In order to ensure that your website is efficient, you need to be sure that its elements (visual or functional) are using something to improve the overall user experience (UX) of your visitors. The greatest problem with this lies in the fact that UX trends change with each passing year. Sure, some principles always remain, yet, in order to get the most out of your next web design (or your current website update), you need to ensure that you’re following all the current principles of web design. With that in mind, here are six UX trends that will have a say in 2018.
Minimalism and whitespace
The first UX trend that you should focus on in 2018 is the good old minimalism. This statement holds true for more than several reasons. First, it gives you a more responsive web design, seeing as how every element you add to the page needs another HTTP request. The more requests there is the more time it takes for your website to load. Keep in mind that, while this is a problem that can partially be solved by creating a cache, going with simplistic web design is both simpler and more visually pleasing.
As for the visually pleasing, minimalist page layout is more user-friendly, due to the fact that it’s easier for your audience to comprehend. Having too many flashy, clickable website elements displayed at once will have your audience in a struggle to assign priority. Even if some elements are bigger or more brightly colored than others doesn’t mean that they will be perceived as more important. This especially goes if your audience doesn’t see them at first because something else distracted them.
The best way to go about this design trend is with the cunning use of whitespace or negative space. The term negative space is more accurate from the standpoint of your website’s code, seeing as how, although a visual element, it doesn’t actually require you to invest extra work or resources in creating them. In other words, it gives you an optimal web design ROI since it doesn’t require any investment and brings a substantial amount of value to your website.
In the previous section, we talked about a visual trend that can help make your website more responsive to mobile users, however, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Responsiveness sometimes depends on the device that the person in question uses to access your website. With the ever-growing population of online mobile users in the world, you will have to find an adequate solution to make their device look like a priority without neglecting your desktop-oriented audience. The simplest way to achieve this is through a responsive website, while there are those who prefer to go for mobile-first or adaptive design.
Metrics like traffic, likes and shares are incredibly important for a business, seeing as how they increase the potential number of future purchases. Nevertheless, conversions always come first and they can be achieved through a data-driven design. This is where you might need some professional help in the field of web design. Sure, a lot of conversion-driving practices are intuitive, yet, there are statistics, finds and facts that can help boost your conversion rate, that is completely illogical to the web design laymen or outsider. Even something as trivial as the color of the CTA (call-to-action) button can have a huge impact on the average number of your conversions.
Even if your website is the fastest, most responsive there is, making it load every time you engage with it is not the best of business practices. This is why more and more platforms and websites are taking a closer look towards the prospect of micro-interactions. Similarly, to the like system, by allowing your audience to show their opinion or add an item to the cart (on your e-store), without actually forcing them to leave the page, you will boost their overall UX by quite a bit.
Another aspect of your website’s design that often gets overlooked is the full-screen experience. Sure, on the surface, this trend may appear as if it’s diminishing a temporary pragmatism of your app or website, yet, it’s undeniable that it boosts the user immersion. In this way, you gain a much larger portion of their attention, which makes them more receptive to any message that you’re sending their way. The downside of this trend is that it might be a bit more resource-intensive, seeing as how it heavily relies on the use of HD images and videos. Still, with the right image optimization tool and screen-appropriate video resolution, this shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
Finally, your main objective is to create a strong emotional impression on your visitor. In practice, it’s much easier to have people remember the emotion that your website caused (how it made them feel) than to be able to visualize or verbalize its design. For this to work, you might want to dig a bit deeper into the options that you get from relying on user-generated content (UGC) such as comments, testimonials and even reviews. In this way, you’re giving them something they can easily relate to and allow them to immerse in these scenarios.