Web Design Trends 2020

As we approach 2020, we are starting to see some obvious trends appearing across various sectors – not least the online world. Website design is one of the areas that has inevitably seen the most change in recent years, as we take technological leaps towards the future of online; both in terms of practicality and design.

In response to the threat of a new year and predictions coming in from all angles, this article deals with some of the most obvious trends we can expect to see in 2020.

Adaptive Design

Adaptive design refers to the ability to enjoy a website – from any device. Being adaptive quite literally means adapting to suit all manner of devices, meaning the content has to alter its format in line with the size of a screen. For example, a black of photos on a laptop screen may become a single file line of photos down the page of a mobile device – increasing user readability.

One of the most important things to look for in an adaptive design is an edited Menu design, with an obvious menu button and easy-to-use menu list.

Notifications

If you sign up for something, it’s likely that your phone will pop up with an automated message asking you about allowing push notifications. If you’re anything like us, you typically say no – if only to avoid the constant stream of notifications that apps and games can send to you every single day. However, in 2020 the notification trend is set to rise, with users acknowledging the value of certain apps telling you when something is about to happen or when an important news story hits the headlines.

Motion Design

Motion design refers to short videos – known as GIF’s – which allow users to interactively engage and explore something they mat be interested in. GIF’s are especially useful when compared with more standard videos as they take up less space on the webpage and result in much quicker load times, keeping the user engaged and preventing them from clicking away in frustration. However, it is also worth noting that GIF’s are typically small bits of video content and will not provide an in-depth exploration of your product – for that you may well need a video.

Video

On to the more standard videos now, and despite the rise of GIF’s, video content is still set to increase in value as 2020 approaches. After all, if a video interests us then we are likely to watch to the end – just look at the sheer number of views on the Facebook videos all over social media. The content is nothing special, yet the interest is peaked and users tend to watch to the end.

Users like relevant, simple and minimalistic videos that provide the information they need without extreme explanations or lengthy introductions.

Robo-Chat

This one comes back to AI – something we all know is coming! Artificial Intelligence sounds quite frankly terrifying, but the chances are that the invention of AI will make life easier for many of us, if for no other purpose than they can screen user questions and provide an engaging FAQ feature. Chat Bots have been created to mimic a real conversation, using built-in responses that have been pre-determined by real humans. These responses are instant for users, with 24/7 service and an ability to help with basic issues regarding the website.

They may not completely replace human interaction, and there will still be users who want to talk to a real person, but for now their value is set to skyrocket.

Interactivity

People like to interact and feel like they are getting real value from a site, so the more interactivity present the better. This could cover everything from videos to animations and much more!

Minimalism

This might seem pretty contradictory considering we just covered interactivity, but minimalism is often as effective as things that keep users actively engaged. Minimalism involves a simple user experience in a number of ways, including the design, colour scheme, volume of buttons and graphic details. It’s easier to understand, it’s more user friendly and it gets the job done – perhaps quicker than your average site.

What’s on the Out?

As well as increasing popularity for the above trends, there are a few things we are likely to say goodbye to in 2020. One of these is in line with our final trend, and that is complex design. The more complex the design, the harder the site is to navigate – and that’s simply not good enough anymore.

Another feature we can wave goodbye to is background scrolling – whereby the background of the website would change as you scrolled. This typically meant longer load times and quite an annoying pause as the background took a few seconds to catch up – unacceptable as we enter 2020.

The building blocks of a website

Building your own website has never been easier. With the tools now available, building a website today is easier than the building blocks we played with as children – with far fewer instruction manuals and trip hazards.

Whether it’s a small marketing site for your business, a blogging hub or an ecommerce online shop, we’ve compiled a list of the tips and tools you need to employ to safely build a website of your own.

Let’s start with the set up – what to do before the building begins.

The Foundation

First up you need to determine what route your website creation is going to take – on the assumption that starting from scratch is not the best way forward (unless of course you are a technology whizz in which case this post probably isn’t for you!) The most obvious route is to start with a Content Management System or website building tool – populating templates with the relevant content and images of your choice.

By Content Management System (CMS) we tend to mean WordPress, so your choice here is between WordPress and an alternative website builder. WordPress is responsible for over 30% of all the websites currently available in the world, showcasing its popularity and ease of use. After all, if 30% of the website population can use it, I’m sure you can too. WordPress is ideal for everything from small blogs to large online publications and even online stores – all in a highly customisable and professional format.

If customisable and flexible isn’t what you’re looking for however, a website builder is the best option. These tend to follow similar designs and patterns and allow the user to input their relevant information easily and quickly. It’s simple to use and quick to customise, with no added dragging and dropping of different features and content blocks. Essentially you pick a template and you stick to it.

The Build

So, you’ve reached the build. The first thing you need to do is secure your hosting and a solid domain name. The host of your site is where all your online files will be stored so must be reliable with adequate space. The domain is what you will get your visitors to type into their browser to access your website. Typically, it’s easiest to purchase these as a package deal, as this saves technical admin further down the line, although you can get these separately if needs be.

To sign up for website hosting you need to select a plan through your chosen host site. These tend to start from a basic package to a more premium option, and which you opt for depends entirely on your requirements for the website you want to build. Ensure you read all the fine print before agreeing to any package. Once this is selected, you will be asked to enter a domain of your choice – if your first choice is taken, keep trying variations until you’re happy with one that is also available.

Assessing the building site

Do research. What do your top competitor’s sites look like? What are they focussing on? What will make your site stand out? What is the purpose of your website? Only when you know the answer to these questions can you start to build an idea of the visual aspect of your site and how it should appear to your visitors. This in turn will inform your template decision.

Once that’s decided, you need to create some kind of structure plan. Generally, these are not complicated – after all, we’re creatives not techies. However, making sure you have an idea of which pages need to build will make your job easier down the line.

The Design

Everything available to you both on WordPress and a website builder has been created by a professional website designer. They’re user friendly, easy to personalise and all already available. You’d be a fool not to use them.

With WordPress you need to first install the app on your host. Once this is done you can add a theme – this will inform the design of your entire site. Spend some time going through the available themes and when you finally find the right one, click ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’ to set it on your own site. Once selected, the theme becomes customisable through the settings, allowing you to add new pages, changes the colours and fonts, alter the display of the menu and many more options. You can also add plugins to increase your cybersecurity and SEO, as discussed in other blogs.

A website builder is far simpler to use, with a multitude of potential themes available for all manner of industries. The theme you select will become the template for your site – what you see in the theme selection box is very like how your final site will look, though perhaps with different colours. So, choose wisely and make sure you play around to work out the extent of the changes you can make.

Building a website is as easy as it has ever been, and with our simple instruction manual you should be up and running in no time. The choice between WordPress and a website builder is one that should be made after considering the time scale you have for the build, as well as the ongoing time it will take to manage and update regularly.