Website design has certainly changed throughout the last few decades. We’ve gone from simple, basic sites with an abundance of information and minimal graphics to sites that offer just enough text to keep visitors interested, clever images, and new and enticing ways to interact in real time.

These changes in design have been essential for companies that largely rely on their websites to grow their businesses. With millions of sites online at any given time, businesses need to be sure they can attract customers or clients and keep them, and providing an easy-to-navigate, well-built, interesting website is key.

Think about your own browsing habits. What makes you more likely to stay and explore a particular website? While the information is important, it’s likely a clever design that entices you to hang on a little longer and see what this business or individual offers. That’s why design trends are constantly changing and getting better and more stimulating!

As we head into a new year, we’ve seen a number of trends in website design emerge as we create new or revamped sites for our clients. Here’s a list of some of our favorites – designs that we think will certainly help our clients continue to thrive online.

  • Minimalism – The old adage of “less is more” seems to be catching on in web design. Research has shown that many users can be turned off by flashy graphics and too many words. As such, designers are turning to creations that make it easy to find simple information and take care of actions such as booking appointments quickly and easily without distraction. Minimalism is ideal for doctors/dentists, salons, mechanics, and other service businesses where visitors head to websites to grab basic info and make an appointment.
  • The use of non-traditional scrolling – Who’d have thought something as simple as scrolling horizontally rather than vertically could add a whole new dimension to browsing a website? While it might cause some confusion at first, it’s liker that users will find this new option fun and interesting. (It doesn’t take much to excite us these days!) Seriously, though, horizontal scrolling brings a uniqueness to your site and seems to offer a better flow. Like walking, it makes sense to move in that direction. Combine this with some animated text and excellent images for a great look!
  • Dark Mode – We bet you’ve tried dark mode on your phone. Some like it, some don’t. But it’s definitely a 2021 design trend in website building that’s here to stay. There are a few advantages to going in this direction. The first is quite obvious. Staring at a screen in dark mode certainly reduces eye strain and can help avoid over-stimulation that causes things like migraines. Secondly, it looks cool! Since stark white backgrounds have been the go-to for so long, using a dark mode motif looks ultra-trendy and up-to-date. For something extra cool, ask your web designer about putting a toggle switch on each page, which allows users to switch from light to dark!
  • Neumorphism – No, this isn’t some sort of dreaded disease you may have inherited from your family tree! Neumorphism is the act of turning flat icons/objects into realistic 3D objects and it’s a design element that seems to really intrigue visitors to your site. Part of the minimalist realism approach to web design, it gives viewers the idea of a more tactile experience and allows the user a more solid connection with the design in which he is interacting. This can be great for companies introducing a new product or updating an old one.
  • Questionnaires during onboarding – When a website visitor gets to a landing page, companies have minutes – or seconds – to do something that makes them stay. This is called onboarding and is the time when it’s important to somehow entice the visitor so that they search further. One design idea that has proven advantageous in getting them to hang around longer is to present them with a thoughtful and captivating questionnaire at the very beginning of their visit rather than just bombarding your web audiences with product info and “about us” pages. These questionnaires ask non-threatening multiple-choice questions that focus on the visitor’s likes and dislikes, so that they wind up seeing products or services more closely related to their needs. This is just one design among many that have made sites more interactive.
  • Use of illustrations – Are you tired of using stock photos of perfect strangers on your website? They can be quite boring and mundane. And – even worse – you might find the same photo on someone else’s site for a product or service in no way related to yours. Instead, web designers are beginning to turn to hand-drawn, from-scratch illustrations, which add uniqueness to your pages. In addition, these illustrations will be directly related to what you do or sell rather than generic. It makes everything more personal and is an ideal design idea for small businesses.

We have a lot more ideas where these came from…our always-thinking, creative brains! Are you hoping for an exciting, up-to-date look for your new or existing website? The designers at Watershed9 can help you by employing some of these trends as well as others we’ve got up our proverbial sleeves. For more information and a no-obligation consultation, call us at 604-337-1449.