According to Internet Live Stats, there are approximately 5.1 billion people surfing 1.9 billion websites. If you have any hope of grabbing their attention and keeping them on your site, you have to work hard to engage them. Utilizing some trends helps ensure they don’t bounce away to a competitor or just something more entertaining.
We looked at some of the top trends of the moment and those likely to come to the forefront throughout 2022 and narrowed the options down to five we think will help drive engagement and impress your users. Check out the examples and we think you’ll see what we mean about why these trends will impress your buyers and stick around for the long-term.
1. Personalize the CX
Customers expect a personalized experience when they land on your website. If you run an e-commerce business, it’s easy to base recommendations on past buying behavior. For companies selling large ticket items or trying to generate leads, you’ll need to dig into your analytics and figure out some generalizations about your typical site visitor.
Collect the information they’ll share and greet them by name, as a good first step to a more personal experience. You must find a balance between asking enough questions and asking too many. People are often reluctant to share too much with a business they’ve not frequented before, so be careful about how many form fields you add.
Stitch Fix offers a style quiz as soon as you land on their site. This allows them to customize what offers they give you. They ask a few questions and then request your email or Facebook connect, which allows them to customize the rest of the interaction by your name and based on your shopping preferences.
2. Use Full-Width Images
Images stretching from edge to edge on your computer screen have been around for a while and we don’t see the trend leaving anytime soon. Why change something that works so well to show off your products?
You’ve probably noticed the hero shots of many websites stretch the full width for example. Sites today must also be responsive to smaller screens, though, so make sure any images you use are responsive to smartphones and tablets.
WAC Lighting uses big, beautiful images to show off where their lighting gets used and which models work best for different purposes. Notice how they use a mix of pictures from commercial and residential spaces to highlight the adaptability of their products.
3. Optimize for Voice Search
More people today use smartphones and speakers to conduct internet searches. How can you prepare your web design to tap into the growing number of voice searches? Make sure you start by targeting long-tail keywords, knowing the questions your target audience asks and providing clear, straightforward language.
Voice search isn’t used widely on many websites, but browsers such as Bing and Chrome tap into the power of voice search. Obviously Amazon offers the capability to enable their smart speaker to place orders and work via voice command. Expect more companies to add the capability as it grows in popularity.
4. Calm Your Designs
A few experts feel the impact of the pandemic resulted in people wanting a quieter and calmer experience. However, much of the internet is filled with noise, busy videos and bold colors. We predict the trends for 2022 will become more simplified, much as people have taken a step back from the chaos of daily life.
Use a minimalist approach and keep elements on the page to a few. Choose colors with a calming effect, such as a soft blue or muted green. When you keep the majority of your design simple, you can add some elements you otherwise wouldn’t for a contemporary look.
Sivik Atelier uses a background wall and changes the color, using subtle hues each time. The wall morphs from blue to green to lilac to peach. Note how the number of elements on the page are limited. The user has only a few options to navigate and there is plenty of negative space within the design.
5. Use 3D
Today’s screens provide higher resolution for users. Designers sometimes felt a bit boxed in because they had to worry about the speed of a site with a video or animated elements. However, better connectivity in most areas, faster internet speeds via fiber optic and the higher resolutions have freed creatives to come up with new displays.
Don’t be afraid to use some 3D within your design and to animate elements. However, also keep in mind people are looking for calmer, simpler designs, so you must balance your efforts. Don’t fill the entire page with movement, for example.
What Will the Next Year Bring for Web Design?
It’s impossible to predict every new advance in technology or which trends people will love and hate. However, expect more machine learning to drive user interaction. Things such as virtual and augmented reality consistently become more commonplace within the e-commerce world.
Keep an eye on the latest innovations and trends. Pay attention to what large corporations add to their marketing campaigns and strive to add at least a few cutting edge elements to your own website. You can keep your site simple and change out one or two things for a consistently trendy look.