Web Design in the 21st Century: What's Changed, and What's Ahead
27th November, 2021
By Elliot McHugh
As we approach the end of the 20th century, we’ve seen a lot of changes in technology and design. We’re entering a new era, one that is all about connectivity and communication.
For web designers and developers, this means keeping up with the current trends in web design. This blog explores some important elements that need to be considered when designing for the modern web, and looks ahead to the future of website design.
The web is no longer just a place people go to find information. It’s now the place where business happens.
Businesses are using the internet to create new opportunities, establish relationships, and develop online communities. Web traffic has increased by more than 30% over the past year, primarily because the internet has become the go-to place for people to find products and information. Think about the likes of Amazon which has grown tremendously throughout the pandemic. You can virtually hit order and have a product the next day.
Digital channels are changing how companies communicate with customers, how they conduct their marketing campaigns, and how they develop their brands. Platforms like Tiktok are growing rapidly to meet the demands of the younger generation.
The web is also evolving into a social environment. Social media has changed how companies share information with customers because it connects them with their wider audience. This is only the beginning.
The future of web design will be about making more and more connections with other people. The web has become an essential part of our lives, whether we’re using it for work, shopping, or entertainment.
And with the internet becoming so integrated in our lives, it’s essential that designers and developers stay ahead of the game.
Many companies are already looking to interactive apps and virtual reality to take web design to the next level, while others are embracing the web as a means of storytelling.
No matter what form web design takes in the future, there will always be one constant: The need for designers and developers to stay ahead of the game. Read our blog which details the top tips for designing a website here.
How to keep up with current web design trends?
As mentioned, web design is always evolving so it’s important to keep up with current trends to make sure your design reflects current standards.
You may not think you need to change anything about your website, but there are many web design trends that have emerged over the last year. For example, webpages are getting more minimalist, simplistic designs with less text and more white space. It’s common to see websites with a grid of images, lots of whitespace on the page, and simple fonts.
The most important thing to remember is that your website should be functional and work for your business, with great user experience. Google’s new user experience update means that it also contributes as a ranking factor. You can also use some of the latest technologies to enhance your user experience. For example, if you have an eCommerce website, it’s important to include features like live chat so that customers can easily contact you if they have any questions about your products.
It’s also important to make your website mobile-friendly and upgrade your CMS (content management system) to softwares like WordPress, which are favoured by Google. These programs also make it easy for you to build an app-like website with features like dynamic scrolling.
The importance of mobile responsive web design
The web is meant to be accessed by all devices, and this means making sure your website is compatible on laptop, phone, and tablet.
Responsive design allows your content to change depending on the device’s screen size. This can be a challenge for developers because they have to make sure the website is appealing and easy to navigate on any device. However, if you are using a tool like Elementor on WordPress, making a mobile responsive page is easy.
There are a few techniques you can try to make sure your website is optimized for any device:
- Think about the user experience. In order to make your website responsive, it needs to be easy to use on every device.
- Use CSS media queries. CSS media queries help with responsiveness by changing the layout of your website depending on what size screen it’s being viewed on.
- Make sure text is formatted correctly
- Make sure images are cropped to size on tablets.
SEO: A growing trend
Search engine optimisation is a growing trend in web design. Search engine optimisation refers to the process of using techniques to rank higher on search engine results pages for keywords or phrases.
What is the difference between traditional web design and search engine optimization?
Traditional web design is more about how the site looks. SEO is more about how the site performs on search engines. This means that the two are complementary. You need to have good SEO for your site to get traffic, but you also need to have a good-looking site for it to get traffic! If you’d like to read more about SEO, check out our ultimate guide.
Designers need to be familiar with the latest trends of both traditional web design and SEO in order to be successful.
This is the ‘user experience of your website. It’s about making your website an enjoyable experience for your visitors, especially for those on mobile devices.
Do you know what the most common complaint about websites is? It’s that they’re too slow to load. This is extremely important because most people will simply exit your site if it’s too slow (3 seconds+ on first homepage load). And that’s a missed opportunity for you to get new business or reach out to new clients.
Google even uses page loading speed as one of their ranking factors. Nearly 50% of people will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Read that back.
The good news is, there are plenty of UX and design trends and techniques available online to help you increase your page loading speed and make your website more user-friendly. We’ll talk more about this in the near future.
For the modern web, we need to keep up with the trends in web design. What we know now is that we need to keep our websites simple and easy to use. If you need help building a website, contact EJM Web Design using the form below for more information and to receive a tailored quotation.
In the future, we’ll see more of a focus on the user experience and how people interact with websites. Websites will have an increased focus on how they present information, with an emphasis on interactive content, animations, and video.
In the future, websites will also have a decreased focus on text and a heightened focus on images and colours. User experience will also be at the forefront of web design, so it should be prioritised.
So, what does this mean for web designers? It means that the skillsets needed in order to design a successful website are constantly evolving. Web designers need to be able to pivot when they see changes in web design trends and they need to be able to use an array of different tools in order to make it work.