There’s always something new to learn in web development and design.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to discuss the top web design trends. The most prominent shift we’ve seen in the last year – according to a StatCounter Global Stats survey – is that mobile and tablet traffic has surpassed the internet usage performed via desktop.
This has subsequently meant a significant shift in best practices for the web design and development industry. Each of the trends we’ve highlighted below has come about – in some way or another – because of this change.
Take a look below to find out the top five trends we believe will affect web development in 2018.
Truly Mobile-First Web Design
Designing with mobile devices in mind is nothing new; in fact, it’s been on most web designers radars for some years now.
But, many professionals have now shifted from designing desktop sites that look good on small screens to designing for mobiles first and desktops second. It’s now best practice to design mobile-first and desktop second.
Failing to think about mobile devices can have critical consequences for your business. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, then you’ll see your bounce rate skyrocket as users leave your website within just a few seconds.
You’ll also be limiting sales of your products and services by cutting off a large section of the market.
Designing your website with a mobile-first outlook has many benefits – the most significant advantage is that you’re giving a great user experience to your visitors.
People will be able to easily find what they’re looking for, whether that’s making a purchase form your e-commerce store or quickly sending you an email.
Progressive Web Apps for Great User Engagement
Progressive web apps appeared on the web development scene in 2015, and they’ve been slowly gaining momentum ever since.
Progressive web apps, or PWAs, are cemented into the Android ecosystem, but Apple has only recently added this functionality to their operating system. The latest iOS 11.3 update enables PWAs to work on Apple devices.
But what is a progressive web app, I hear you ask? A PWA is an app delivered through the web; it takes advantage of modern internet technology to provide an app-like experience to visitors. PWAs are fast, secure and they are a genuinely mobile-first technology.
The differences between native apps and PWAs are that web-apps run right in the browser, they can work offline, and they can also be installed like a regular app.
There are many benefits of using PWA for your business. First of all, they’re not listed in app stores, so you don’t need to jump through hoops set by apple or android for consumers to be able to access your web-app.
The incredible user experience of progressive web apps significantly improves user engagement and conversions. There are many high-profile companies utilizing PWAs such as Twitter, Tinder, Flipkart and The Washington Post.
Businesses across sectors are proving the efficiency of PWA technology – Flipkart tripled time-on-site with their Progressive Web App, and The Washington Post saw user engagement increase fivefold after launching a PWA version of their website.
We believe PWAs are going to be a massive trend in 2018 and beyond.
Simple Web Development with Page Builders
There’s a new tool in web development making life easier for entrepreneurs who don’t have web design skills or technical know-how – Page Builders.
Page builders have been revolutionary in the web-building space. They are plugins or platforms which allow people with very little technical knowledge to design and develop web pages. All you have to do is drag and drop elements in place, and voila, you have a beautiful website.
Several great products on the market will help you design attractive website pages. You’ll find some free, freemium and premium options available on the market including Beaver Builder, Elementor and Thrive Architect.
There are also page builder platforms like Squarespace, Format, and Wix which are leading the way with simple, user-friendly web development tools.
WordPress CMS is in danger of falling behind, even though there are page builders available for WordPress they’re not directly affiliated with WordPress. New web owners don’t know about these plugins, so they’re choosing to build on other platforms like Squarespace.
To combat these WordPress developers have been working on their page builder called Gutenberg. You can even try it out for yourself with a live demo site.
WordPress is likely to integrate Gutenberg into their CMS Editor soon, meaning web development will become easier than ever. We predict that the other CMS platforms will follow suit.
Flat Web Design for a Fast Loading Website
To optimize for mobiles, Web Designers and Developers are now creating clean and simple websites alongside responsive design.
This trend is known as ‘Flat Design’ and gives websites the advantage of better mobile performance.
Web development is shifting to suit internet users needs, and websites that work amazingly on mobile devices are a top priority.
Traditional image-heavy websites are slow to load over 4G connections and can frustrate mobile users. In contrast, sites which use flat design load quickly because their clean and minimalist style requires fewer data.
As well as pleasing mobile web users, fast load times also help your website rank highly in Google search results. A simple, usable site will also be easy for users to navigate making them more likely to stick around on your website for longer.
Flat design is all about minimizing distractions and encouraging visitors to focus on the most critical parts of your website.
Stay on trend in web development in 2018 by using bright colors, clean lines and lots of white space – create a flat design which is data-light, fast-loading and eye-catching.
One Page Websites for Simplicity
The last web design and development trend on our list are one-page websites. They’re exactly what they sound like, a website which only has one page.
One-page designs work particularly well for viewing on mobile devices as users don’t need to navigate away from the homepage, they only need to scroll for information. This makes them an excellent option for blogs, e-commerce, and small projects.
However, If you’re part of a big organization which needs to present more information on your website, there are still lessons to be learned from one-page web design.
The power of the one-pager is simplicity. With only a single page to convey all their information, it’s crucial that companies using one-page design hone their message. Clear and concise copy and design is a tried and tested a way to engage visitors.
This user-friendly style of the website, paired with great design, can increase conversion. Better yet, costs for design, development and even hosting, are reduced in comparison to multi-paged designs.
There you have it! Our top five web development trends to implement this year and future-proof your website.