If you’ve been following web design trends for the past few years, you know exactly how exciting things have been. This year has proven to be no different. In fact, when it comes to the hottest designs, 2020 is somewhat unique.
What makes the web design trends of 2020 different? Like in other areas of technology, this year has largely been a year of synthesis, rethinking and refinement. As such, we hesitate to call them trends. Rather, they’re a reflection of the way technology is shaping design and the way users interact with the digital landscape.
There are nine features we’re consistently seeing in the best and most thought-provoking (and mood-evoking) websites. Read on to discover them.
The Nine Top Web Design Trends for 2020
Form and function no longer exist in separate realms. Each now informs and influences the other, giving rise to necessities such as:
1. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Today’s designs emphasize quality in the way of consolidation. Sites have fewer but more useful pages. Pages have fewer but more impactful elements.
This reflects the increased speed of communication and information attainment achieved by increasingly powerful mobile devices. It’s even being recommended that you delete old pages and poorly performing content to boost your Google rank.
2. VISUAL STORYTELLING
The average laptop screen size is between 14 and 16 inches. In contrast, the average smartphone screen size is somewhere around 5 inches. Nonetheless, smartphones take the lion’s share with an estimated 72 percent of users accessing your website via mobile by the end of the next few years.
Visuals matter because they’re useful for getting around the restrictions posed by hardware. Likewise, we’re visual creatures and we like looking at visually interesting things (that’s why we find infographics so magnetic). Get that information across in a way that’s fun but also that works with the technology your users have.
3. CONTENT-ORIENTED DESIGN
While you’re having fun with visuals, don’t forget that the point of your website is to convey information. It’s not 2011 where we’re still discovering the design uses of transparent PNGs, when Flash existed on 28 percent of all websites.
In 2020, conventional wisdom for good design demands that you first start with your content. Let it inform the design and function of your site.
4. RESOURCES FOR YOUR READERS
While having quality content is certainly critical for ranking well in the search engines, Google also cares about a site’s authority. An increasingly popular way to signal authority to search engines is to link to other credible, useful sources. In 2020, good content is linkable, easy to share and found on pages with other relevant information.
While you don’t want clutter or excessive walls of text, it’s time to rethink the presence of a few quality, well-ranked links which bolster your own content. Show that you’re up to date with your own knowledge and provide value to your readers in the process.
5. WHITE SPACE
In keeping with the “less is more” mentality, white space has made a serious comeback this year. White space, also called negative space, is simply empty space in a design.
Recent studies are showing that we’re evolving to operate in an environment of information overload. Our brain uses a different part of itself when reading online versus when reading in print. Many of us, the study indicates, are adapting to digital reading just a little too well and that might be behind why print readership is in decline. Reading is slow and arduous. Digital reading is not really reading. It’s scanning, picking out critical information and moving on to the next thing.
White space helps combat this. It functions like a miniature break for the eye, helps to highlight critical information and encourages us to slow down.
6. FORMATS MATTER
Visual is important, but inclusiveness is valuable. Make sure that you’re including materials for every type of learner: visual, audio and interactive. Nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of voice search, and the SEO designed specifically for it.
7. TECHNICAL SEO
8. MARKETING AUTOMATION
Things like personalization and drip campaigns have been the status quo now for a few years, and customers are used to it. That means less room for missing a beat: whether it’s neglecting to address your customers by name or sending an email a few hours too late.
To stay on top of this, marketers began using automation a few years back. This year, its use is not optional because people want to know that, well, they’re people, not numbers with dollar signs attached.
9. FOOTERS THAT FUNCTION
The rise of single-page sites means that footers became practically pages in their own right, a trend that’s carried over into 2020. Your footer is basically an index of your website for the people (and search engines) who like to see everything at a single glance and navigate from there. It’s also a convenient way to get critical contact information in front of your visitors in a central but non-intrusive way. Footers are valuable. Make sure yours function.
10. Design an Effective Website With PPA Agency
As this year’s web design trends show, websites have come a very long way since when Tim Berners-Lee created the first page of the internet (which you can still visit). In 2020, we’re seeing the maturation of design as technology molds it. Say goodbye to designs that look like your favorite old t-shirt. Hello, sleek, functional, informative design.