Hi everyone, Zarte here! Bear with me will you, I’m just doing some clothes shopping... yes, whilst at work... don’t judge me. Be right with you...
...and there we go. I know, I know. I should focus on more pressing matters – like making sure that you have a hot take (ahem) from me to peruse after an extended absence, but I just had to make sure I got a limited edition pair of shoes that was being released... you see, sometimes, you’ve just gotta be on trend. Obviously, that’s personal, but as a business it’s even more important. So for those looking to get in the know about websites, or looking to get themselves a new website this year – here’s what we predict will be the key trends this coming year.
Make Sure It Works
This might sound stupid, but it’ll be point 1 every year. For a long time, people would put up with waiting a day for a website to be fully up and running again after a period of downtime – or would accept a website with a couple of dead links. No more. You better make sure that your website is working good and proper 24/7/365 or you’re in big trouble.
Responsiveness, Responsiveness, Responsiveness
Our personal buzzword for 2017 is back. Your website must work on a laptop. It must work on a tablet... on a phone. It must look good and function excellently. If your target customer is an on-the-go-browser and your website performs like a dog egg on a phone, you’ll find yourself going downhill fast without any brakes. Additionally, if you have a feature that’s great on a laptop, don’t just remove it from your other platforms’ dynamic. Find new ways of making the same thing work effectively everywhere. Speaking of responsiveness – if you’re an existing website customer and have concerns about your website’s, we’re running a £250 flat rate offer to become fully responsive during January 2018!
This might sound big and fancy, but it basically just means being succinct with the code, allowing your website to load faster, and appear higher up in the search engine rankings. We do this as standard, but some companies haven’t yet caught up!
Make The Most Of It...
Speaking of fancy terms – asset optimisation. It’s basically just the web design equivalent of the common business term. Making sure that if you’re going to give time, space and money to something, that it’s working hard for you! Some companies will use your money to show off and amuse themselves – not generate value for you and your business.
...But Don’t Skimp On The Good Stuff
But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t have those features. People like a bit of interactivity with some animations or interest in between pages. Particularly on trend are scroll-initiated animations. If that’s something that could fit your company branding, then how about giving one a try?
Make Sure Your Branding’s Iron
Speaking of company branding, it’s become increasingly important to make sure your website matches your branding. With the amount of visual content we all take in on a daily basis, a consistent visual is key to reinforce brand identity. Make sure your website matches your flyers, matches your letterhead, matches your radio/TV ads, matches your stationery. And if you’re looking for a rebrand, make sure that it’s ALL launched together to get the maximum effect from it.
A Website For The Many, Not The Few
Many people have issues that affect their use of the Internet, so make it easier for them. Whether it’s larger buttons to help those with muscular/motor difficulties use the site, or the ability to easily resize things for those with visual impairments, without impacting on the functionality of the site, as most “browser standard” zoom functions will do. Overlaying text onto images is a huge nono! Website-reading software for the blind can’t pick it up! Which segues nicely onto whether you could perhaps use some sort of audio if appropriate. However you approach it, it’s vital to think of how your website can appeal to as many people as possible.
It's Not All About The Tech
It might be more interesting to most of the guys here (not me), but we care about the aesthetics too, and so should you! So why not have a design feature that’s on point? We’ve mentioned scroll-activated animations, but a huge design trend for the year is split-screen design – put simply, dividing a page into independent columns to allow different ideas to be gotten across on the same page.
Show Your True Colours
It’s even more aesthetic than that. In web design, like fashion, colours come and go. For this year, bright and bold are in, but if you want to REALLY show that you know what you’re doing, add in some well-placed white space to set it off. We’re not talking minimalism – we’re talking contrast. And to go one better – match it with a beautiful and expressive font. Generic typefaces just won’t do any more – it’s all about eye-catching and unique!
Make It Timeless
Remember that although trends come and go, some things will ALWAYS be a requirement. Make sure you have a website that doesn’t focus SO heavily on being trendy that it’ll need replacing five minutes later. Futureproofing your website both visually AND functionally will mean you have a website that’s good enough that you won’t need to pay the slightest bit of attention to this article when I rehash it at the start of 2019!
Get 2018 off to the right start by making sure your website hits the spot on all these points. And if it doesn’t, now’s a great time to ask us how we could help make it happen. We’re offering 20% off all new websites across January, and we’d love to hear from you!
Until next time,