Your traffic has dropped to a trickle. You’re hardly selling a thing and nobody has clicked a link in ages.
You’ve optimized everything. You’re even ranking for a few keywords. You should be getting some traffic.
And then your cousin, whom you hate and who has zero mouth filter, pipes up and says, “Cuz, your site is crap. I can’t look at it for a mite’s memory without wanting to go puke on 4chan.” As you’re sending death rays his way, you realize loathingly that he’s right. That’s the one element you discounted entirely.
Well, you’re here and you’re ready to change. Here are ten web design trends that will keep them scrolling in 2020.
1. Get Brutal
Do you remember the punk-pop designs of the 90s? We saw them on posters all over the place. Well, it’s 2019 and they’ve time-traveled to our internet.
What is brutalism? It’s a schism of lines with fragmented type and flashing colors. Or it’s blocky text with sharp contrast and off-kilter kerning.
According to David Bryant Copeland, it’s “raw content true to its construction.”
But you can be too brutal for some audiences. So, play it mellow. Push the line a little and then back off. It needs to be readable on all screens and devices to work.
2. Overlapping Design Elements
The point of design is to lead. You want to cause the user to move from one part of the website to the other without much effort.
Overlapping design elements can either increase your site’s ability to do this or completely destroy any vestige of design sensibility. Thus, you must be careful with overlapping design elements.
The best web design firms understand that in order to use overlapping design elements effectively, you need to move the eye from one section of the page to the most important part of the page. This means using a cascading effect to move the eye to a link in the right-hand corner. Or it means creating an arbitrary design element that works like an arrow to draw the user’s eyes upward toward a menu option.
When done effectively, this can increase engagement and help your site stand out among your competitors’.
3. Outlined Type
This might seem like an empty trend. Well…it really is! Outlined typography or hollow typography is all the rage right now.
This is a lighter letter form that allows for a more traditional vibe while seeking new ground. No more blocky sans serif fonts, give some pizzaz to your font type without going overboard.
It gives users this feeling that your brand is both trustworthy and revolutionary at the same time. And people won’t even wonder at the juxtaposition.
4. Inclusive Design
At one point in history, nobody even ventured to consider people with disabilities. We omitted such simple things as accessible ramps at restaurants and gas stations. We included no stall large enough to fit a wheelchair. It was an awful thing to have a disability.
And then a revolution happened and suddenly cities were making their establishments inclusive and accessible.
We’re at the cusp of a similar revolution in web design. Inclusive design.
What do you need to pay attention to when creating a site that’s inclusive? Imagine the five senses. We use sight, touch, and hearing to access the internet. But if one of those abilities is missing, you have to compensate with the other two.
Include auditory elements in your site to allow users who can’t see to access your information. Make your site less dependent on colors for color blind people.
But above all, you need to recognize that there is no average user. People come to the table with all kinds of disabilities and it’s your job to help them access your product or your affiliate’s products.
5. Make Animation Mobile-First
Desktop sites get all the fun. They have carousels and animation transitions. But when you go to the mobile site, it’s boring and scaled down for “ease of use.”
But why can’t we use animations on mobile versions of our sites? Our phones are now more powerful than the laptops we were using ten years ago. And we used animations on websites back then!
Timed animations are a new thing in mobile web design. While these little tidbits can be annoying if done wrong (and they’re done wrong more often than not!) they can increase engagement. Use an animation to draw the user’s eyes to a desired section of the website. You want them to click on something farther down, create a timed animation to bring them to that spot. Maybe a flitting bird they need to follow or pulsing arrows at the periphery of the page.
6. Much Larger Navigation
We’re seeing sites experiment with where navigation should start. For years we’ve put the menu at the top of the page. Then we made a little menu button to hide the menu.
Minimalism was all the rage.
Now we’re looking at largism. Everything big and overbearing. Experiment with placing each menu item on the page as a massive button somewhere. See if you can get people to click on things faster by shoving them in their faces.
Since this is an entirely experimental design in 2019 and beyond, there isn’t much data on the subject. But try it if you dare and see if you can garner a few more clicks with largism.
7. Using White Space
If you’re going to go large, you’re going to need space. For a while, it seemed like we were going back to a 90s stuffy internet. Literally stuffing design elements onto the page until it was overwhelming.
Now, we’re seeing the opposite. Sites that leave only one or two design elements on the page and hope you’ll click through to more pages.
It’s all about creating a focal point. You want to draw the user in and make them want more. It shouldn’t feel empty but inviting. Give them something they will gravitate toward and lead them on a journey through your website.