Web design trends to improve web experience

Believe it or not, now is time to polish up your website for the new year (and beyond).

As always, it is important to do all you can to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Making sure your website ticks all of the boxes for SEO is crucial. However, have you put much thought into your web design?

Just like fashion, various elements of web design come in and go out of style. It is important to improve how your site appears, but also the user-friendliness as well.

Here are some top design and functionality trends that you need to know about, so your site is at its best for 2020 and beyond.


Design Trends

2020 is going to be full of visual delights that promote emotional connections and conversions. It is interesting to note that much of what worked well for personal computers will be reimagined or removed in order to maximise site performance on mobile devices. The popularity of smartwatches is also driving some fresh trends in web design.

Here are five top design trends for 2020 that will take your website from OK to outstanding.


1. White Space

For a number of years, the full-bleed layout has been the norm for most websites. In 2020, designers are making the most of the featured images by using white (or other solid colours) to make a frame-effect. This strategy gives a clean and polished look while making the colours and image inside the space more noticeable.

A good example of whitespace used well in web design

A good example of whitespace used well in web design (e.g. https://www.apple.com/macbook-air/)


2. Layouts Featuring Asymmetrical Elements

The typical website build is an orderly grid. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with order and precision.

However, if you are willing to try standing out from the pack, adding some distinctive asymmetric touches to your page has a huge impact and is a true cutting-edge trend.

A word of caution; even though the nature of the idea seems to promote disorder, it is very important to take a balanced and judicious approach if you are adding asymmetrical elements. Overdoing it with this trend can create chaos.

Adding some distinctive asymmetric touches can help your website stand out

Adding some distinctive asymmetric touches can help your website stand out (e.g. http://www.worldchampionamsterdam.nl/)


3. Imperfect Elements That Impress

A hot trend appearing for 2020 is the use of images that look like imperfections but are intentional. Some particularly engaging examples include:

  • Icons that are hand-drawn or appear to be hand-drawn
  • Scribbles or squiggles that give the impression the artist made a mistake
  • Typography that appears uneven or in a mixed font

The premise of using this sort of element is to break away from the polished and perfect look that dominated the past decade. A touch of whimsy adds to the humanity of the page, and imperfections provide a sense of your personality to the viewer.

Imperfect web elements are often used to break away from the polished and perfect look

Imperfect web elements are often used to break away from the polished and perfect look (e.g. https://www.brandalmanac.com/magic/)


4. Animation

While a video is attention-grabbing, it also slows load time and risks raising the ire of your site visitors. Animation can accomplish similar, if not superior results (without sabotaging your site’s speed).

Consider placing animation as a mouseover effect or use it to transition between pages. Customised animations are worth your time; these additions can demonstrate elements of your company faster and more effectively than a wall of text.

Clever animation can capture the user's attention

Clever animation can capture the user’s attention (e.g. https://www.wealthsimple.com/en-us/)


5. Shadows and Layering

Adding graphic layers and shadows to your web design is an excellent way to add interest and personality to your site without overwhelming your customer with special effects.

Carefully placed, these elements add depth and dimension to the screen, creating a floating or subtle 3-dimensional effect. This draws your customer in as opposed to simply presenting a flat image.

Shadows and layers add an unique personality to a website

Shadows and layers add an unique personality to a website (e.g. https://onomeals.zeusjones.com/made-for-you/)


Functionality Trends

Maintaining a website that allows your visitors to move effortlessly from one page or task to another is critical.

Slow loading webpages that do not deliver promised actions or information are a fast and certain way to turn away potential customers. As we approach 2020, make sure your site attracts visitors with these five tips:


1. Voice Capable Interfaces

The popularity of voice search and interaction is undeniable and will continue to grow as artificial learning becomes even more advanced.

Voice is one of the most important functions you can build into your website. Statistics tell us that this is not only a trend, but voice commerce is a part of the future of business.

  • Voice commerce will reach 40 billion in sales by 2022. That is a jump from the present amount of 2 billion in sales today
  • A total of 55 per cent of households will own smart speaker devices by 2022
  • In a survey by PWC, voice assistants prevailed as easier, more convenient, and faster than looking up information online, texting a query, or speaking to a human

Many mainstream businesses are slow to add voice commerce to their websites. By moving on this trend in 2020, you can position yourself ahead of the pack.


2. Chatbots

When visitors to your website need help or additional information, a chatbot is often the preferred way to interact. By providing instant answers, remembering preferences, and collecting feedback, chatbots constitute a win for you and your customer. Embracing this trend now will save you time in the future, as chatbots are here to stay.


3. Augmented Reality

While this is not a brand-new concept, augmented reality (also called AR) is gaining considerable traction is the virtual marketplace. A time is coming where AR will not be a fun add on, but a necessity for many businesses, possibly yours.

Augmented reality marketing will explode in 2020

Augmented reality marketing will explode in 2020


This is especially true for retailers in the fashion and beauty industry, but it applies across the board. Consumers want an experience when they visit websites. Whether it is trying on shoes virtually or becoming immersed in a demonstration of a product or service, AR will help engage your customer.


4. Process Spectrums

It is easy to feel trapped when trying to complete a task online. By adding a process spectrum to your website, customers will know, at a glance, how many steps they completed and how many are remaining before the task is complete.

This is especially helpful in the checkout process. Knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel is often enough to keep a customer on your site, avoid the abandoned cart, and make the sale.


5. Responsive Design

Businesses must revamp the idea of responsive design for 2020. While it is still crucial for your website to be fast, easy to use, and interactive, mobile responsiveness will become a key factor in your SEO strategy.

Google announced that mobile-first indexing is the default for all new web domains. Plan on streamlining your website, so it works quickly on mobile. This may involve reworking pages or removing any filler content that could slow the customer’s experience.


Is Your Website Ready to Conquer the Competition in 2020?

If you cannot answer with a resounding, yes, consider employing these suggestions. If you have no time or desire to up your site’s look and performance, consider employing a professional web designer.