The dreaded moment has finally come. After five years, I am facing a much-needed website redesign. In truth, I've probably needed to do this for about a year, but like many entrepreneurs, the thought of having to dive head-deep into the content, let alone the design, of a new website has made me break out in a cold sweat.
While I spend a good portion of my time as a branding and marketing strategist helping other companies develop award-winning websites, like the cobbler's kids who have no shoes, mine always comes last.
Regardless, the inevitable can no longer be avoided. Hence, I went on the hunt for what are the most important website design trends of 2020. Here's what I found.
In hopes of getting Google to rank them high for their keywords, many websites have been jamming their pages with a whole lot of text. This overcrowding of sites can be overwhelming for the viewer and can even slow down a browser.
And according to Lewis Goldstein, a consultant to luxury brands such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini, websites with white space allow different elements to breathe, are easier to navigate and present a better user experience. Using lots of white space is something that a lot of luxury brands use on their own websites.
Even if you don't have a high-end or luxury brand, you can still benefit from this design trend. To bring more minimalism to your site, avoid using more than main colors on your website and give the elements on each page some room to breathe with empty space.
Additionally, don't hide important navigation. Instead, create a user-friendly and intuitive interface. Be sure to edit so your text says what it needs to, includes your keywords and is significant enough to be Google-friendly, but not so long as to be overwhelming.
When all else fails, keep in mind that web design minimalism is all about getting more from less.
Custom drawn illustrations and icons.
While minimalism may be a hot trend for 2020 web design, the key is to balance it with the design elements (interesting fonts, unexpected illustrations and out of the box color choices) that help a business gain brand recognition.
To this end, many companies are incorporating custom-drawn illustrations and icons into their 2020 website designs.
In the past, the cost of these customized elements has prohibited smaller businesses from getting in the game, but a plethora of good designers is now available at affordable prices through freelancing sites such as Upwork and Fiverr.
Animated elements and motion.
We've all seen the websites with text that dances into the frame, the box that spins around to reveal additional info when hovered over.
The websites of 2020 will take the trend of motion in websites and kick it up a notch. "Animation effects capture user attention and introduce a more dynamic experience," says Ben Pines, head of content at Elementor, a WordPress page building company.
In addition, scroll-generated websites (lots of content on one page that runs continually down or sideways) allows for a great deal of information to be accessed in an easy way.
In the past, geometric shapes have been largely used on websites to create a visual break between sections. However, 2020 points to a more innovative use of geometric shapes including overlapping shapes and soft shadows to give more depth and personality to a design. According to Pines, soft geometric shapes convey a futuristic look, while sharp and hard lines convey a bolder environment.
If you're like me and you find yourself face-to-face with creating a new website (or revising an old one), these trends can propel you into the next decade with style and substance. Who knows? They might even give your website a shelf life into the mid-2020s. Here's to hoping.