Since 2015 there has been a constant emphasis on websites performing at high-speed. Fast forward to 2020, and the speed of your website is still an incredibly important metric.
Google is the king of search, and the key to its business model is ensuring that it’s users have a good time. They want to return the best quality, most useful content, and they also want users to have the best experience on the websites that they visit.
Google’s official advice is to make sure that your website should responds within 0.6 seconds.
If your website is running slow, here is a direct snippet of the advice from Google on measures you can take to improve it:
- Optimize the server’s application logic to prepare pages faster. If you use a server framework, the framework may have recommendations on how to do this.
- Optimize how your server queries databases, or migrate to faster database systems.
- Upgrade your server hardware to have more memory or CPU.
Mobile website trends
The growth of Mobile started over 10 years ago now, and it has driven major changes in behaviour around how people use websites. This graph illustrates the growth very well. The blue line is the prevalence of Windows, PC and laptop operating systems. The Orange and Dark grey lines show Android and iOS use as a proportion of market share.
That’s a combined 54% of all internet traffic coming from mobile devices. Desktop is in decline; today, the web is mostly mobile!
The rise of mobile has resulted in a rise in demand for a responsive website, where your site scales gracefully to fit the screen size of the device you are using. A “rise in demand” is an understatement, it is now a minimum requirement of modern websites.
This design convention allows web designers to broaden their minds and delve into their creative options.
Although the trend may be heading down a minimalistic route; as ‘the design is complete when all the non-essential elements have been removed.’
Starting out with the list of trends that are set to de-clutter the world wide web; like 2015, 2020 see’s the continuation of the trend for finishes, with a minimal colour palette, well considered images, and plenty of white space.
- – The matte finish can be reached when using a flat user interface. This will remove all of the distractions that may present themselves in the website’s design.
- – Previous web design trends were the applications of gradients, round corners and other elements that could alter the layout to make it as realistic as possible.
- – Like 2015, 2020 is still the time of removing all of the nonsensical alterations; notable web giants that are a step ahead of the game are Apple’s iOS, Gmail, Facebook, and Windows 10.
Growth of the web app
In 2015, websites were functional places to find information. For most businesses, this has not changed, however, in 2020, more and more organisations are looking for ways to streamline their internal processes and reach their customers in new, innovative ways.
Web apps and online portals are apps that exist entirely on the web. They provide high degrees of bespoke functionality, behaving more like a piece of software than a website.
Here are some ways around how to build an online portal to boost your business:
- Reach a global market, and build digital product.
- Provide users and stakeholders with instance access to multiple services.
- Allow access to real time business data, both internal and client-facing.
- Connect your systems using API’s.
- Introduce new revenue streams (e.g. recurring monthly revenue)/
- Collect and connect data to drive new insights.
- Provide a self-service solution to your users.
Typography and on-page elements
2014 saw typography lead web design and web layout, this year will be no different as it remains an important element.
Typography, specifically the font size of the content, is the current indicator of content hierarchy. This year denotes bigger is better – large, eye-grabbing fonts are trending and are most definitely efficient at delivering a business’s primary message.
Removing elements such as scroll bars was a big trend in 2015, which seems to have regressed back in 2020. With the growth of mobile making users more inclined to continue to scroll down the page rather than swipe left and right.
Combine an easy-to-scroll website design with a hierarchy of well-established content and you enable the user to comfortably navigate the site, have a better experience, and be more likely to engage with your business.
Simplicity remains important
The trend for simplicity continues to grow, so we expect that many websites that have heavy colour and images running throughout, with complex layouts slowly dwindling, in favour of the more toned down layout.
The previous large headers, with a corresponding large background image that pairs with it, can be replaced with image free headers. It is possible to attract more attention to a header, if there is one at hand, by going against the grain. So use this technique at your own risk, and make sure the user can flow through your site, and find relevant calls to action with ease.
Selecting images carefully will not only increase the performance of the website, but it will also contribute to the ease with which a user will be digesting the website.
A website can stand out, and stay on track with the trend, by utilising the technique of a split screen. This will allow a business to present two vital marketing messages to a user at a first glance.
It’s quite a beneficial technique when comparing two primary elements that hold equal importance, as an example; women’s and men’s clothing, or perhaps the embodiment of a company’s two equal characteristics, if that is a part of the equation.
Another element of websites will be the reduction of stock imagery. Instead, 2020 should see the utilisation of personal and custom-made images that present an air of professionalism.
Sticking with the idea of images, there has been an increase in illustrations. These may vary from the detailed to the fairly humorous, both of which communicate with users, showing a brands personality.
As a way of maintaining the sleek and simple website design, the mobile- first approach will launch its effects throughout the year, universally setting up similar to an app with pop-out navigational bars.
Circles are rearing their heads with the ‘mobile first’ approach. As a growing number of designers are utilising this method for touch screens; the circles present the drive for a call to action as their round shape is a translation of buttons in the physical world.
They act as a tempting call to action because the shape is perfect for the finger on a touch screen. In addition, they also present a point of difference in the web world as linear rules dominate.
Concluding that the speed and efficiency of a website being of the utmost importance. In addition, the idea of removing all of the unnecessary (even though pleasant to the eye) elements, makes sense. Web apps may be king to allow you to differentiate yourself from the competition. And, the distraction of complicated on-page elements is subjective, however, keeping with the trend simpler, sleeker website designs are more appealing in 2020.