As 2016 draws to a close, we naturally look forward and ask about what’s to be expected in the new year.
Brand designers don’t simply follow random trends that crop up. What they do is follow and meet the needs of consumers and develop the trends we view as fresh and exciting. Anyone can create a web design trend; however, it takes brand designers who are in the trenches, monitoring engagement, to know what has the best chance of appealing to niche audiences.
2017 Web Design Trends in the Forecast
No one, not even the most perceptive brand designers, can predict exactly what will stick when it comes to web design; however, I have looked at what worked in 2016, what consumers are hungry for in the coming year, and made a list of what I think will surge in the next 12 months.
What will work for your brand? You’re the best judge of that. Know your audience. Know what they’re hoping to get from a visit to your website and make only those changes that you think will further engage your audience and benefit your brand.
Here are just a few of the things I think will be hot in 2017:
- Focus on pivotal statements: I believe that the days of cramming as much as possible above the fold are gone. Small print and verbose language are out. Succinct statements in fonts and sizes that support brand design are in. White space (even when coloured) will be abundant, giving attention to those statements.
- Direction of the eye to content: “Content is king.” We’ve been hearing it for years; and yet, websites repeatedly publish content that hides in the shadow of web design elements…focussing on visual design, rather than on the information and entertainment their visitors want. Let’s be real: no one is visiting your website to look at the pretty pictures (unless you’re a photographer), so give them what they really want.
- Constraints will make responsive web design easier: New technologies are emerging that will eliminate the need for designers to create a different layout for every screen. Instead of focussing on the fitting of all features into a limited (or expansive) space, it centres on the spatial relationship among elements.
- Departure from template-like web design: For too many years, it has been believed that websites are “unique” if their colours and fonts are branded…even if those elements were contained within the same old box design that so many shared. Now, designers are moving toward more overlapping, sliding and animated designs—all of which are spectacular tools for inspiring uniqueness, as long as they add to (rather than interfere with) user experience.
- Web design that supports brand design: I have been saying it for most of my career, and I think it’s finally beginning to catch on. Brand design isn’t about your favourite colour. It’s not about colours that look good together. And it’s certainly not about pretty fonts and random shapes. The very best websites bear brand design that screams the values and mission of the brand…even if on a subconscious level. I think there’s going to be a massive movement toward this understanding in 2017—with web designers demanding more information about brand promises, values and vision from business owners, and brand designers and developers working together to create a complete branded experience.
- A focus on saturated colour: Because 2017 is bound to be focussed on minimalist statements, web designers may feel limited in their ability to express brand design. That’s where colour comes in. Bold hues, blending and shading are all design elements that I predict will surge.
- An increase in the use of vectors: Most of us know the pain of choosing image sizes that will look good on every device. Because vectors, or SVGs (Scalable Vector Graphics), are not pixel-based, scaling is much simpler and you’ll never have to wonder if your ideal customer is looking at a poor image on his phone or monitor.
2017 will the year when web design moves closer to an understanding of every brand’s unique audience, and designs according to needs rather than according to trends. I suppose that means that these trends really aren’t trends at all…but rather, a departure from trends and a movement toward what the best brand designers have been wanting all along:
Web Design that Serves
What’s in store for your website in 2017? Is it in need of an overhaul? Of a few tweaks? Or are you just beginning to think about creating a website for your brand?
No matter your stage, there is a massive amount of information available to you as you begin this journey toward increased traffic, brand awareness and more. Visit the How to Build a Brand website to discover all the resources available to you.