Are you (and your website) ready for 2019?
We’ve compiled a list of the biggest website trends to help you amp up your online “wow” factor. Whether you’ve been in business a while or are just setting out, your website design and performance can influence potential and return clients in a significant way.
Small shifts to a trusted site can bring in new clientele and communicate that you’re still on top of your game. If you’re building a new site, incorporating these trends will ensure your site looks modern a little longer than the competition.
Micro-animations or micro-interactions will continue to be a major trend for 2019. A micro-animation is a small effect on a website that is inviting and ties into the user experience. We created a custom a micro-animation for this web page and below is a snippet of the animation. As a visitor scrolls down the web page, animated lines connect the pieces of the diagram. The animation reinforces the user’s behavior of scrolling and the design connects with the company’s branding & messaging.
Before adding movement to a web page, always ask what purpose it serves and if it connects with your messaging. Remember that the power of micro-animations is that they are micro. Having tons of movement and animation on a web page will create an annoying user experience and could drive away visitors.
Responsive web design and mobile-first design have been a trend for several years now. Mobile-first means that you consider every aspect of the website from a mobile perspective. The result has been simple, clean layouts and less text on pages.
This year, we’re seeing the next stage of this with a movement toward minimal designs. You can see an example of this below from the new web design for TickZapper. Minimal and clean websites are successful from a user experience standpoint because the goal of every web visitor is to find what they are looking for quickly on a site. A minimal layout makes this task easier because there is less distraction and clutter to navigate.
People are so used to scrolling on mobile devices that the same behavior & expectation has transferred to the desktop interface. Because of this, website owners and designers can space content out more and utilize white space in designs.
Illustrations over Icons
This is one of the most noticeable design trends of 2019. Illustrations are now being used more instead of icons in web designs, as you can see in the example below. Icons have been around for many years and can start to look generic if they aren’t paired well with strong design elements and messaging.
More businesses are investing in custom illustrations to highlight a specific service or web page. However, illustrations can be a much more labor-intensive and expensive design option. Because of this, you’ll see icons still utilized in designs while illustrations are reserved for the most important aspect of a website.
Web accessibility should have always been front of mind for site owners, but this year we’re seeing a renewed focus on it. This is partly due to recent lawsuits filed against large businesses for failing to provide an accessible website.
Although the legal rulings on web accessibility are mixed, all businesses benefit from following these best practices.
A big consideration for accessibility is the color contrast in your web design. Some people can’t read text if there is not sufficient contrast between the text and background color. Your web designer should make sure any foreground text has sufficient contrast from the background colors.
In the example below, the blue and white form does not have sufficient contrast between the colors for the button and form labels. For accessibility, you should also avoid having text in the form field itself since some users may need more time to type an answer & forget what info is needed in a field.
The green form below is an example of best practices for accessibility:
PHP 7.2 for Performance
PHP is the most popular server-side programming language and approximately 8 out of 10 websites are built on it.
This is a big focus in the web development community because PHP version 5.6 will no longer be supported by PHP developers, as of December 31st, 2018. This means any site that is still running 5.6 will start to experience performance and security issues.
The PHP update process requires a few hoops to jump through, but you’ll want to do this sooner than later and take advantage of the performance benefits of PHP 7.2 Benchmarks & testing show significant performance improvements for sites that move to PHP 7.2.
There you have it: 2019’s new ingredients for a trending, secure, and high-performance site. If you haven’t updated your website design in a while, this is a great time to jump back in, freshen up your look, and hit your stride with the best-looking website on the block. However, remember that design is just one piece of the puzzle. Remember it’s about effective communication with potential clients, taking pride in your work, and standing out amongst the crowd.