When’s the last time you updated your business website? (Hint: if it’s been more than three years, it’s time for a refresh.)
We’re still seeing websites that use Flash (a no-no), have archaic layouts, and are not mobile-friendly or responsive design. Others are not up to date with usability guidelines, don’t look contemporary and fresh, or take too long to load.
If you’re ready for a website rebrand and redesign, here are some elements or features to bring to the design and development table.
Color: For text or background, bold is in. So is a color palette that mixes pastels with brights, or dark grey or black with bright splashes. There are no set rules here but the trends are:
- Website designers are also paying closer attention to how color affects mood when choosing palettes (blue = relaxing, yellow = energy). Others are showing a preference for a dark color palette. Of course, this is highly subjective.
- See more white space (negative space) being reclaimed for a clean look.
- The dark mode web design is a super contemporary look that darkens the field around design elements (think black background and colorful chart).
Accessibility: Implementing bold contrasts in the website’s text is helpful for improving usability for low-vision visitors. Dark mode, font scaling, large buttons (and buttons with contrasting border colors), contrast adjustments, and color and typeface choice are all design tools to enhance accessibility. The U.S. government offers very detailed guidelines on accessibility.
Minimalism: Those bold colors provide a powerful backdrop for minimal yet meaningful design elements (both text and images). With the negative space, use of color, and minimal elements, the bottom line is that simple design is preferred.
Hand in hand with this minimalist trend is lighter amounts of copy on more pages that still tell your brand’s story but in a less complex way, encouraging site visitors to learn more after they’ve consumed the most relevant content.
Content: Dynamic, personalized content based on past user behavior on the website or in search. Think of all those loan or credit card offers you receive when you log into your bank’s website, or product suggestions on the e-commerce websites you visit frequently. The same goes for page content based on user preferences.
Shape: Fluid, organic shapes are trending over more rigid geometric shapes with sharp angles and straight lines.
Typography: Like bolder colors, large, bold fonts are in. (NOTE: Fonts are subsets of typefaces and refer to the size, boldness, or other ways to manipulate the parent set.)
Text heroes: Rather than using a large image with a line of copy, a current trend taken from newspapers is to use impactful typography against a bold background color. An emerging trend is to have that homepage hero image larger than life as a full screen attention grabber.
Video heroes: Instead of text, or large images with text over them, you can make your homepage a cinematic experience with large-format video greeting your visitors. Speaking of video, Insivia found that users can retain up to 95% of video messaging compared to just 10% in text. Therefore, look for more sites embedding short video clips into their homepage background to tell brands’ stories.
3D elements, illustrations, interactivity: Technology is enabling designers to replace stock images with engaging 3D elements, custom illustrations, combining photography with graphics, micro-animations, and tools users can interact with, such as calculators and product demonstrations
Chatbots: Consumers are growing more accustomed to having conversations and getting help from AI-driven bots (what do you mean, Alicia’s not a real person?). Expect to see more of these helpful tools pop up on more sites as the bots learn more and better.
Voice search integration: It’s not just for Siri or Alexa anymore. Voice search optimization is coming to websites near you! Using long-tail keywords in your content supports this (and helps with your SEO).
Scrolling for mobile: Dynamic or single-page scrolling enables users on smartphones to see all the featured content. Parallax scrolling, where the background moves more slowly than the foreground, is still a scrolling choice for many websites.
Load times: Faster is better in the website world. Most users bounce in under five seconds! Digital entrepreneur and marketer Neil Patel found that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
According to LoadStorm:
- Pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while bounce rates for pages that load in five seconds skyrocket to 38%.
- 1 in 4 people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load.
An analysis by Portent revealed that:
- Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (between seconds 0-5).
- The highest ecommerce conversion rates occur on pages with load times between 0-2 seconds.
- Website conversion rates drop by an average of 2.11% with each additional second of load time (between seconds 0-9).
Get your website on trend for 2022!
At Rapunzel Creative Marketing—a full-service marketing and branding agency in the New York City – New Jersey area—we’re all about making sure our clients’ websites deliver the content users need and create new customers with a strong conversion rate. If a new website is in your 2022 plans, contact us for a consultation, or to discuss other marketing needs to build your brand, better.