Modern Website Design
In a complicated world, modern website design is about simplification. It’s about making the user experience as smooth and efficient as possible through better navigation, cleaner visuals, and a more responsive mobile experience.
It’s about giving users what they want, minus the fluff, and leading them down a conversion funnel in direct fashion.
Modern corporate website designs oppose clutter in favor of spacing, and champion modern fonts for websites over oldies like Times New Roman.
Clean modern websites are no longer a preference, they are quickly becoming essential. The majority of a website’s first impressions relate to its design. If the site takes too long to load or users are put off by a poor design, they will bounce off of the site quickly and go to a competitor.
Creating an engaging and user friendly experience is achievable, but a few simple rules ought to be followed. Let’s go over the commonalities shared among most modern websites and how following these practices will help you achieve long-term success.
Examples of Current Modern Web Design Trends
As we explore the top current web design trends, you may notice a pattern: mobile usability. Nearly all modern websites prioritize a responsive design above all. Since more than half the internet is accessed via phone or tablet, it’s essential that websites are fitted for users who are on the go.
With that in mind, let’s dig into the top modern web design trends going on right now.
Wide open spaces are key in modern website design. You don’t want to clutter your pages with text or images that are too close together. This may confuse readers and distract away from your main sales proposition.
White spaces are akin to classic print magazines. Text and images are spread apart, leaving ample room for the eyes to survey and absorb the page’s content. It’s minimalism brought to the internet.
Designers can maximize white space by using column widths and margins that aren’t too wide, allowing for extra lateral space which improves readability.
Be sure to include sufficient spacing between headers and their corresponding paragraph text so that readers can easily identify differences between topics and subtopics.
It is possible to overdo white space by having your margins too large, forcing content to be too spread out across the page. To ensure you are utilizing just enough white space, you can A/B test your page designs using a heat mapping software tool.
Full-page headers are ubiquitous these days, and for good reason. If a visitor is viewing your website on their phone, you want to make the subject matter clear from the second a page loads.
This practice of full-page headers generally holds true for both landing pages and blog posts, although there may be differences in font size between these different page types.
For informational pages, like blog posts, it’s a general rule that smaller headers are okay. Plus, as readers scroll down a page, you’ll want to make sure H2, H3, and H4 headers are utilizing a smaller font size than your main header (H1).
Visitors are used to seeing the boring old mouse arrow as they navigate a website. Why not spice things up with a more enticing pointer?
Many modern websites utilize a pointer that’s in the shape of an icon, like a “play button” or brand-related image. The goal is to utilize something that visitors aren’t used to seeing, in hopes that they will remain glued to your site.
Even if visitors try to gravitate towards closing their browser tab, they will hopefully notice the unique cursor and elect to remain on the page.
Dynamic scrolling can add a new dimension to your pages by giving users multiple ways to absorb content.
This design element involves animations that are triggered by the scroll action. These animations may include things like pop up buttons, where users can click and get more information, or it could be a graph that appears as users scroll through a blog post.
Custom illustrations help your site stand out visually and add some brand flavor. They are simple drawings that could depict humans, animals, or scenery objects, and they are incorporated in a manner that helps strengthen the brand’s message.
Whether it’s an infographic or simply for eye candy, custom illustrations can help a website standout in a sea of competition.
These illustrations can be used playfully or to emphasize certain selling points. When you work with a web design team who has strengths in graphic design, you’ll find that some great options are within reach.
One of the biggest trends in UI design, dark mode is a low-light option that helps alleviate eye strain at night. Many sites and mobile apps, including YouTube and Twitch, have adopted dark mode so their users can stream video in a more cinematic fashion.
Dark mode is ideal for websites with multimedia content, videos or image slideshows.
Geometric designs are all the rage for e-commerce stores, or any website that needs to display a number of options across the page.
What are the advantages of using geometric designs? One area of improvement is navigation. Specific lines and shapes can help guide users around a webpage, moving them towards the call to action button. A pointed triangle might be used as a way to attract attention towards the “sign up now” button.
Framing is another common use of geometric designs. A particular shape can be used to house text, so when a user clicks on the shape the text appears.
There are several creative ways you can implement two-dimensional shapes and geometric designs into your website.
The grid system is crucial to web design, helping to align page elements in specific columns and rows. This lends itself to a clean, organized layout that users can easily navigate and identify information.
This is an example of a flex grid; it adjusts automatically based on the dimensions of the screen.
A grid design splits pages using rows and columns, horizontally and vertically. You may be familiar with these grid design principles if you’ve ever used a page building software.
We use a grid system to keep the categories in our blog page aligned and easy to sort through.
Perhaps grid designs are most obvious on category pages of ecommerce sites. Here you can see a grid at work, as all categories are laid across the page in a box or rectangular fashion. This makes it easy for users to scan through the category and select their desired article.
Of all the considerations to be made when designing a website, the user experience should take the cake.
There are a number of factors that dictate whether a visitor has a positive experience on your site. Page speed is among the top, as recent studies reveal that 53% of website visitors leave if the site takes more than three seconds to load. Fast page load times are important across all devices, but especially on mobile phones and tablets.
Another area of importance is the content itself. Paragraphs should be broken up into 2-4 lines of text, nothing more. Videos and images should be strategically placed; not too close to the text and easy to watch on any device.
Draw attention to the most important elements on your page. If you want users to take a specific action, there needs to be a compelling reason for them to do so. You can highlight certain elements by enlarging them, whether they are call to action buttons or images.
A/B testing is another critical component of user experience. You need to test different iterations of your website to determine what elements are effective and what areas could be improved.
A sound UX strategy begins with understanding your audience. From there, focus on making your website as fast as possible across all devices.
Colors and Fonts in Modern Design
Convince users to spend more time on your website by rewarding their visual pallet. Modern web designs employ colors and fonts that represent the brand and draw attention from viewers.
There should be a fair amount of color contrasting taking place, especially between background colors and the text on the page. Make sure that readability is no issue.
Fonts can oftentimes vocalize your brand more than the text itself, so pay attention to what’s working among your competitors. If you notice similarities among their font choices, it’s likely a good solution for your website.
A professional web designer can recommend the best font options depending on your specific brand needs. They will also be able to advise on using different typefaces for certain purposes.
Success in modern web design requires not overthinking things. Designs do not have to be overly complex to be effective, they just have to give the user what they want.
Here are a few modern web design tips to knock your site out of the park:
You can get your message across through minimalism. Focus on keeping your content well spaced out and not overloading pages with extraneous images or videos.
Minimalism will also help keep your pages loading fast, since there won’t be a ton of excess content to drag the site down.
Use a Video for the Background Header
Keep the action moving, literally. Adding an engaging video to the background of your header or hero section will show up for visitors the second they load your page.
Make sure that the opacity is turned down low enough to read the text over your header section.
Adhere to a visual hierarchy that places your most important page elements above the fold while drawing attention to them through strong color contrasts.
The top of the page should include a money headline which uses your main keyword and helps the user understand what the page is about.
As the user scrolls down, they should be greeted by plenty of white space, allowing them to see all important elements with ease.
Pay Attention to Typography
Typography is everything related to the text on the page. This includes color, font, size, alignments, and layouts.
Use typography that fits your branding, as well as text that aligns with the purposes of each page.
Users want to put a face to your brand. Images of people who work for you, or consumers actively using your products help potential buyers envision themselves using their stuff.
Use minimalism in site navigation too. Try not to place too many links at the top of your page, only the most vital ones.
A simple but effective navigation menu sits at the top of this webpage.
Understanding that people read from left to right is also hugely important when formulating your menu navigation.
Ghost buttons are see-through calls to action that have a narrow colored border and a line of text over it.
This is an interesting option worth exploring but should definitely be A/B tested with a solid colored button.
Instead of generic terms like “Our Products” or “Our Services,” try “Our Summer Fashion Line,” or “Our Home Remodeling Services.”
Express your brand with plenty of accolades, awards, and testimonials. Have these visible across your website, especially on your main conversion pages.
One of our clients made excellent use of their social proof opportunities by highlighting some of their most well known customers.
This strategy isn’t about bragging, it’s about displaying your endorsements. People want to see that others can vouch for you.
Several of your favorite websites and apps use card-based web design. This technique breaks down the content of a page into square blocks, akin to a Pinterest board.
It’s easy to organize a page and draw attention to each individual object.
A good place to look for modern website color schemes and designs is the top of the Alexa ranks. Here are some big brand examples that could be translated to any modern corporate website design.
Honda is clearly at the forefront of modern web design trends with this geometric design choice. When users hover over these images, the images are enhanced with a zoom effect to add flavor to the site.
Visitors can instantly see that Honda produces a wide variety of vehicles, as they are each featured in their own rectangular image.
Like many ecommerce sites, Callaway features their most popular product line at the top of their homepage.
The name of the product is positioned to the left hand side of the page in white text. Well-spaced away from the product images.
Good Housekeeping uses a grid design to display their blog posts.
These posts are grouped by category, with the category’s name positioned above.
Time for a Clean Modern Website
By adhering to a minimalist design that favors simplicity over clutter and noise, you will position your website for long-term success.