years, the handheld device market has seen a massive increase in screen resolution and UI/UX Designers are capitalising on this hardware with incredibly vivid colour palettes and bold typography.
5) Browser split-screen or 50/50 content
Navigation effects such as slide-out, slide-in, pop-up and hide-reveal have now been majorly replaced by an even more BOLD visual effect, where designers are increasing the visibility of navigable items with large full-screen modal windows to display Navigation Menus on click.
This removes all distraction from the rest of the website and allows the user to clearly see all available pages/posts without the clutter. Great to UX and for guiding your users around to your desired conversion pages.