Web Design Trends for 2017

In this post, I’m going to show you the latest web design trends for 2017. Website trends continually evolve, right now the flat design is present in websites everywhere but… Can you remember those GIFs that were all over the place in the 90’s?

Web design trends are those that have been settling as the best designs to make the user experience when browsing the best possible, that’s why you need to pick the one that aligns better with your project.

Due to the popularity of responsive web design we see more and more sites adapted to mobile devices to follow the guidelines Google has set for “mobile friendly” websites.

We’re going to review the most popular trends in web design for this year.

 

What web design trends can you find this year?

The problem with responsive web design is that all the websites may look the same in mobile devices. However this is also due to the WordPress boom and the rise of the use of templates.

This has resulted in a bunch of similar designs, although some of them have evolved and we’ve seen some innovation:

 

1454990763_lightThe “Hamburger” menu

The “hamburger” menu is the typical menu in mobile phones, you can tell it apart because of the three horizontal lines. This menu has been criticized because of its poor usability, because not everyone associates that icon with a menu.

However, with the significant rise of mobile navigation this kind of menu has gotten popular and most people can recognize it now.

Its use is getting more and more widespread not only with smartphones in mind, but also in many websites in their “big screen” version, managing to get a minimalistic and clean design.

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1454991079_checklist-1Sign up forms

A sign up form is always a sign up form, and its purpose is as clear as water.

Today’s trend is to make this process easier by letting the user sign up with their social network profile.

This way you get more sign ups because the users won’t be as reluctant to the idea of wasting time filling out fields.

The trend for more complex sign up processes is to make “step” forms where the user is guided through each one of the stages for a more effective sign up process.

 

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1451873851_browser-window“Cards” design with scannable information

The trendsetter for this kind of design was Pinterest and we now we can see this style in more and more sites. In fact we’re seeing a rise in the WordPress templates adopting this kind of design and they manage to make themselves different from the designs we tend to see.

The good thing about these designs is that each “card” displays the information in small pieces that you can easily scan. They isolate information in a very visual way giving us a very appealing and usable overview.

 

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1449807288_imac“Hero” images

The so called “Hero images” are the images we see when we land in many websites that take up pretty much all the screen.

The images in websites are a very powerful resource to attract the attention of users from the first moment.

With a good server and good optimization you shouldn’t have to worry about slow load times.

This resource has been used for many years, but users didn’t seem to scroll down that much in the pages. We are now used to this kind of presentation image, so most users know intuitively that you need to scroll down to see the website’s content.

 

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1449807763_diamondAnimations:

Animations are being used often to highlight content in websites. It’s becoming a popular trend in web design and they are included in most WordPress templates.

They make the user experience more interactive and entertaining. However, you shouldn’t overdo with anymations. We can’t put them everywhere just like that.

Animations in a website can be done in two major ways:

  • “Major” animations: They are used as a way to directly interact with the user, for instance,pop-up notifications or parallax effects.
  • “Minor” animations: They don’t require any action from the user, like animated icons appearing while a site is loading, animated bars or hover effects.

These are some of the most popular animations we see in today’s websites:

Loading animations:

They are a way to keep the user entertained while the page is loading.

They should match the personality and appearance of  your website, they should be simple and shouldn’t include audio.

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Menús:

“Hidden” menus are growing in popularity because they save so much space in the screen. Hamburger menus, which are very common in mobile sites nowadays, trigger different animations to display the menu elements when you click on a particular icon.

You might have heard about off-canvas menu, which is getting more popular in WordPress templates.

Hover:

Hover animations are effects that are triggered when you hover the mouse cursor over some elements, such as buttons in a web site.

Hover effects make navigation more intuitive in a website because they let you know that those elements have a purpose, most of the times a link.

 

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Galleries and slideshows:

Another trend in web design is the galleries in the form of a carousel or slideshow. They are a perfect way to show several images to the user without overdoing a website. They are perfect for portfolios, photography websites and showcasing products.

 

Background with videos or animations:

A simple animated background can give a lot of visibility to a particular part of your website. But it can also be distracting to the user, so use it with moderation.

 

1449798041_targetMicrointeractions:

Microinteractions happen often in our daily life. From liking a picture on Facebook to turning off your alarm clock. They allow the user to interact with an interface and we see them more often than ever in the apps and devices we use.

In this screenshot you can see an example used in a website.

 

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1451874137_medal-2Material Design: The alternative to flat design

Material Design came to life with Google’s goal of creating an operative system with a uniform interface for all of their devices, whether they are tablets, smartphones or web apps.

Material design uses more shadows and depth than flat design, and the goal is to make designs that look more realistic for the users. Material design’s main goal is to design clean and modern web sites focused on user experience (UX).

 

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1454990606_tablet-chartResponsive design

Responsive design has become very popular in the last few years due to the increase of the use of mobile devices. Responsive design quit being a trend and can now be considered a best practice.

Responsive design can be implemented by using premium WordPress templates that allow you to have a simple, optimized and inexpensive mobile site.

However, responsive web design has some flaws and may trigger some bugs. To make sure your responsive design works as intended, web designers should:

  • Avoid using JavaScript and CSS when loading images that add unnecessary weight to a website.
  • Use responsive images and videos.
  • Pay special attention to third party plugins, that may be causing a negative impact in performance.

 

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notepadFlat design is not going to disappear in the short term

Flat design is compatible with other web design trends such as minimalism, responsive design and Material Design. In the future, it’s likely that we see the following trends in Flat design.

  • Long shadows: They give further depth to flat designs.
  • Vivid color combinations: The popularity of many templates and interfaces encourages many to use more vivid colors in their designs.
  • Simple fonts: In Flat design, simple fonts help make sure the text can be read comfortably.
  • Ghost buttons: These are buttons that are displayed with a simple outline, and change when you hover over them. They keep functionality without being distracting.

 

1451873858_articleLong sections with a lot of scroll

Users are getting used to scroll a lot in mobile devices, and for this reason it’s not necessary to worry that much for creating websites with short sections that try to keep all the content in the top of the page at all costs. Pages with a lot of scroll and content are perfect for those who want to appeal their users through storytelling.

 

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monitorDangerous web design trends

The evolution of trends come from the shifting needs of the users, or simply because of a change in the industry. However, we don’t need to implement each and every web design trend in our project.

In web design it’s advised to choose a trend only if it’s going to add value or solve a problem for the user. We shouldn’t implement all the trends just because they look pretty, it will be different for each project.

We are going to see some trends in web design that you should ponder whether implementing or not.

Hamburger menu that hides important content

Hamburger menus look great because they can give a website a clean look. But they are not recommended in online stores, for example, because they may hide important content that could easily be overlooked by users.

Use too much Javascript

Javascript offers interesting features, but it can also make your web site load time slower, causing your visitors to leave the site. You should be careful with some plugins that generate a lot of Javascript and CSS files, hurting the overall performance of your website.

Sliders in the homepage with several images in a carousel

Using a carousel with several images in your website enables you to group information in a very tidy and visual way, but it has a few drawbacks.

Sliders require several high resolution images that are likely to impact in your sites’ loading time. They usually also include Javascript, making them harder to optimize.

Use too many fonts

In web design the best practice is to not use more than 2 fonts, since too many may seem distracting and make the content harder to read.

 

Conclusion about web design trends

You don’t have to follow the web design trends just because they are popular at a given time. In web design, what becomes or quits being a trend is tied with what’s best for the users, with the user experience (UX).

Do you think there are more new trends to come? If you do, share your opinion in the comments section below.

 

Web Design Trends for 2017
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Álvaro Peña Costilla

Álvaro Peña Costilla

Dedicado al Marketing Online y al diseño web en Tooeasy. Me gusta todo lo relacionado con las nuevas tecnologías, el diseño gráfico, el branding y la fotografía.