If you’re running a business in the 21st century, then one of the most important things you need to focus on is your website. Your website is essentially your business’s headquarters on the Internet. It is the first thing that potential customers, clients, and investors will look for.
And over ninety percent of a visitor’s first impression of your company will be made on the basis of the web design. Therefore, having a smooth, well-designed, and easy-to-navigate website is a must for all modern businesses, regardless of the industry within which they operate.
Advantages of Great Web Design
Incorporating a modern and intuitive web design into your marketing strategy can provide you with a number of benefits. It can help you draw more visitors to your website and effectively convert leads into paying customers. A great website will help establish trust with the visitor, disseminate information about your products and services, and help build your company’s reputation in the market.
However, in order to accomplish these goals and create a modern, cutting-edge website for your business, you first need to understand what web design trends are popular in the year 2020. Because the best websites are designed to be both cutting-edge and timeless. They are meant to draw customers and impress visitors, helping the business grow and succeed for years to come!
Even if you already have a website, you can use the latest web design trends to update and freshen up your site, giving it a new look and some state-of-the-art functionalities for the new decade! Some of the most popular trends among web designers in recent years have been listed below for your convenience.
Minimalism is the name of the game in the world of modern web design. The purposeful use of copious amounts of white space is one of the trademark features of the most popular websites in 2020. When used judiciously, white space facilitates the process of reading and comprehension. This is because it does not force the visitor to focus on multiple elements at the same time, which might lead to distraction and confusion.
Lots of white space also allows viewers to rest their eyes every now and then, which helps prevent exhaustion and encourages visitors to spend more time browsing the website. When used in a thoughtful manner, white space can help improve the user experience (UIX) by effectively communicating the hierarchy of information on the website. In other words, it can be used to highlight and emphasize the important words, phrases, and paragraphs.
2. Full-Page Headers
Full-page headers have gained great popularity among web designers in 2020. When it is time to design the website header, one of the most popular modern configurations involves adding eye-catching images to the right and a call-to-action (CTA) or key text to the left. The reason for this is that readers naturally focus on the top left side of a webpage.
The header is one of the most visually prominent elements of any website. Hence, business owners should take special care when designing their website header, communicating their expectations precisely and clearly with the designer. The image should be memorable and the CTA should be precise, comprehensible, and clearly marked for maximum efficacy.
A great website header has the potential to transform the look and feel of the site to a great extent! It can make the website more fun and quirky to look at, while also making all the relevant information easy-to-find and easy-to-read. Depending on the design, color-scheme, and layout, the header can also add an ambiance of sophistication to the site.
3. Funky Cursors
Funky and playful cursors that make the experience of browsing a website more fun and interesting are a common feature of modern online platforms. In 2020, you can add a unique and memorable cursor to your website in a variety of ways, some of them simpler than others. You can simply change the shape or color of the cursor in a matter of minutes or you can code cursor-triggered animations into your website for enhanced audience engagement.
The type of cursor design you choose to implement should be relevant to your business and product. So, if you own a company that sells musical instruments online, you can opt for a cursor that looks like a guitar and plays musical notes at every click. However, such a cursor wouldn’t blend well with a medical website or on the site of a grocery delivery service. A unique cursor is not always a necessity, but it can make your website more memorable for visitors.
4. Dynamic Scrolling
This is one of the newest web design trends of 2020. Essentially, this is a visual illusion that can create a 3D effect on your website by setting a different scrolling speed for the background and the foreground. This can make the website look hi-tech and visually interesting, encouraging visitors to stick around by piquing their curiosity.
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A common feature that is usually incorporated to enhance the effect of dynamic scrolling is the background video. In such situations, the video only begins playing when users scroll through the website. Another trick is to trigger animations every time a user scrolls through the website, which can make the images more engaging as they would basically appear on the screen like magic.
One risk, however, is that the dynamic scrolling features can distract website visitors from the main point of the business. Therefore, these should be used in moderation, so as to ensure that they do not lead site visitors to forget the main purpose of their visit.
5. Custom Illustrations
Some great illustrations can breathe new life into your website and help your brand stand out from the crowd. Traditional art forms – particularly those seen in the various print publishing formats – lend a lot of inspiration for illustrations in modern web design. Audiences now expect originality and flair from websites, and similar, cookie-cutter stock images may prove to be a turn-off for many.
For this reason, many businesses across industries have opted for custom-made illustrations to incorporate into their websites. Renowned illustrators and artists around the world are now being commissioned to create original work for websites. Apart from the aesthetic appeal, custom illustrations on websites also help brands distinguish themselves and make themselves more memorable.
Increased coding capabilities have helped online illustrations to evolve significantly beyond their 2D origins. In modern web design, 3D illusions are frequently used by illustrators to add a layer of depth and variety to the website. Gradient shading, digital cut-out designs, and 3D cursor interactions are some examples of this trend.
6. Grid Design
Even in 2020, web designers continue to play with grids and asymmetrical layouts. If anything, the popularity of funky, unconventional layouts for websites has only increased over the past few years. One reason for this is that apart from being visually interesting, an asymmetrical layout can also be quite functional.
One of the most popular web design trends in recent years involves a minimalist style with plenty of white space and an asymmetric aesthetic. Such a design can help highlight the pictures and text on your website while keeping the audience engaged and excited through the tiny visual quirks of the layout.
CSS Grid Layout is frequently used by top designers to bring all the features of print layout to the digital space. While not compatible with all interfaces, it allows web designers to create original layouts for complex, responsive websites in an easy and efficient manner.
7. Color Scheme
Modern web design explores various color schemes and pallets, to the point that every year starts with a new color or pattern trending on the Internet. Over the past few years, yellow, blue, and mint have all had their days in the limelight. Overall, many industry experts predict that online color pallets will become more subtle and understated in 2020, with muted colors taking precedence over bright, vibrant ones.
The affinity for gradients among web designers started in the year 2019 and the trend seems to be continuing well into 2020. Hence, one can expect to see many more websites designed and decorated with the help of color gradients. Their popularity stems from the fact that gradients are ideal for attracting a broad audience as they cover a wide range of colors and shades. They are also an easy way of adding depth and variety to an otherwise minimalist website.
Web designers in 2020 will also take into account the psychology of various colors and shades. Depending on the industry being served, different color pallets could have various emotional or subconscious impacts on the site visitor. The colors being used should match the vibe and tone of your brand.
8. Font and Style Scheme
More and more web designers have begun to play with font and text in recent years. While serif and sans-serif fonts remain popular, vintage fonts have begun to make a comeback, especially for branding purposes. A few other varieties that are frequently used – especially for landing page headings – include bold type and outlined type.
Many websites opt to stand out by using bold type cut out of images for their headings. This can give the website a bold and chunky vibe, while still appearing professional. Incorporating stenciled letters into your brand name for a more grungy effect can have the same visually striking outcome, although it may be seen as a more unconventional choice.
The most important factor is to select a font or typeface that blends well with your brand and the overall design of your website. The font should make the website more memorable and fun without sticking out like a sore thumb. Lastly, the typeface also needs to be clear and easy-to-read. Without great readability, the UX of the website might suffer, which would increase the bounce rate.
9. Enhanced Focus on UX/UI
The focus on the customer’s experience will become even more pronounced in 2020, with more and more web designers wishing to ensure that all visitors have a memorable time when browsing the website. Hence, if you’re planning to build a website for your business, then the UX must be smooth, engaging, and uninterrupted for maximum efficacy.
A great UX in the modern world can only be built with a combination of creativity and functionality. A bit of untidiness, when thrown artfully into the white and sterile world of technology, can work wonders for the aesthetic appeal of your website. For the best results, the website interface (UI) must also be simple, intuitive, and easy-to-understand.
Some of the popular options for improving your UX and UI include incorporating image captions, voice-enabled interfaces, video transcripts, balanced motion designs, and minimal distracting elements. Hitting the aesthetic sweet-spot while keeping the site readable and intuitive is one of the biggest challenges that website designers have to face in the modern world.
10. Engaging and Impactful Stories
For maximum user engagement, modern websites must excel at telling stories. Compelling storytelling is what makes advertisements and content marketing campaigns stand out from the competition. An intuitive interface, a classy design, and a compelling story are all that you really need to convert your target audience into loyal customers and clients.
One way of telling compelling stories is with the help of authentic, high-quality images and videos. Video testimonials, photo essays detailing the work done by the company, and behind-the-scenes videos can work wonders in capturing the audience’s imagination and piquing their interest.
For the best results, the website should be clean, scannable, and visually appealing. Some quirky design elements can help make the stories being told more memorable for the audience. Images, infographics, and explainer videos can be used, along with text, to help people understand the company’s origins, goals, benefits, and business model.
Some Final Thoughts
One way to get inspiration for the design of your own website is to check out the sites of some of your most successful competitors, operating in the same industry or in a related domain. This will help you create a website that attracts and converts visitors from day one.
Alternatively, you can also transform your existing website to an updated, modern one using some of the above-mentioned tips and tactics. Choosing a reputed web design firm for the task is, of course, the easiest and most effective way to achieve your digital marketing and branding goals.
For further reading on how to hire a top wen designer, please read this.