It’s a no-brainer.
You want to make more sales, generate a greater following, and produce the highest click-through rates.
You’re not alone. So do we!
The question is, how do you achieve these goals?
Here’s a look the top web design trends we feel are on the rise and will contribute to a higher conversion rate.
6 Web Design Trends For 2016
#1 Video Marketing Will Dominate
Web design is moving at breakneck speed to embrace video. By 2019, experts predict that nearly 80% of all internet traffic will be to videos.
Here’s what you should be thinking about today:
- Gather video testimonials
Testimonials are genius. They not only provide the user with the experience of another customer who purchased your product or service, but these word-of-mouth recommendations instill trust in prospects.
- Use videos on your home and product pages
You can make a compelling statement in seconds if you prominently feature a video on your website. A hot trend in web design involves including video on home pages and product pages, too. The videos help your audience to immediately connect with your brand by engaging their visual sense.
Below is a sample of the Invision home page [11 sec].
- Include video biographies
It’s common to see “Meet Our Team” photos with a brief description of each team member on About Us pages. Take this to the next level and introduce yourself via a brief video. Then, add the video transcription to the website to improve rankings.
Take advantage of the video content to point users to specific website elements. Engage the audience and give them cues like “Click on the Tweet button below and say Hello.” Your users will not only be engaged, but delighted by your smooth and friendly approach.
Pro Tip: To minimize video loading on websites, try placing a button on top of a static video to encourage your users to watch it. This will decrease the time it takes for the website to load, and also help users who choose to watch the video be patient as it loads.
#2 It’s All About the User Experience
If you take away one thing from this article, let it be that your website is about the user — not you.
If the user cannot easily navigate through your website, you’ve let the user (and your client) down. The website’s design has failed.
Keep in mind the user experience has to be the same across channels — whether a visitor accesses your site via a website, mobile phone or tablet. The user wants to have a similar experience across all platforms because it’s familiar and comfortable.
Here’s how to improve your website’s user experience:
- Ensure a fast-loading website. Even a two-second delay in load time results in abandonment rates of up to 87%.
- Create easy-to-use navigation. The ease of use will directly affect conversion rates.
- Use pop-ups. In moderation, pop-ups effectively capture the user’s attention and improve conversions.
- Use attractive calls-to-action. Hubspot provides an excellent roundup of call-to-action examples you can’t help but click on.
#3 Navigation That Works
Use the hamburger menu
The hamburger menu continues to rise as a top design trend. But does it really help with conversions when only 52% of users over the age of 45 even know what the hamburger icon means?
The answer, yes it really can!
ConversionXL proved this theory on a recent A/B test they ran for generating revenue through the use of a hamburger icon. The results determined that the use of this icon brought in actual dollars.
Factors to consider if you’re using the hamburger icon:
- Determine who is your primary audience demographic.
- Pair the icon with a label for easier use.
- Don’t hide the main navigation within the hamburger icon.
- Make sure it’s obviously clickable.
Hide what isn’t necessary
Show users the most relevant, important navigational pages first. If you want to convert them, give users fewer options that lead to an overall action. This approach directs users’ focus where it’s most needed to convert them.
Less significant information such as About, News, and Resources should stay at the bottom of the web page — in the footer.
The Capterra website home page provides a great example of proper navigation hierarchy. The primary focus is on getting the user to search for the right software for their organization. To reach this goal, the website employs a completely stripped-down top navigation.
The most important aspect is the search function. The Capterra design places a priority on this feature, relocating less-important navigation tabs to the footer.
For your own website, create a navigation that converts by focusing on your goal. Then, you’ll nail those conversions.
#4 Content That Captivates Your Audience
Your website doesn’t have to be the Wall Street Journal of the internet to engage your users. But it does need content that captivates the audience and prompts them to take action.
If your content doesn’t intentionally get the user to do something, that content might not be necessary
Here’s how you can captivate your audience and convert them:
- Place calls to action directly under your promotional offer, blog post, free trial or demo products.
- Directly play off a user’s emotion instead of logic. When users read articles that make them happy, it taps directly into their human desire to share the content with friends or colleagues through social media.
- Make sure your upcoming webinar or course is front and center on your home page so users don’t have to go on a wild goose chase to find it.
- Have an entry point for website visitors to connect with you. Try a “Let’s Talk” call to action in the top right of your website, or for mobile visitors, place a “Call Now” button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
#5 Subtle but Rich Animations Get Attention
We all love things that move! We are enticed by visual elements that pop up or change upon hovering or scrolling back and forth. It’s entertaining and draws our attention.
Keep in mind, animations are meant to enhance the user experience, not take it over.
Animation trends to follow
Get inspired by these animation design ideas:
Below, Bugaboo provides a perfect example of how you can engage users by providing subtle animations to enhance the product [11 sec].
Have you seen the fancy hovers, where text appears, social icons pop up and graphics fade in and out? Super subtle, but enriches the overall user experience.
Visually provides a nice example of hover design [10 sec].
Below, Slack features a really creative approach to the loading experience for their users as they enter into their chat platform [5 sec].
Dive into animation for email marketing
Email marketing is continuing to grow at a rapid rate.
Not surprisingly, millennials check their email from bed (70%), from the bathroom (57%), and while driving (27%) (don’t check your phone while driving, though!).
This presents a great opportunity to generate and convert more users to your website.
- Enhance the Title Content by having it appear and re-appear. This will make it stand out.
- Make parts of the images move to enhance the product message.
- Add in subtle background fillers like snowflakes, raindrops, confetti.
Want some great examples?
Mailbakery provides an excellent compilation of 25 animated gifs in email marketing. Be inspired!
#6 Responsive Web Design Trend Rules
Responsive design isn’t a new concept and it’s not going away anytime soon. Ranking on Google is continually becoming more of a challenge for business owners. Google won’t even look at your website if it’s not mobile responsive.
Check out the latest Quality Search Guidelines for Raters for yourself!
If you’re going to compete, and attract traffic, your website must provide users with a similar experience (if not the same) on all platforms.
Removing unnecessary elements and information when moving to mobile isn’t only ok, it’s essential. Taking out images and content that doesn’t directly contribute to your user doing something will streamline the experience.
Users should be able to easily interact with content so they can get to where they need to go, effortlessly.
Share this Image On Your Site
Looks Matter, but They Only Get You so Far
Functionality is taking precedence over a nice website design.
Your website design may be ground-breaking, featuring amazing visuals and top-notch photography. But if it doesn’t meet the visitors’ ability to use it — you’ve lost.
Every $1 you invest in the user experience will bring $2 – $100 in return.
The user experience should always be front and center. It should be a carefully thought out factor throughout every aspect of the website’s design — from online to mobile to tablet.
Design is lifeless without it’s ability to create purpose and engage your audience. It must always have purpose. With purpose it will convert.
What website trend will you be focusing on for 2016? Or which one have you already implemented?