Designing Your Website for 2018 and Beyond

Since the dawn of the World Wide Web, trends in design and layout have come and gone. What looked fresh and exciting in years past now looks dated and unprofessional. Along with design trends, new web development technologies have made the Web surfing experience more enjoyable and more useful.

2018 shows great promise as far as website visitors go. Rich experiences will take center stage, and several trends are combining to create an immersive experience for site visitors across market sectors. In this article, we will review some of 2018’s hottest web design trends.

Trend 1: Flat Design

With the rise of mobile computing devices and an on-the-go approach to seeking information on the Web, most users want websites designed for fast, efficient operation on smartphones and tablets. So-called “flat design” is an emerging trend that caters specifically to mobile users, but benefits all website visitors regardless of access device. This is considered a mobile-first design philosophy, and consists of sleek, minimalist layouts without unnecessary images or clutter – crisp edges and ample open space allows for smooth information delivery. Web designers that engage users with flat design are aiming for faster load times and a focus on usability over embellishment. And, the fast load times offer optimization benefits in online search engines, helping to position websites that use flat design at the top of their respective search verticals.

Trend 2: A Focus on Typography

For those who have been surfing the Web for years, typography is nothing new. Web designers in years past spent many hours of effort in developing and implementing catchy fonts to use on their own pages. Many other developers shared their font sets with others. Today, expressive typography is taking the place of high-resolution images and fussy layouts to tell a more streamlined story. Typographic elements allow for fast page-loading times, and go hand-in-hand with the flat design concept. In the best cases, the fonts and typographic elements become iconic; for most other applications, these simple design elements tell a story without unnecessary clutter.

Trend 3: Voice Search and Voice/User Interfaces

Voice search and mobile computing devices seem as if they were made for each other. In a sense, they have – voice search capability is a critical component of the mobile computing experience, allowing a user to have a hands-free interaction with their favorite smartphone or tablet. Voice search has also entered the home desktop market with digital personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri.

The major search engines have taken note, favoring mobile-friendly websites that are optimized for voice search. Smart web developers are creating their own voice interfaces, allowing users to interact with web properties in new ways. Chatbots, digital personal assistants, and voice-activated commands are all part of the Web surfing experience in years to come.

Trend 4: A Renewed Commitment to Security

Highly-publicized data breaches have given e-commerce sites an unfortunate reputation. Some of the largest Fortune 500 firms and banking giants have been the victims of data breaches, leading to tens of millions of vulnerable customer-users. Security is a front-and-center consideration for leading web developers. Creating robust, easy to use websites that have rock-solid security features are a rising trend that will only continue to be more important in the years to come. Search engine giants have implemented security features warning users away from sites that have invalid or expired security certificates. Developers know that in the modern Web, site visitors will only make purchases or interact with a given site if the site is trustworthy – and that means tight security that protects sensitive personal information of site visitors.

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