Now that the end of the year is almost upon us, we’ve been taking a look at upcoming trends in the world of web design.

Just as in the world of fashion, web design trends come and go.  But just as you wouldn’t necessarily adhere slavishly to the advice of fashion insiders, so too it’s important to be selective about the changes you make to your website.  Just because something is ‘on trend’ doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a suitable option for your particular site, and adding features just because they’re ‘hot’ right now, won’t necessarily result in an increased ROI.

With that in mind, here are some of the innovations that we think you’ll be seeing a lot more of over the course of 2019:

Faster page loading speeds

This is something that we mention quite frequently, because it’s so important.

Up until recently the accepted view has been that a web page should load within three seconds, or risk remaining unseen as visitors click away in frustration.  But with recent research indicating that around half of visitors won’t wait any longer than two seconds for the information that they’re after to be displayed on their device screens, page loading speeds are going to need to be faster than ever before in the coming months.

Chatbots

Once the stuff of science fiction, chatbots are becoming increasingly commonplace in a trend that looks set to continue through 2019 and beyond.

Customers like being able to ask questions and have them answered in real time, and a well-placed chatbot can provide exceptional customer service 24/7.  This is a win-win situation, as it means website owners don’t need to employ full-time staff round the clock to interact with their customers, saving them money without compromising the service that they provide.

Videos

In a trend fuelled by social media, video is becoming increasingly popular, and we predict that it will become much more commonplace throughout 2019.

It may seem counter-productive, particularly given the necessity for fast-loading pages, but the power of video simply can’t be underestimated.  The eye is drawn to moving images, and research shows that visitors tend to stay longer on pages that contain video feeds, which is good news for the website owner – the longer visitors remain on a website, the greater the likelihood that they will make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter or otherwise engage with that site.

Flat design

Web experts predict that flat design will once again become all-pervasive throughout the coming months.

In recent years the concept of flat design has gone in and out of fashion, but its simplicity means that pages load faster, and the minimalistic approach works well across all device screens, making it easy for visitors to find the information that they’re looking for.  This will quickly raise your site’s profile, as the search engines reward speed and user experience, improving your website’s position in their rankings.

Micro-interactions

We’ve all experienced the frustration of tapping or clicking on a website button and wondering if the action has registered.

Micro-interactions use small animations, sounds and colour changes to show that something has taken place, making it easier for website visitors to interact meaningfully with a website.  From displaying drop-down menus when your finger hovers over a hamburger menu, to changing the colour of a button once it’s been clicked or tapped, we confidently predict that you can expect to see a big increase in micro-interactions throughout 2019.