So we’re halfway through 2019. What? Seriously, we’re halfway through. We’re in June, soon it’s July, and then it’s Christmas. We’re all another year older, Pantone has released another Colour of the Year, and we get to do it all again in 2020. But before that happens, it’s worth looking at where we find ourselves in the world of website design in 2019!
What has stayed the same?
Much of what you would have expected in 2019:
Mobile operation is critical, and becomes more so everyday.
The flat design/grid look of websites that emerged somewhat a few years ago, but gained huge traction last year, is now a staple of design, and that can be seen through the latest WordPress release that really favoured a design of grids.
A continuing move to streamline and speed up online forms and ways to get around the dreaded reCaptcha forms is continuing, with many cart drop-offs in eCommerce coming as a result of shoddy form and checkout design.
But some things have either changed or increased their importance…
Speed is becoming more important. As devices and operating systems improve, there is a natural need for the online world to follow that capability. We were talking about it 5 years ago, but it seems that designing a website that loads quicker than any other is become more and more important as user attention spans continue to plummet. I do wonder if some of that is less about patience nowadays, and more of a flow-on effect from screen fatigue. But either way, you have less time to capture attention.
Telling stories through the design, as stories and longform content make a comeback. This is most easily seen through the explosion of sites like Medium, with users spending more time settling in to a page and reading a story. But web designers are equally under pressure to make the appearance and flow of the site a story in and of itself.
Single page design, even at the expense of traditional SEO tactics. Designers have realised in the past few months that Google probably favours user statistics like bounce rates and time on page over authority indicators like backlinks and quality signals like multiple but dedicated pages. As such, if a brand’s theme and story can be told in a single page, do it. Give users a reason to stay on the site, and come back to it – at all costs.
Inclusivity and equality. This is something that shouldn’t have taken until 2019, but seems to have been given more air this year. Incorporating factors that may aid people from different cultures and with different abilities or impairments. How does your site cater for the colourblind? What do your design say about diversity?
So there’s a few, but there’s still a long way to go (despite our gloomy intro!) to the end of 2019. So we’ll have another look at that point and see what we can expect heading into 2020. For now, the focus is still on the user: quick load speeds, device compatibility, and storytelling.