Any successful business must have a successful website. Here are 10 winning web design tips for 2018 that will help increase your traffic and business.

We’re about to enter the last quarter of the year, which means many marketers will start evaluating their initiatives for the holiday season and searching for web design tips for 2018.

Studying web design trends over this past year has given us an idea of what we might see next year. The overarching trend we’re noticing is the careful attention to deliberate design in website elements and layouts.

Gone are the days of overloading a website with too many animations and graphics. Each image, word, and animation will be placed with deliberation on websites in 2018.

To help you grasp these changes, here are our web design tips for 2018.

1. Responsive Web Design

Have you ever pulled up a website on your mobile phone to find that it looks like a shrunk down version of its desktop format?

It’s an incredibly off-putting experience for users, which will likely result in them bouncing off your website. A high bounce rate will ultimately hurt your SEO rankings, but there’s a larger problem here.

According to a recent industry study, approximately 58% of Internet searches occur on a mobile device.

Leaving SEO aside, the problem you’ll face if you don’t have a responsive web design is that people simply won’t stick around to learn about your company. In 2018, responsive websites will become the industry standard.

What we mean by responsive is the website adapts to the screen size and resolution of the device you’re using.

Getting back to SEO, you also need a responsive website because of Google’s new mobile-first algorithm change.

While Google largely shields its internal workings from SEO professionals, they revealed a few responsive web design tips for 2018, the anticipated year of the new algorithm’s release.

Two important tips to note are:

  1. Websites that are already mobile responsive will be prioritized first.
  2. Having no mobile website is better than having a bad mobile website.

With a responsive web design, you don’t need to worry about having a website for mobile and one for desktop users. It’s one in the same with responsive design, making it easier to change everything at once and adapt to market changes.

2. No More Cheesy Stock Photos

Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about posed stock photos on a company website is you can’t get a sense of the company’s values or culture. This can be off-putting for customers and potential employees alike.

These inauthentic, staged photos are particularly disagreeable to the generation that grew up in the ’90s, i.e., Millennials. This generation values authenticity, candidness, and sincerity. They don’t just want your words to reflect your authenticity; they want your brand’s images to emulate it, too.

Millennials are increasingly important for brands as they earn more disposable income and encompass a larger portion of the consumer market.

Over the past couple of years, more photo databases have emerged that provide stock photos with a more human touch. So step away from Shutterstock and try authentic photo databases like Pexels and Unsplash.

3. GIFs and Videos

In a way, GIFs have become a language of their own. GIF users find they can convey their exact emotions through these brief video clips.

GIFs have become so integral to the way we communicate that iPhone and Facebook have incorporated GIFs into their keyboards.

While a business might not choose to publish a GIF from a TV show on their website, they might use GIFs related to their business. For instance, GIFs can be useful and instructional when used to display how a product works.

Videos are equally useful in helping to explain products or services and also make our list of web design tips for 2018.

Video usage has also increased across social media and websites. Viyard conducted a study across 500 businesses which revealed that on average, businesses publish 18 videos per month.

However, you won’t find any web design tips for 2018 recommending using video unnecessarily. Video still slows down a website considerably, especially when viewed on mobile, so use video with discretion.

Using video to point out specific product or service qualities is one of the best ways to incorporate video into your site.

4. Card Design with Grid Layout

The grid layout has risen in popularity thanks to websites like Pinterest, Vice, and Tumblr. We even use this layout on our blog page.

When formatted correctly, cards in a grid layout can help strike the right balance between content and negative space.

These two design elements together are becoming a favorite among web developers thanks to their simplicity, flexibility, and responsiveness.

This layout is ideal for companies trying to convey tons of data and information in an organized and intuitive way. Together, they can also direct a reader’s eye down the page to find valuable information.

5. AI Chat Bots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) chat bots make our list of web design tips for 2018 not due to their appearance, but their functionality. As AI technologies improve, we have found new tasks they can do for us, including supplementing sales and customer service teams.

We have reached the point where AI can understand the context of what a human is saying. This level of intelligence makes it hard for customers to tell when they’re talking to a live representative or to a bot.

There are many benefits to incorporating an AI bot into your web design:

  • Integration with Facebook Messenger and other messenger platforms
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Personalize customer experience through data collection

While AI bots are not necessary for every company’s website, you’ll notice their usage rate grow in 2018.

6. Bold Typography

If high-quality videos and images are not relevant for your website, try letting bold typography convey your message.

Using colorful fonts instead of pictures makes a lot of sense for your mobile website. Images slow down a web page’s speed while font doesn’t. Fonts are also easier to scale for responsive websites.

When you replace images with text, you also end up with cleaner lines and more white space on your website. The result is your call to actions and logos popping on the page.

Ostentatious CTA buttons and hero images are starting to phase out to make way for text-based designs. You’ll see skinny headers make way for bold replacements that immediately declare what’s on the page. CTAs are even being replaced by bold text rather than buttons.

7. Branded Illustrations

Branding is of the utmost importance to businesses, especially in a crowded marketplace. Every little bit helps to garner brand recognition which is why creating branded illustrations and logos is one of our top web design tips for 2018.

More and more companies are using branded illustrations to match the tone of their brand. They see it as a way to convey the brand’s personality while communicating on another level with customers.

Brands who do this well include Dropbox and Slack. You can even throw Transport for London’s double decker bus animation into this mix.

8. Deeply Engaging Storytelling

Storytelling made its appearance a few years ago, and it’s certainly not going anywhere now that it’s gained traction as a business generator and branding tool. That’s why it’s one of the top web design tips for 2018.

In business, storytelling is about harmonizing marketing and web design to create a website that visitors don’t want to leave. Companies that do this well combine the best elements of creative copy, bold visuals, and micro-animations to intrigue a website visitor and draw him/her down the page.

Immersive storytelling should not stop on your website. Once you establish your company’s story, you should tell it across all your marketing platforms including social, newsletters, and advertising.

9. Minimalist Design

Minimalism is not only a lifestyle trend but a web design trend. It follows the simple principle of less is more.

Web design has moved far away from overloading sites with information, images, and animation, and instead focuses on providing a clean, calm experience for web users.

Negative space in web design is a minimalist’s best friend. Using negative space helps direct the eye to a particular website element like a product or text.

Minimalist web design adds sophistication to a website and reduces the number of colors and features throughout.

It’s a hot trend on our list of web design tips for 2018.

10. Micro-interactions

If you’ve liked something on social media, you’ve participated in a micro-interaction.

Micro-interactions allow website users to interact with your UX features without them needing to reload the page. While this might seem inconsequential, it can cause a loss of visitors and valuable data.

These interactions offer a rich UX experience while allowing you to understand customers as they interact with you in real time.

Micro-interactions can also help drive leads through your sales funnel by keeping them interested in your web content. These small interactions can help bolster your existing lead generation activities.

Your Web Design Tips for 2018

To recap, the overall theme for these tips is deliberate web design. Each micro-interaction, branded illustration, and bold CTA is meant to draw a user’s eye down the page and keep them interested in what your website has in store.

Grid layouts and minimalist styles can also help push a viewer’s eye to where you want it to go.

For more tips on web design, lead generation, and online advertising, get in touch with us today!