08 Sep Accessibility Stars in Website Design Trends for 2020
Website design, like interior design, morphs from year to year. Small changes in design trends over time mean your website will be outdated in five to ten years. Remember those see-through telephones from 1990s? Or the sleigh bed from 2001? While they held a coveted position then, they’re relegated to the “has been” design list now. Your website design is no different. And this 2020’s website trends all lead back to accessibility.
Your website took on more importance this year than ever. Quarantined to their homes, your customers took their shopping and question asking online for hours upon hours. Good website design allows users to find the information they need quickly, but looks are important too. If you want your business to be seen as a relevant company that’s up-to-date with industry technology, it starts with your website.
If it’s time for your business website to undergo a redesign this year, keep these ideas in mind as you work with a web development team to bring your site up to date.
At first glance, accessibility looks harder to implement than it is. It’s really several small, manageable changes you can make to ensure your website is easy to navigate for everyone. Disability takes on many forms. Creating a website that makes it easy for all your customers to access your information ensures your customers will stick around longer. After all, you’re the one who cared enough to see them and work harder to reach them.
A lot of accessibility items will be performed by your development team on the back end, but it’s a discussion you should have early with your team. Ask what options they offer for accessibility. Some more difficult changes may increase the cost of your project.
Check out this great list by Vox Media of how to create a more accessible site. Accessibility isn’t about requirements. It’s caring enough about your customer to make changes for them whether you’re required to make those changes or not.
In short, cursive is out, and large, bold, all-caps fonts are in. A lot of the visual elements on this list relate back to accessibility starting with this one. Cursive fonts make many smaller letters harder to read. Website visitors skim sites before they decide to read an in-depth article. A catchy headline in an easy to read font will keep them on your site longer.
Large, bold fonts don’t have to mean boring, though. Keep the fonts consistent but consider one font for your site that stands out a little. It can add a little pizzazz while still being easy on the eyes.
All the social media platforms are doing it, so why can’t you? Dark mode switches the usually white or light neutral background to, you guessed it, black. Dark mode can make your site more mysterious or more serious. It’s also the perfect background for the neon, florescent and bright colors that are taking the web development world by storm.
Dark mode also plays into accessibility as it reduces eye-strain in low light situations. It also saves battery power on some devices. Some web developers will develop the entire site in dark mode while others may offer dark mode as an option end users can choose.
3D and Floating Elements
A purely aesthetic option, 3D elements and floating elements along with soft shadows will be showing up on website and graphic design elements around the internet this year and for years to come. The key to successful 3D implementation is a high performing user interface. Otherwise, you’ll frustrate your users with low response times and lags.
Floating elements, on the other hand, give a 3D feel without the expense of 3D elements. Layer those floating elements on top of each other with soft shadows and you’re looking at a winning combination. This design moves your website away from the ordinary, flat design and holds your visitor’s interest longer.
From Facebook to TikTok to YouTube, video rules the day. It only makes sense to find elements of motion on websites. We’ve placed videos on our website for years, now those videos are taking center stage. We’ll see large videos consume the space hero images once dominated.
But videos are just the beginning. Motion now includes animations and liquid style animations. Our attentions continue to dwindle. Engaged users stay longer on a website. Liquid style animations encourage users to hover and move around a site as the images respond to the movement.
Hand Drawn Illustrations, line-style drawing
We still love flat illustrations and graphics, but these imperfect hand-drawn illustrations are growing on us. For years websites bombarded consumers with perfect images and smooth graphics. Real life, however, isn’t smooth and glossy. Your website users want realistic, transparent website. Hand-drawn illustrations and line-style drawings add some perfectly imperfect elements to your website.
Lucky for you, these illustrations and drawings are easier to find than the 3D elements we discussed above. Combine line drawings with those perfectly product placement images for an eye-catching final product.
Minimalism (focus, white space)
Yeah, so how do you combine 3D images, large, bold fonts, and hand-drawn illustrations to create a minimalist website? First, you may not have a need or space for all those elements. Just because it’s a trend, doesn’t mean you need all of them. Second, many developers are combining these elements into one section of a website.
Minimalism assists you in focusing your user on what you want them to do. Large bold fonts leave little room for a congested website. Plenty of white space allows your content to speak for itself and reducing the chances you’ll get too wordy where you don’t need to be wordy.
Also, extra white space contributes to accessibility. A more simple design keeps the main thing the main thing, which reduces confusion for your users with vision and hearing challenges.
Have you noticed how many websites no longer have a line of menu options at the top? If you’re accessing sites mostly on your mobile device, you likely see three little lines that pop out a menu when you click them. Streamlined navigation has moved to desktop sites now as well. By removing your top navigation bar, you’ll have more room for large images, graphics, videos and that large, bold font we discussed earlier.
Navigation directly affects how your users find what they want. Simple pages with common sense sub-pages make this task easy.
Don’t think you have to implement all these elements to have a state of the art website. Not every trend makes your website better for your end user. And that’s the goal after all, to create a website that nudges your customer further into their buying journey. All these elements add excitement and glamour to your website, but if you don’t have great content then you’re left with pretty pictures and little else.
Your website’s content is more important than ever. Your users will see through flashy graphics to thin content quickly. Momentum Consulting can not only help you weed through all the website trend options, but we can shore up your content so your users keep coming back to your site as a source of information. Request your free website consultation now.