The best website designs really make you think. You’ve been clicking and scrolling all day, and then you stop. It could be ingenious interaction, a phenomenal photo, or simply something you’ve never seen before. Whatever it is, you’re hooked.
How? It’s all down to the latest user experience (UX) trends. In other words, the customer journey. And improving the journey will turn a good website, into a great one. And, like all things trendy, UX is ever changing.
So why bother with UX? Well, if you’re a business, the best designed websites grab, engage, and sell. Essentially, it will demand the user’s attention, keep them on the page and, hopefully, lead to a conversion.
For bloggers and portfolios, it will keep them reading and sharing. It’s worth remembering that 75% of people judge a website’s credibility on how it looks. So, it’s vital that every website owner focuses on the user.
So, below, we’ve highlighted the latest UX trends and put together six of our favorite website designs of 2018. Let’s see what you think…
So what’s hot in 2018? Let’s start with the basics: the title. Bigger is better this year, with bold typefaces paired with sleek animations becoming more popular. Users spend less time on websites these days, and roughly 46% of them will leave if the page ‘lacked a message’.
This is where a huge headline helps, and a colorful one, too. A study found colors increase website recognition by 80%. We recommend a massive caption in Sans Serif against a clean, colorful backdrop.
So to really engage your audience, you should take them on a ride (an enjoyable one!), telling stories with unforgettable content. Scroll-triggered animations are superb storytellers, but don’t overcomplicate the layout.
This is just an example, but do all this, and we’re sure you’ll reap rewards.
Less is more. A cliché, yes, but it’s also one of the hottest design trends of 2018. This sparkling water brand has produced a seriously minimalist, but thought-provoking site.
Created on Squarespace, it displays bold colors behind clear bottles (one for each flavor), with an easily scannable visual flow below. It also features the X-shaped logo throughout, enforcing crucial brand recognition.
At WBE, we say release your inner minimal. By removing what designers call ‘cognitive effort’ ie complex user designs, you make life easier for your audience. The page loads quicker, which reduces bounce rate (visitors who leave from the first page), and it focuses on your brand’s purpose.
And how? Use white space with simple, but contrasting, color schemes, focus on small details, like logo variations, and use headers which clearly describe each page.
When insurance companies give you lemons, make lemonade. This is a game-changing website. Using CUI (Conversational User Interface) integration, it provides insurance quotes in just five minutes.
Lemonade is also an excellent example of an engaging, one-page website. Scattered with well-placed action buttons eg ‘Get Prices And Switch’, it’s extremely easy to navigate. Ending with Maya, the chatbot.
Maya interacts with you on a human level. She even has a face! This type of web design is so effective because of its user interaction, and it oozes credibility. The transitions are smooth, too, with clearly labeled answer forms.
Like the idea? A handy tip is to write your chatbot script in small segments, predicting every possible user response. And teach it the most common user misspellings!
We love Lemonade’s UX focussed design, from the bold headline of ‘Forget Everything You Know About Insurance’ to the pink buttons. And while chatbots are by no means a new idea, we believe they’re the interface of the future, so get on board.
One for the tech-lovers. Crypton Trading is a hub for cryptocurrencies, using artificial intelligence to predict trends and optimum buying periods. Not a crypto fan? We think the stunning, scroll-triggered animations will keep you reading.
With every scroll, a letter is revealed, forming sentences at a leisurely pace. You are taken on a gradual, crash-course crypto journey. But don’t worry, the detailed, conversational user interface (UI) makes it easy to digest the technical stuff – like learning a brand new language.
However, a quick note. A recent study by NNG, the UX market researchers, found most users experienced slow page speeds due to overused scroll animations, and found the general concept frustrating when overdone. So, go easy on the triggers, or risk your visitors vacating.
Much like a homemade pie, a list of brilliant websites can’t go without Apple. And the innovative giants have gone big this year.
We spoke to Ganesh, a Senior UX Architect at MVF Global, who said he loved their “hyper-realistic, sensational images taken from quirky angles to promote their products”. He also said “it’s the unique lighting that really makes the iPhones jump out on their website.”
Ok, not everyone can compete with this. We get that. But the core principle remains the same: high-quality product images sell. So invest time (and money, of course) into your photos, and think about who is buying.
Do you want to inspire with usage suggestions? Or simply inform with a clean close-up? After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. And (potentially) a thousand conversions.
Looking to build your personal online presence? Portfolios don’t get much better than Leandro Pedretti’s visually stimulating website, created on Wix. The header features a full video showcasing the company’s design skills. One click and you’re immediately impressed.
How are videos effective? They evoke emotion. Far more than pictures. So we recommend you take advantage of increasing internet speeds while you can. But keep the content short and sweet, with auto mute turned on. There’s nothing worse than untraceable website noise, right? It’s like trying to find a fly in your room.
Men’s razor company, Harry’s, maximises mobile performance with its clean-shaven look. A wise move, considering a recent survey found 83% of shoppers around the world planned to make mobile purchases in the near future.
If you’re building an ecommerce store, firstly, make sure you invest in the latest mobile responsive themes. Then, present your users’ most common tasks clearly (eg ‘Start Trial’), make promotions easily dismissable, and keep the menus short!
Your ecommerce website should also display professional product photos. This increases brand trust and showcases your stock without a brick and mortar store. This is what we love about Harry’s, which was built using Shopify
And there we have it. Six of the best designed websites of 2018. So let’s recap what we love about these pages:
- Seriously Unsweetened – Marvelous minimalism.
- Lemonade – User focused, with innovative interaction.
- Crypton Trading – Superb scroll animations.
- Apple – Powerful product photos.
- Leandro Pedretti – Video header.
- Harry’s – Made for mobiles.
You can make yours look this good, too, with a little thought. Firstly, know your audience. Create a site that works for them, and think about aesthetics. Will your tech-loving followers enjoy animations? Or does your bold product need no visual aids.
Whatever your website, never forget who will be reading, clicking and scrolling. Stay on top of design trends, and you can have a website that really gets people thinking, too.