A lot changes in the world wide web in 12 month in terms of best practices, visuals, usability and algorithm updates. Hence, staying up to date with website trends is essential for the success of your website.
It looks like 2019 will continue to be all about user experience, prioritising speed, mobile design, flat designs, video backgrounds and single page design.
Website Loading Time
According to statistics, half of us don’t even wait two seconds for website content to pop up! Loading speed is important as it affects user experience, search rankings, and even sales and conversions.
If the design of a website is too data-heavy and it takes too long to download, it could be losing revenue as visitors would not stay long enough to look at the site and to convert. Even worse, with the Google Speed Update that went into effect in July 2018, Google has begun prioritising rankings for sites that load faster than others, and it’s likely that other search engines are soon to follow.
What all of this means is that as websites need to load faster, so does web design need to prioritise speed during the design process. Speed needs to be a design parameter.
While large pictures and videos aren’t gone from web design, in 2019 they will be incorporated in such a way that they don’t slow down loading times.
Website loading speed isn’t just the only criteria that Google has been using to measure websites by. As per my blog “Why Mobile First”, mobile searches has overtaken desktop searches overall, making mobile search the highest search form worldwide. In accordance with this, Google has changed which sites they index first — they now prioritise mobile sites over sites that aren’t mobile friendly.
With mobile sites taking priority away from desktop sites, it’s no wonder that mobile first design has become a trend.
The push toward mobile first design isn’t just based on ranking factors or SEO. The visual result is something that will first and foremost enhance the user’s experience with the website on the device that they will most likely be searching from. This design trend is meeting the demand that mobile users are requiring and will likely be the trend for a long time to come.
Flat design was the rebellious answer to all the overly realistic – and often fake – three-dimensional elements and textures that flooded the web in the early 2010s.
Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that emphasises usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colours and two-dimensional illustrations providing an excellent user experience that is eye-catching and engaging.
In 2017, designers and developers began creating clean and simple websites for better mobile performance. Since then, the number of mobile searches has gone up, and mobile-first design for websites is now a necessity, not just an option. Image-heavy websites load slowly and frustrate mobile users, as mentioned before.
Clean, minimalist designs, or flat designs, are characterised by loading quickly and are currently trendy and desirable for two important reasons. First, both mobile users and desktop browsers can experience quick-loading websites. Secondly, they can hold high SEO value. Flat design helps a site fulfil a lot of the speed requirements that search engines are starting to require. This’s why flat design has started to become popular and will continue to be trendy into 2019.
You’ll likely have seen this trend appear on social media platforms like Facebook over the last couple of years. Video posts are prioritised over other kinds of posts and it’s even made easier to watch videos by auto-playing on mute while you scroll through your feed.
Video backgrounds on websites are very compelling and more interesting than text and static images. Videos can convey complex messages much easier and the message is absorbed much more quickly by the user.
Despite the move to more minimalist websites, video backgrounds and other video elements will still play a significant role in 2019.
Video can be used to help increase brand awareness, stimulate visitor interest, and as an attention grabber. What might take many paragraphs to explain, video can do it in seconds. As long as the video is relevant, fast-loading and high quality, a well placed video can give your site increased appeal.
Single Page Design
Traditionally, websites were created with each topic having its own separate page. For many sites, this makes perfect sense as it allows the content to be grouped in logical chunks. However, the way people view websites has been evolving over the years to the point where more people access the web on mobile devices than on computers.
With this rise in mobile browsing, many websites are moving towards single page design, which allows mobile users to easily scroll through the content.
Minimalist design and fast load times are trends that will not go away anytime soon. Because single page sites are quick to load on mobile devices, they are favoured by search engines over multi-page sites.
Businesses love single page websites for more than just ease of use: they also tend to have high conversion rates. On a traditional site, it’s all about grabbing a user with a keyword search, getting them to land on your site and then funnelling them towards a contact form, page, or phone number. With single page sites, there’s nowhere for the user to get distracted — every part of the page drives them toward a conversion point, getting them more leads and more business.
If you need help with optimising your website and implementing some of the design trends, please do get in touch!