As we reflect back on the previous twelve months, there’s no denying that the digital marketing landscape has undergone several shifts in trends and best practices over the past year. It almost seems counterintuitive to make predictions about an industry known to popularize one trend while bringing another to extinction literally overnight, but something that will never go out of style is the need for a business website that is simultaneously functional, educational and beautiful. Before you lock in your digital marketing plan for the coming year, keep your business on the pulse of these emerging web design trends to look out for in 2019.
Minimalist Flat Design
As the digital sphere continues to get increasingly intricate in the backend, many businesses are beginning to take the “less is more” approach to websites with a minimalist flat design. Flat design websites are gaining in popularity for three key reasons: they’re easy to read, easy to navigate and easy to load. Rather than focusing on flashy animations and multidimensional graphics, flat design focuses on cutting the clutter by utilizing words, photos and videos with a purpose rather than to fill a space. They are typically also lighter on data, which will cut down on load times and help with your UX and SEO efforts. If you’re looking to integrate minimalist flat design on your website in 2019, prioritize contrasting colors, bold graphics, simple sans serif fonts and clear calls to action throughout your layout.
Graphics are an understood necessity on any business website, both for aesthetic purposes and an SEO boost. While it is easy and convenient to fill your website with stock photography related to your industry, this does little to visually demonstrate the unique culture behind your business. Not only are potential customers visiting your website to learn more about your services, they are also looking to see what makes your business different from your competitors. Custom photography allows website visitors to get a sense for your office space, your employees and your company culture before ever setting foot in your facility. Eliminating this sense of uncertainty through custom photography will help build trust in your brand by showcasing your personality and allowing visitors to see exactly the type of work your business does. If a website overhaul is part of your 2019 resolutions, consider allocating a portion of your annual budget towards one-of-a-kind photography that will capture what makes your business unique.
According to a recent survey, 51% of consumers believe a business should be available 24/7. For most business owners, however, it is neither feasible nor practical to hire an overnight staff to make this 24/7 ideal a reality. With this in mind, business owners should consider making 2019 the year they integrate chatbot technology into their on-page customer service strategy. Chatbots act as your on-call customer service representative to answer your website visitors’ questions, schedule appointments and handle simple customer transactions – even outside normal working hours. Research also suggests chatbots will handle 85% of customer service interactions by 2020, and will be responsible for saving as much as $8 billion nationally by 2022. For our business specifically, integrating chatbot technology on our website in early 2018 was a driving force that helped us quadruple our leads in as little as six months.
Have you ever noticed a spinning circle animation on a loading website? How about a cursor that changes to an up-and-down arrow on pages that are meant to be scrolled through? These don’t show up automatically – they are deliberately made design choices. These small animations are aptly named “microanimations,” and serve as a UX and UI element that provide page visitors with visual feedback and interactivity to guide them through your website. These animations can be as intricate as Google Chrome’s “T-Rex Run!” game that appears when the internet is down (as seen below), or as simple as a link changing color when hovered over by a cursor. With the increasing emphasis on the importance of user experience in website design, anticipate microanimations to become much more common as we head into 2019.
Business videos have come a long way since the days of templated animations and stock footage. An increasing number of businesses are beginning to integrate unique video elements into their website in order to visually share their story, showcase their work, and capture their company culture. The increased availability of programs such as fully customizable animation software and equipment such as drones and 360-degree cameras have made previously budget-breaking video services a feasible reality for businesses of all industries.
Design trends will always come and go, but great copywriting is a timeless and essential component to any successful business website. Effective website copy provides the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in your industry, showcase your business’ unique voice, and communicate value to potential customers. As with all elements in the ever-changing digital sphere, your website’s copy should regularly be monitored to ensure it is up to date. Whether your website is in need of a few tweaks or a total overhaul, the new year provides a timely opportunity to give your business the copywriting update it needs to stand out against your competitors.
From party-focused businesses like Versatile Events to health and wellness websites like Vive Center, effective copywriting utilizes catchy headlines to grab your reader’s attention and encourage them to read further.
New Year, New Trends, New Website
Whether your business’ website is in need of minor changes or a total overhaul, the new year provides the perfect opportunity to appeal to new customers and stay ahead of the competition. Not sure where to start? Chat with our team! Our diverse group of web designers, photographers, videographers and copywriters will provide you with the guidance needed to elevate your business using 2019’s most popular web design trends – plus a few tips and tricks of our own!