2019 Website Essentials
Top 10 Website Essentials in 2019
Published: Wednesday 8th May 2019
How much time is enough to make an impression with your audience? Online, you’ve got less than three seconds.
As Humans we’re impatient. If the internet is really an alien conspiracy observing human nature, studies would show that we don’t like to be kept waiting. In studies done by Akamai and Gomez.com, 50% of users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, any longer than three seconds they’re gone.
Sites can be beautiful. But, they can also be extremely data-heavy. If you’re using lots of high-res imagery and fancy transitions this could be contributing to your revenue as it’s impacting the speed of your site, meaning users aren’t sticking around. Worse still, with the Google Speed Update that went into effect from July 2018, Google now prioritises rankings for sites that load faster.
Websites need to load faster and web design needs to prioritise this. Web designers can’t simply rely on the developer to turn their work into something that will both look good and rank well — speed needs to be a design parameter.
Micro-interactions are events with one purpose: to surprise the user and create an event both inviting and human. Every time you take a small action on a website or app and there is a specific response to it, a micro-interaction. When you refresh a Twitter page and hear a beep, again it’s a micro-interaction. Or when you check Facebook, the red icon displaying your message count is — you guessed it — a micro-interaction.
These have been the most common uses of them, but in 2019, web pages will heavily feature their more interactive incarnations. Hover and scrolling animations, chimes, and much more. All in all, it is engaging to your audience and subtly transmits information to users along with making web pages feel a little smarter.
3. Bright and Vibrant Colours
For a while, soft tones and monotone had taken over design. However, it seems like this trend is fading away.
This year, users will be craving high contrast and vibrant colours.
Take a look at the latest collections in fashion design: bright neons, metallics and angular shapes have made a comeback.
Now more than ever, companies are using bold bright colours to better represent the company brand.
4. Never Enough Video
You don’t need an explainer video to tell you that video content for the web is new. Video not only diversifies the page but caters to an on-the-go audience who don’t have the time to scan through a lot of text.
What is new though is the move Google has made toward mixed search page results, featuring video content above standard web pages. This has led websites prioritising video production in order to make themselves easily searchable and offer content in the most efficient, engaging and shareable way.
5. Chatbots Are Evolving
Chatbots have been up-and-coming for a while now but will finally move into the spotlight in 2019. Advancements in AI and machine learning are making them more intelligent than ever.
Chatbots will be showing up more and more on web pages with higher levels of customisation than we’ve seen in the past. Bright colours will make them not only more prominent on the page but more inviting.
6. Flat Design
In 2017, designers and developers began creating clean and simple websites for better mobile performance. Since then, the number of mobile searches has gone ever-upward, and mobile-first design for websites is now a necessity, not just an option. Image-heavy websites load slowly and frustrate mobile users, as we mentioned.
Clean, minimalist, or flat designs, are characterised by loading quickly and are currently desirable for two reasons. First, both mobile users and desktop browsers can experience quick-loading websites. Secondly, they can hold high SEO value. Flat design helps a site fulfil a lot of the speed requirements that search engines require.
However, it doesn’t mean that everything is reduced down to two dimensions — it’s all about minimalism and usability. It’s an aesthetic design that removes clutter and focuses on the important parts of your website. Utilising bright colours, clean crisp edges, and lots of open space, flat design is a refreshing change from distracting designs.
7. Mobile First
Speed isn’t the only ruler our friends at Google measure websites by. In 2015, mobile searchers overtook desktop searches overall, making mobile search the highest search form worldwide. Due to this, Google’s adapted they now index mobile sites first.
With mobile sites taking priority away from desktop sites, it’s no wonder that mobile first design has become a trend. Mobile first web design changes the way websites are designed, no longer is it designed for desktop and made mobile responsive. Mobile first design is the exact opposite. It starts with designing the site for the mobile user first then considers what will also work for a desktop user.
It’s not just SEO it helps. It improves the overall user experience of sites, it’ll be an enjoyable experience for your audience to browse your site. This design trend is meeting the demand that mobile users are requiring and definitely won’t just be a trend.
8. Thumb-friendly Navigation
We now understand mobile browsing has firmly overtaken desktop, so the design needs to be ‘thumb-friendly’. An important study in this area by Josh Clark in his book Designing for Touch investigated how users hold their mobile phones and how their movements, particularly those of the thumb, should be processed in web design. More and more now, users will benefit from navigation tailored to the thumb, such as the hamburger menu moved to the bottom of mobile screens.
9. Big Bold Typography
Typography is more than just being readable and appealing.
Effective typography has two purposes:
a) To create an appropriate environment and enable users to trust the site.
b) To make sure visitors understand the message the site conveys and are interested in the services or information offered.
Since the text is the most efficient instrument to communicate with visitors precisely and directly, the power of typography shouldn’t be underestimated. Typography has forever been a comprehensive visual tool, ready to generate the character, elicit emotion and echo a tone while distributing crucial information.
With device resolutions becoming sharper and more accessible to browse, expect a substantial rise in using pattern of fonts. Apart from Internet Explorer, most browsers may encourage hand-made typefaces which can be empowered by CSS for web browsers.
In the era of big letters, contrasting sans serif and serif headings support make lively contrasts. For web pages, headers will contribute to search engine optimisation and assist in capturing the attention of users.
Designers can enjoy the benefit with web pages comprising impactful and substantial headers created from typefaces.
10. Authentic Tones and Textures
Consumers want to stand behind authentic brands. Period.
In a 2017 Study: “86 percent of consumers said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support”.
Although this isn’t a new trend, its pervasiveness in web design is definitely increasing. Incorporating this trend into your designs might be easier than you think.
Here are a few tips:
Use images of real lifestyle occurrences, natural textures, and colours that we find in our everyday lives.
Use the flat-lay technique to help visitors see things through your perspective.
Take your own photographs - avoid generic stock images.
Does your website include all of these?
Times are evolving and it’s important to not get left behind. It could be time to step up your brand's website game. To make it easy for you to decide if that is the case, we’ve created a free downloadable guide.
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