It’s that time when we look back on the trends that came and went in 2015 and 2016 and try to determine what we will see in web design trends for 2017. Staying up-to-date in your web design is critical to maintaining an active and engaged audience. It’s worth taking a good look at your online properties to see how you might be able to enhance them this coming year with one or more of the following 2017 web design trends.
To compile the following list, we reviewed dozens of blogs, online resources, lists, podcasts, and more. There were several design features that were consistent among most of the sources. We also identified a few outliers that we will share at the end. From aesthetics to functionality to color to layout, this year is shaping up to be full of new ideas and creative concepts.
Big, bold colors and gradients
Once an overused element used to splash a rainbow myriad of color swatches across every page, gradients are making their way back into web design. This time, however, designers are utilizing 2 or 3 main bold colors, using the gradient as a background or as a way to inject brand consistency over photography.
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Big, bold type and custom typefaces
Now that content is king, getting the key message across is key. Using big, bold fonts and custom typefaces (available through the widespread use of web-safe fonts), designers are dedicating significant real estate to single phrases. Pairing this type with full screen imagery and parallax adds dynamism to the overall aesthetic.
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Original photography, less stock imagery
Stock photography had, and still has, its place in design. There are just times when you need a picture of 7 millennial business people, properly demonstrating cultural and racial diversity, sitting around a laptop in front of a dry-erase board with generic markings on it. But stock imagery sites created a problem: it’s easy to tell a stock image on a site. There are even websites that demonstrate the problems with stock photography (here, here, and here). Customers are now looking for originality and authenticity from the brands they interact with. Designers will have to think more carefully about what photography to use on the sites and, often, get original photography for that use.
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Animation
Just when we though the GIF was dead… well, the cheesy animated GIF’s still are dead, but better technology and higher internet bandwidth has opened the door to animation in web design again. Animation can be used in many different ways… from directing a visitor to scroll down a page or click on a link to demonstrating how a product works to adding moving interest to a header or photo to utilizing a full-screen multi-layer parallax immersive animation. Designers are using animation to simply create new forms of interaction and communication.
Tactile design
Expanding beyond the interface, designers are starting to use tactile design in imagery. Bypassing illustration, using realistic and 3D imagery creates an environment where it feels like the user can reach out and touch the object being displayed on the site.
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Personalization of content delivery
Every brand’s dream is deliver customized content to the visitor based on a set of criteria. If a website can figure out the exact message to send to each, individual visitor that stirs them to action, what better way to tell your story and achieve conversion? Using demographics, behavior, or context, we can manually generate personalized content, but the goal is automation. While there have been plenty of experiments into how to best achieve this level of personalization, this just hasn’t been perfected yet. Perhaps 2017 will be the year.
Virtual reality
Virtual reality devices are mainstream and affordable. That means they will be spreading through the web. Watch for immersive, interactive elements to start popping up across the internet in the form of 360-degree photography and video and interactive 3D web pages.
Web design will continue to evolve, leveraging new and enhanced technologies, browser efficiency, and internet speeds. Design trends continue to keep the user in mind, balancing delivery of content with highly interactive experiences and speed. What design trends are you seeing in 2017? Are you utilizing them on your web properties?
If you want to talk about updating your web design, we’d love to discuss how we can incorporate modern design trends on your site.