As 2020 draws to a close (frankly, not soon enough), it’s time to take our annual look into what’s happening in the world of web design next year. With more businesses and freelancers increasing their online presence, the website has never been as vital. We take a look at web design trends for 2021 and beyond, and what you can do with your website to make sure it’s on-point.
Check your website loading times
With people spending more time online, there’ll be a great emphasis on “back to basics” in 2021. Make sure your website is literally up to speed as loading times will remain incredibly important next year. Page speed as a standard metric for search engine ranking and as a quality user experience is here to stay.
Look into lazy loading content
A solution is to look in lazy loading or smart loading content, which affects your page-loading speed. This technique has been around for a while but is still very relevant. Ask your web team about improving speed - and make sure your site loads well on a range of devices. It’s all-too-easy to get distracted by the responsive mobile website and neglect other devices.
Integrate dynamic lead generation
By taking a lead generation approach to marketing, you can ensure that you’re targeting the right audience for the right offer. Streamline this process by integrating dynamic lead generation with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Today’s website should be able to gather and organise dynamic marketing data, as well as act as a marketing tool.
Give chatbots a go
Chatbots are becoming more sophisticated, and much easier to produce and run smoothly. The great benefit of chatbots is that they can potentially save an organisation time and money by heading off queries at the pass. The happy customer has their question answered quickly, without having to speak to a member of your team. This is ideal for smaller businesses with limited staff resources.
Focus on inclusivity and accessibility
By now, we shouldn’t still have to talk about accessible websites, but on the whole, the industry isn’t as inclusive as it should be. There’s a continued and growing need for a website to be accessible to the widest audience possible, such as users with sight, audio and motor impairment restrictions. Speak to your web team about running a website accessibility audit to see where your website is now, and what tweaks can be made.
Try a video
Videos will never take over completely from images, but they’re definitely pushing themselves forward. Interactive product exploration is an excellent tool for online sales, but it doesn’t have to be purely practical. A background video is really pleasing, and helps users to establish a real emotional connection with your brand. Brilliant for any product or service with a visual appeal, such as holidays, fashion or anything food or nature-based.
Choose minimalist web design
Both elegant and easy to use, expect to see more minimalism in web design. Look out for empty spaces, duotone effects and 2020’s dramatic trend, dark mode. Speaking as web designers, it can actually be harder to achieve a clean, calm site than a frenetic looking one (in other words, specifying a minimalist site will not make your designer’s life easier!). But it’s definitely worth the extra thought and planning to create something that’s both beautiful and easier to engage with.
We love a bit of animation to bring a website to life (provided it’s kept nice and simple). A great way of explaining products or services without a lot of photos or text, animation has the dual role of also being incredibly visually appealing. Add motion to a liquid graphics background for an ultra-contemporary look. This classic user experience tool won’t be going away in 2021, and we predict it’ll actually become more popular.
Above all, your web design must remain true to you and your brand. Don’t squeeze in an animation just because it’s fashionable, and make sure there’s no dissonance between your website’s looks and your business. A clean, minimalist design may not work as well for car parts or pet food as it does for beauty serums (you can be uncluttered without going the full Zen). Also ensure that a new web design doesn’t stray from the rest of your branding.
In terms of basics, however, we’d definitely advise focusing on page speed and accessibility. And of course, if you want to welcome in the New Year with a shiny new website, that’s great, too.
If you’d like to discuss anything in this article, web design in general or find out how we can upgrade your website for 2021, please drop us a line.
Author Kate Waddon. First published Wed, 11 Nov 2020 17:25:12 +0000