Web design trends are usually influenced by innovation and cultural changes that occur around the world. In the past year and a half, we’ve experienced dramatic changes in the digital space. COVID-19 put everyone into quarantine, forcing us to delve further into the digital sphere and change how we live our lives. We creators and professional website design have risen to the occasion by exploring an array of avenues in visual communication in order to created increased levels of engagement. This includes the following web design trends and standards prevalent nowadays.
1. Load Times & Page Speed
Fast load time is one of the most important web design standards. In fact, it has been an essential factor in both UX and search engine optimization for years, and continues to be a vital one for sites looking to rank higher and convert better.
According to stats, over half of web browsers expect sites to load fast, taking no more than 2 seconds after clicking a link. If it takes longer than this, the visitors will most likely leave your site, with meager chances of ever coming back!
Site performance has a direct impact on your business’s bottom line. A good example is Pinterest, which reduced load times by 40% and saw increased sign-ups and web traffic by 15%.
2. Accessibility & Availability
Accessibility and inclusivity have become more of a standard than a trend. There’s been a growing need for website design to include the needs of individuals with disabilities in the past several years. Having a website that every user can navigate and interact with is more than just ideal customer service and providing a great experience. It boosts your SEO, helps you reach a larger audience, and increases conversion.
Some of the aspects that boost accessibility include:
-Using functional alt tags for photos or images
-Using instructions and labels with form fields instead of low-cotext placeholder text
-Adding focus indicators
-Having a strong color contrast between background and text
3. Voice-Activated Interface
The manner in which we access information has been evolving in the past several years. Rather than typing into search engines, we now ask them questions or make demands. This means web design is changing in order to accommodate virtual assistants and voice chatbots. It may take a while for most websites to be voice-activated, but this trend is certainly going to become commonplace in the near future.
Including interactive sections to your site is an excellent way to offer value to your visitors, prompt them to engage with the site, and learn more about them. For instance, let’s assume you are a real estate agent. By adding a home loan calculator on the site, you will be providing value to the users, while learning more about them based on the data they provide using the tool.
A few examples of interactive marketing include:
-Assessments such as quizzes
-Polls & Surveys
5. Creative & Atypical Product Photographs
Perhaps the biggest limitation in shopping online is not knowing what products really look like in real life. This has led to numerous e-commerce stores implementing 3D simulations in order to offer a visual solution for this limitation. As such, you can expect to see further enhanced 3D visualization techniques with high resolutions in 2021 and beyond.
6. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality on sites is a trend that will continue to increase down the line. Think of websites like Airbnb that allow you to take a tour of a house or apartment before making a reservation. Or even furniture websites like IKEA being able to showcase what a piece would look like in your room.
Virtual reality is a promising tool in web design, serving meaningful and useful content to visitors in a manner that helps them make informed buying decisions.