Websites can easily become stale and dated. I know. I just updated our agency’s site to better reflect current trends. (When you’re busy working on client projects, it’s challenging to look after your own.)
For small and mid-sized organizations that don’t always have the budget for fancy and customized bells and whistles, my motto is KISS (Keep it simple, stupid.) The marketing objective is to attract and engage visitors and guide them to calls to action. No design awards required.
Before I tackled the project, I laid out my goals:
- Make it cleaner and less cluttered with lots of white space.
- Make the menu navigation simpler with fewer drop-downs.
- Ensure there’s a good mix of copy, images, videos, and embedded Slide Shares.
- Revise the lead call to action to make it more relevant.
- Simplify the footer.
- Ensure the user experience is easy and smooth.
I also researched award-winning websites and read what some designers say are the current trends. Naturally, it’s a subjective matter, but some commonalities do exist. Here’s what I discovered:
1. Vector Illustrations
According to the Next Web, “While illustrations have been prevalent on websites for many years, there’s a growing trend of having custom, detailed, and well-executed illustrations grace websites recently, and I’m sure this is a trend that is just getting started.”
Eshley Jackson, in a DesignHill article adds:
“Use of illustration and graphics is another web design trend that the website designers are preferring for its use as an effective visual tool to communicate a brand message. Unlike stock photography, illustrations can be tailored to suit to the tone of a company. This helps a brand stand out in a marketplace. If you imagine how future website designs will look like, include custom illustration as a trend.”
According to Sylvia Foerster in a recent Business2Community article,
“Having a lot of whitespace throughout your site is not necessarily a new trend, but it will be used more and more, especially in tandem with minimalistic designs. Whitespace or negative space refers to the empty areas around design elements like text or images. Just because it’s called ‘whitespace’ doesn’t mean it’s only white—it can be made up of any background color. The empty space between columns, margins, and lines of text is also considered whitespace.”
Moses Kim at UX Planet agrees.
“When elements fight for attention, none of them is getting enough. When there is a spotlight on one element, it gets all the attention. Depending on the message the UI is delivering, it’s important to give it some space, to let that message sink.”