Gone were the days when websites were all plain text and boring. Today, they have become the most powerful tool of digital presence and online communication with the outer world. Every year, we notice a number of changes in website design to keep itself relevant with the global trends.
Over the last few years, website design has changed completely. Trends are now shifting toward better UI/UX and better content visibility.
In a nutshell, 2017 is an exciting year and we have a lot to witness in 2018, such as:
- Increasing usage of AI powered chatbots
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
- Customer Support in real-time on websites
- Mobile-readiness and responsive website development
- Increased focus on website development platforms instead of custom development
- Minimalistic, yet brighter color combination
Without further ado, let us take a look at what 2017 has in store for us and how things will be changing in 2018:
1. Use of VR and 360º video
While Virtual Reality is the name of the game, it still hasn’t been able to impress website designers for creating impressive websites. However, the upcoming trend fo web design in 2017 and beyond is the definite use of VR by portraying 360º videos for promotional campaigns.
In the near future, we would see a number of brands such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Playstation and more to use VR and 360º videos for augmented reality experience.
2. Grid and boxed layouts
Layouts are constantly changing and the trend in 2017 is more toward boxed and grids than using a full site-wide interface. Grid layout was first introduced by Pinterest and since then, website designers have been consistently using this layout in their themes, and custom web design solutions.
We will be witnessing more of this design in 2017 and 2018. The biggest reason why they are successful is due to the originality, uniqueness, responsiveness and their ability to stand out on the website. A lot of software development companies including SolHut, use grid layouts to convey the abundance of information in a bite-sized manner.
3. Increasing use of Artificially Intelligent Chat bots
SolHut strongly believes that Artificial Intelligence will take the lead in near future when it comes to interacting with website visitors, by using chat bots that automate conversations.
Online communication tools, such as Letsclap, will allow software development companies, mobile app development companies, and online businesses to connect with their clients through WhatsApp, WeChat, and FB Messenger. This will provide a lighter and more informal side of brand personalities for communicating with their customers. We have already seen how Facebook and other social media channels revolutionized the way brands interact with their online audience, by providing a personalized and informal conversational experience and cutting the time and cost of resolving issues.
We expect this trend to continue and take over the website design elements where an AI powered chatbot will welcome visitors and ask them questions about their visits.
Without any prior coding experience, any business, big or small, can now get a chatbot built with pre-dedicated question/answers to get started with excellent customer support. With over 1 billion active Facebook Messenger users every day, it isn’t surprising to see why businesses welcomed the addition of chatbots in 2016.
4. Increasing use of real photos instead of stock photos
Stock photography, over the time, has completely ruined and tarnished brand images. Visitors and brands have come to realize that by using stock photography, mutual trust and perception of high-quality services has gone down the drain.
It is extremely displeasing for web design and a disaster for businesses. It is better to use high-quality real photos with real people, real clients and/or real business locations inside.
Studies have shown that photos of real photo drive up the conversion rates on the websites. Another study by Depositphotos’ shows that visual culture in 2017 is now seeing an increased demand for photos with real people and situations, rather than stock photos with backgrounds. We at SolHut strongly believe that the best way forward in the future is to get away from stock and more towards real photos. real photos help in building trust and improving conversions on the website.
5. Increased focus on conversion-driven design
There is no purpose of a beautifully designed website that does not convert. Conversion is defined as an action taken on the website such as a signup email, download, business inquiry, etc. The higher the conversion rate, the better the business opportunities. In 2017, we have seen a lot of focus toward websites that help a visitor in converting to a potential business lead.
At SolHut, we use this philosophy to provide responsive custom website design services and develop websites with conversions in mind.
And conversions don’t take place overnight. It involves a lot of split A/B testing, design practices, improved page loading speed, and deciding the content delivery on the website to reach the right person at the right time. When we roll up our sleeves to design websites, here is a list of questions we ask our clients:
- Demographics: What is your target market and who will be the visitors? What is the purpose of their visit?
- Behavior: Why are the visiting? Are they interesting buying something? Or are they interested in reading a blog post?
- Device: What device are they using? Are they able to enjoy the viewing experience using their smartphones?
It is quite interesting to see how web design has come so far, and where it is going in the near future. In a nutshell, the focus should be on the end customer. A website that offers fast page-load experience and truly caters to the end user is far better than having a beautiful website that does not understand its visitors.