5 Web Design Trends to Keep Your Eye on in 2020

The main task at hand for web designers is to create a website layout that is both functional for users and aesthetically pleasing. Each year, a slew of new web design trends elements flood the internet, leading to flashy new websites that are even better than their predecessors. As we make our way into 2020, we know this year will be no different. It’s important for us to stay on the frontlines of innovation when designing beautiful websites for clients. These are some of the trends we see changing the world of web design in the coming year.

Simplified, Minimalistic Navigation

Minimalistic navigation has been gaining popularity in recent years because it frees up site real estate and makes it easier for users to find what they need instead of being overwhelmed with tons of links. This is something brands are going to want to capitalize in 2020 because this greatly improves the user experience. 

As technology has advanced, our attention spans have shrunk and when people are served too many links they just don’t click on them. Many times users will end up searching on Google to land on the page they’re looking for most of the time if the navigation is too confusing. A rule of thumb that we live by is that a site’s navigation should have no more than 5-7 primary links to get users on the page they’re looking for.

“To simplify the user experience, the designers are moving towards one unified menu that works on both mobile and desktop. This provides a more seamless experience and trains people to use the smaller hamburger menu, rather than creating two different, disjointed experiences.” 

Gedy Leon, Senior Web Designer at Cape & Bay

Traditionally, mobile and desktop versions of a website featured two completely separate navigations, but building on the subject of minimalistic navigation, this just isn’t so anymore. Using a single menu that works for both platforms ensures that no matter what device your customers are on, they’ll find what they are seeking. A crucial part of figuring out what to include is to think like a user, and account for every person’s unique needs.

Bold Color Schemes that Tell a Story

What’s not going to be so minimalist in 2020 is color schemes. In previous years web design has been about making design as simplistic as possible, using lots of neutral colors with small pops of color here and there. 

 “ Web design is moving towards more color because it helps brands stand out amongst the noise.” 

When you think about how many websites and competitors there are for a single product, it’s mind-boggling. Everyone is fighting to be seen, and bold colors create a more memorable experience.

Captivating Videos in Hero Headers

Another trend to look out for this year is the use of video in homepage hero headers. When a user lands on your site, you have 5 seconds to captivate their attention. Videos can convey your brand message in a dynamic way, taking the place of long walls of copy.

However, not every video is right for enhancing the user experience. Here are some best practices for using videos in the hero header:

  • Provoke interest and communicate it concisely, this is your chance to show users who your brand really is and what’s important to your company
  • Avoid play buttons, videos should autoplay when a user lands on your site
  • Keep it simple, your video should feature small amounts of movement using a dim background
  • Never include sound, the imagery should speak for itself
  • Always, and we mean always, feature a CTA or button over the video to encourage conversions

Even if it can’t be in the hero header of your website, remember that video can be a great tool to use on other pages of your site.

Increased Accessibility with Dark Mode and Text Sizing

Accessibility is incredibly important in web design, ensuring users don’t feel alienated by your website. Recently we’ve seen popular platforms like Twitter and Instagram roll out dark mode, which reduces strain on the eyes after staring at a computer screen for long periods of time. This is a gamechanger for web design, and something we’ll be watching in the coming years. For pages with a lot of copy, like blog posts or white papers, giving users the option to turn dark mode on can improve time on site.

When it comes to text sizes in 2020, bigger is better. Large font sizing is not only aesthetically pleasing but easier on the eyes, especially since screen sizes have grown so rapidly over the last decade. The standard to live by is that 16 or 18 pixels should be the absolute smallest size used on a website. But when in doubt, give the power to the people. If you’re concerned about finding the right text size for users, give them the option to choose.

Optimized Forms for Greater Conversions

Forms that are optimized for conversions always have been, and always will be essential for websites. What hasn’t stayed the same, however, is how “optimized” is defined. In 2020, businesses will be focused on keeping traditional forms short, and only getting the information that’s most important. 

“Ask people for exactly the information you want to know. Limit your questions to just contact information when possible, so you don’t scare potential customers away.” 

Multi-step forms are a less traditional option but offer a great way to capture important info from customers. These step-by-step forms go from one question to the next in steps to avoid overwhelming users. And, if someone stops in the middle, you’ll hopefully have enough information to reach out or take the next steps.

A website should never be designed to simply check the boxes. Great sites need to put a heavy emphasis on user-experience, with branding and design that helps you break through the noise of competitors. At Cape & Bay, we’re here to help you do just that. Our team of web designers take the latest trends and industry best practices and turn them into stunning websites that are built to perform.

Ready to get your website on the cutting-edge this 2020? Let’s chat.

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