Web design is a fascinating topic, long gone are the days where websites consisted of 1 font and 2 colors. Nowadays web designers have the ability to create almost anything they want with an unlimited choice of colors, fonts and visuals.
Like every industry out there, trends come and go. Take mobile phones, in the early 2000’s the trend was to make the smallest phone possible. However, a decade later and it’s the complete opposite, bigger is better!
In web design, trends happen a lot faster and can come and go within the same year. If you want the coolest website out there with all the latest features, then you need to stay up to date. To help you keep up to date with the latest trends in web design we’ve put together a solid list of the top web design trends in 2017.
So grab a pen and get ready to start adding these features to your website.
Grid & Card Layouts
One of the hottest web design trends of 2017 has to be grid and card layouts. Popularised by social networks such as Pinterest and Tumblr, the grid and card layouts are simple to understand, flexible and responsive. Ideal for visual areas of website such as blogs, portfolios and news sections, these layouts are certainly becoming one of the most popular trends.
The grid layout splits elements into equal divisions that can be set as rows of 3 to rows of 10 or more. This is great for pictures and images that are all the same size, but when you want to mix different sizes the card layout is often a better choice.
The card layout places elements next to each other while giving larger images priority over smaller ones. It can also be arranged so the priority is set by the number of views, comments or likes. This is a good option if you have a lot of images that are different sizes or you are looking to combine blog posts and pictures into 1 list.
To see a good example of the grid and card layouts in action, take a look at the examples over at Essential Grid. Inspired by websites such as Vimeo, Flickr and Instagram, the examples show how a grid & card layout can be used on almost any website.
Original Themed Illustrations
When it comes to business, brand recognition is an important part of any businesses websites. With so many competitors out there, you need to make your website stands out from the rest. The last thing you want is a user accidentally confusing one of your competitors for you.
Although businesses websites are generally different from each other, there is often a major problem. Most of them use the same illustrations and icons on their website without knowing. It might not sound like a big deal but it is. By using the same free illustrations or icons that are already on hundreds of websites, this can often cause confusion for users.
To make sure users don’t get confused, you need custom and original themed illustrations that match with your brand and website. Companies such as Slack and Dropbox already do an incredibly good job of this on their website. All of their icons and illustrations are 100% unique and original for their website. This means that you won’t see them anywhere else, and you won’t get confused. If you ever see the same icons not on their website, you’ll instantly recognise where they are from. At the moment it only seems big brands are catching on with this trend, but in the years to come it’s only likely to become even more popular.
Embedding a video on a page web was fairly easy, but setting one as a header for example was pretty much impossible. Instead web designers would have to host the video file on their server locally which meant increased bandwidth costs and slow loading times. Not exactly the best idea.
Luckily all of that is now a thing of the past. Thanks to the introduction of the WebM format, many websites now have incorporated videos into their designs. This new type of video format allows users to compress videos into very small file sizes while keeping the original quality of the video. This means lower loading times and less bandwidth cost, a win-win for everyone.
Take the example over at Flixel.com. The video loads instantly and creates an excellent experience for users. The subtle movement in the background grabs the attention of users, which is exactly what you want on a homepage. The background video header is used through the website on other headings and adds an immersive effect to all of the pages.
A good example of loading alertness is Spotify’s website. Upon landing on the website you’re met with a slider at the top that cycles through messages, but apart from that there’s not much else above the fold. When you start to scroll down the page this is when the real magic happens. As elements start to load and appear they scroll onto the screen with an animated effect that instantly grabs the attention of the viewer. With a website so calm and still, when something starts moving you instantly direct your attention to that element. If you want to keep users attention on your website, then this is how you do it.
There’s also another part to this loading trend. It’s not just to make it look nice, it also has a purpose: to speed up the loading time. By focusing on loading elements that are above the fold and not loading anything below the fold, this greatly increases the user’s experience. If you have a huge homepage with lots of images and elements, then there’s no point in making the user wait for them to load. Instead the elements above the fold are prioritised while the other elements are loaded as they are required.
So there you have it, the top web design trends of 2017. If you want the best-looking website in your industry, then make sure to include these elements on your site. Not only will they help increase brand recognition, but they’ll also improve your conversion rate and ultimately your profit.