Seeing as we’re just a touch over 17% of the way through the year, what better time to look at web design trends in the year ‘17! But, considering how fluid of a space the web can be, properly and definitively identifying “trends” can be a fool’s errand. So rather than claim we’re omniscient here at EM, we took the pulse of our very best designers to see what design crazes they’re cozying up to. And seeing as we’re not claiming to be exhaustive (how can one be?), please feel free to share your favorite design elements and trends in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!
Stock Photography is Sinking
Nicole Hanusek, who in addition to being a spectacular web designer & developer is also a skilled photography, knows that stock photos can be spotted a mile away, and it’s not a good look. Real, authentic photographs are becoming more and more important. So much so that one of our clients, GoDaddy, has hired a full time photographer to go around and take actual photos and direct all photo resources within the company.
Cinemagraphs are Scintillating
Speaking of fresh photography, Heather Chan has noticed that Cinemagraphs are having a cultural moment. If you’re not familiar with this relatively new technique, a cinemagraph take a still photograph and adds minor, repetitive movements to a select portion of the photograph. Created by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck in 2011, this technique lives in the the world between a static photo and a video, doing so with much more elegance than a standard gif. It’s a beautiful and visually arresting way to draw one’s attention.
I mean bacon always makes me stop in my tracks, but it’s pretty obvious which presentation of bacon here will make my mouth water most.
Copywriting, Light on Copy
In a world that seems to have ever dwindling attention spans, crafting sites that are heavy on copy is at best counterproductive, and at worst detrimental. And as much as it can negatively impact a user’s engagement (and a site’s conversion rate), it can also impede design. Luckily for designers like Jessie Therriault, copy trends are moving towards being both more concise and spirited, providing more and more visual flexibility. Jessie is excited to finally see in action what designers have always been clamoring for: less copy, less copy.
Bolder, Brighter, Vibrant-er
With increased design flexibility comes the opportunity to be a bit daring. A number of our designers are embracing the chance with moves towards bolder typography, brighter colors, and vibrant duotones (using two, often bright and contrasting, colors in an image). Certainly elements might be pared down, but that’s no reason to think they need to stand out any less. In fact, just the opposite is true. The more a website’s design pops, the more alluring and attractive it can be to the user, and adding design embellishments in precise ways can help a user properly navigate a page’s content, ultimately improving engagement and conversion.
Overall, this looks to be a year when our designers are excited to build beautiful websites that maximize all the elements they need, while leaving aside anything they don’t. It’s all in service of distilling a website down to its core messaging and making it sing. 2017 will be a warm embrace of Bold Minimalism.
What design trends are you most excited about for 2017?