Having an aesthetically pleasing site is no longer good enough if you’re looking to retain a potential customer’s interest or convert their presence on your site into a sale. Good web design will utilise interesting new online technology to create a user experience that is not only easy to navigate, but also provides visitors with all the information they require.
Plenty of the following trends have already started to make their way online, so if you think your website could do with a refresh, it’s definitely worth thinking about how some of the latest trends could sit within your framework. Whether you’re looking to change up the colour scheme or you’re after a complete overhaul, these trends could end up having a big impact on user experiences…
Interfaces you can converse with
Last year conversational interfaces rose hugely in popularity. Chatbots, smart assistants and voice UIs were utilised in sites ranging from massive corporations to small businesses. If you have a site that offers up a conversation to a potential customer, it gives you an extra avenue towards not only making a sale, but also building trust. People are far more likely to buy from a site that provides them with answers and with the likes of Zo and Xiaoice continually producing more intelligent conversational bots, it could go from strength to strength. This year, you can expect to see them not only offer assistance, but branch out into adding to the user experience, working almost like a smart assistant to guide users through the site.
Intelligent design could be about to redefine our relationship with websites. Adding emotional intelligence to web design has tended to mean adding design features such as a cute, relatable logo or chat-bots that are seemingly always positive. Now however, we are starting to look at different ways in which emotional intelligence can enhance user experience. With enhancements in the world analytics and chat-bots, we could be on the cusp of using user data to analyse whether they are having a good or bad day or even whether they’re in a rush or not. Emotion-sensing technology is still very much in its infancy, but trends suggest that more and more sites are making moves towards design that shows respect towards human emotion rather than exploiting it.
We are firmly in an age where people have become more than accustomed to watching videos on their devices. Whether it’s a short clip or a video on YouTube, people are comfortable watching content on the go. You could take advantage of this by mimicking the cinematic experience simply with a full-screen video on your homepage. If you’ve got a media company for example, or perhaps a range of exciting products that would suit being showcased on video, you could introduce your company to potential customers quickly and effectively with a well-made video. Another feature you may want to consider is sound; having the perfect blend of video and sound could end up giving you a memorable homepage. Be sure to have a toggle feature for this, however; having sound that users cannot turn off could end up alienating them and giving them a negative impression of your site.
Users are becoming increasingly used to seeing stock photography crop up on websites, so much so that most of the time, they should be able to tell the difference between a stock photo and a genuine one. For many years a huge number of sites crowded their pages with stock photography that was either completely ignored or reduced trust. There are however, a number of authentic photo sites online that are full of high-quality images you can take advantage of. Finding beautiful imagery is now easier than ever, so you can expect to see a continuation in the decline of stock photography in the future. Studies carried out have indicated that sites which use real people in their imagery stand a far better chance of converting visitors simply because it adds a level of trust. In order to attract more customers, you should be looking to add well thought out ‘real life’ images that not only look good, but also enhance your site’s visual identity.