5 Trends for 2020 Website Design

Web design is moving away from pages and toward spaces. What I mean by that is, the web is getting more immersive, blurring the lines between reality and the virtual world. It is important to keep this in mind for user experience (UX). When everyone is using their fingers to literally reach out and touch your website, here’s what you need to do:

Prepare for 5G Speed

Designing for speed is more important than ever in 2020.We see “5G” everywhere – commercials, social media, neighborhood flyers – it’s coming and, in some places, it’s here. Most people already expect near-instant load times. Even more important, search engines factor load times into their search result rankings. In other words, you can – and should – invest time and money into SEO copy and tagging. But, large video and photo files will drag down your search result rankings as well as your UX – even over a big 5G network. Especially as 5G technology becomes the standard, speed will become more important to UX. Which means that web designers and developers will need to accommodate for smaller files and flexibility to strike a balance between look and functionality.

Simplify everything. And I mean everything.

Since speed is important, it’ll be essential to minimize the number of elements on each page. This applies to photos, graphics, plugins and even text. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that more is better, however as you refresh or rebuild your new website you must strike a balance between hitting the appropriate amount of keywords and making it clear to the user the journey they should take through your website. Don’t overwhelm your users. Give them a proper path to follow and anticipate how they will interact with your website. Clutter will just distract from your website’s strategic goals (i.e. more sign-ups, phone number to call, sharing, requesting a visit, applying, etc.). If you want to add extra visuals or text, be aware that doing so could slow down the site or negatively affect the user experience.

Know that Skeuomorphism Isn’t Dead

Skeuomorphism – design that represents a real word counterpart (think the “trash can” icon) — is very much alive and revived. Although flat design rose to prominence in the mid 2000s, we can no longer expect to engage users with flat icons and static images. While web designers can get carried away with adding more realism to their sites (don’t slow that load time down!), it’s important to immerse the user in their interaction with your site. Egg them on to roll their cursor over elements, tap and slide. In other words, plan your designs around modern skeuomorphs that are increasingly lifelike, so when people visit your site, it will feel more like an extension of their real word.

Think Touchscreens Over Rollovers

As web design has evolved, designers have been told to design mobile layouts after designing the desktop version of the website. This is no longer a valid process. Depending on the nature of your site, it may be best to design the mobile and tablet experience first, if not alongside the desktop experience. With all the different screen sizes in mind, gesture-based navigation is already making the internet a hands-on space (i.e. swiping left and right, dog and cat ear filters, etc.). Stay close to trends by taking into consideration touchscreens first.

Break the Grid

When creating a website, designers base their designs on a grid system. Grid variations can alter in number value and structure, but the concept of the grid has remained, in part because the grid makes placement of page components easier for developers. However, designers want more freedom than even a 12-column grid allows. The idea of breaking the grid was on the 2019 trends list and is a desire for most website designers. In 2020, we will start to see this more flexible coding structure manifested in ways that elevate the customized user experience.

Go create!

As you design or work with teams for website design and development, think about how you can make your digital space mesh seamlessly with your customer’s real world. Your customers, partners, investors, and employees move fast. It’s critical to accommodate their need for speed – but also design a space that makes people slow down and take notice.