It’s that time again for looking back at stuff that happened over the past year and for projecting what will happen in the coming one. We recently looked at 2017 content marketing trends, and now we want to talk about 2017 web design trends.
We’re not even going to mention responsive website design, because as of 2017, that’s well past the trending point. If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly website, you’ve officially been left behind. Google and other search engines are significantly penalizing your site now, and its performance can be expected to decline rapidly from here on until you remedy the situation.
If you’re planning to have a new website designed in the coming year, or to have an existing site redesigned, below are some of the big trends to be aware of. They don’t all apply to every site for every brand in every industry, but keeping up with such things is important to ensure you have a site that looks current and gives users what they expect.
Design to Highlight Content
Content isn’t just copy and it isn’t just there to boost SEO. It’s there because users want to be engaged. They want answers, they want to know how to do things, they want to be entertained, they want inspiration. Content that offers your target market something of value is a huge part of doing business online these days. Web layout and design in 2017 will increasingly showcase great content to emphasize it, encourage social sharing, and build stronger relationships with consumers.
Big, Brief, Creative Headlines
Some content and copy call for elaboration. But short, punchy, clever, attention-grabbing headlines have long been a potent sales and marketing tool. Web designers have moved away from them over the years in favor of getting keywords into headlines for SEO. Currently, though, there’s a shift back, as search engine algorithms evolve and designers return to a focus on the all-important human element. Look for more creative website headlines in the coming year, written in big letters and given plenty of empty space in which to breathe and work their magic on visitors.
Emphasizing Landing Pages Over Home Pages
Home pages are getting simpler and simpler as we roll into 2017. Cutting-edge website Home pages nowadays often have little more than a headline and a powerful image, with some content below the fold for SEO purposes. But landing pages are increasingly important as content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing drive more carefully segmented traffic to the website. Compelling landing pages are now more important in lead generation and sales conversions than Home pages.
More Color, Brighter Colors
A trend toward a toned-down, minimalist look took over in website design in the last few years. But at the end of 2016 and looking ahead into 2017, that appears to be changing. Major brands, digital marketing leaders, innovative startups, and other trendsetters have started rolling out redesigned logos and websites with more and brighter colors. It has to be done tastefully, by people with an eye for it, but color is a powerful way to get attention and even affect your audience’s mood.
Video and Animation
Well-made video and animation easily grabs and holds attention. It’s an engaging way to impart some basic—or even in-depth—information. Web design will increasingly incorporate these visual elements in 2017, even sometimes replacing standard website sections like written About page blurbs. From short introductory animations to longer video content for blogs, developing technology continues to make these formats easier, cheaper, higher quality, and more accessible to everyone.
There’s been a trend to cut down on large top-level navigation menus for a few years now, driven especially by the rising use of mobile devices. Now that mobile has overtaken computer-based searches and website visits, simplicity of navigation is even more crucial. While this doesn’t mean websites will be reduced to just a few pages, they will increasingly offer direct routes to only a few key pages from the main navigation menu. This is driving more thoughtful layouts that are better attuned to the sales funnel—which is of course a good thing.