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What’s Working Online in Web Design (2018 Edition)

At the end of each year I like to scour the web and look for the emerging trends that are going to redefine how we do business online.

Design geek, anyone? You gotta laugh at yourself sometimes… 😉

This year, I noticed 8 emerging web design trends that are poised to go big in 2018.

I recommend you read all 8, but be on the look out for the 1 thing you want to integrate first. That’s the only way to stay sane in our rapidly changing virtual world.

If you’re ready to go big in 2018, then tune in:

1. Mobile First Design

Mobile website traffic continues to increase at huge rates and it’s no longer enough to create mobile-friendly sites, you have to design for mobile first.

In the next few months Google will be debuting it’s Mobile First Index, which will place the mobile version of your site first in the search results. And if you fail to deliver a fully mobile responsive experience, it will demote or even withhold you from the search rankings.

Over half of your website visitors today are visiting your site from mobile devices. Up from 43.6% in 2016. And 35.1% in 2015.

This is no longer a Mobile Revolution, it’s a Mobile First World. We’ve officially entered the matrix, people.

2. Simplicity

In a Mobile First World, Simplicity is King.

With the average screensize shrinking down to fit in your pocket or handbag, web real estate is more valuable then it ever has been before.

There simply isn’t room for a massive menu, fiddly dropdown navigation, oodles of copy or huge amounts of graphics.

First of all that stuff takes time to load and, second, people don’t have time to wade through the junk to get to what they’re really looking for.

In this micro-world, sites are going minimalist, leveraging more open space, flatter design, bright colors and big bold typography to guide attention, help your content stand out, and focus only on what matters. Less is absolutely more. You want to go easy on the eyes when you’re designing for mobile.

3. One Page Website Revolution

In a Mobile First World where Simplicity is King, why have a 5 or 10 page site when you could do it all on one page?

Each and every new page takes time to load – time that most visitors aren’t willing to give. Plus clicks are getting harder to come by. So why not put all your chips out on the table and let people quickly find what they want without having to search or click for it?

One page website navigation is based on scrolling or jumping down a single page rather than loading a new page.

4. Video or Bust

While half of all website is coming from mobile, 70% is going to video. People want to see the face behind the brand. Static images are not enough, they want to hear you and feel you… and giving people what they want will double or more the time they spend on your site.

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re camera shy, it’s time to get over that once and for all.

In 2018, video is no longer optional. It’s a fact of doing business in today’s world.

5. Original Content & Imagery

The age of stock photography and curated content is over.

There are way too many websites out there – and thousands more each and every day — if you’re just recycling the same images and the same content as everybody else, no one’s going to come back for more.

It’s time to invest your time and resources into original photography, articles, content and video.

6. Make it Sticky

If you want to make sure something gets seen, make it “sticky.”

Sticky navs and sticky call to actions that stay fixed on the top or bottom of the screen as someone scrolls are becoming more common and driving the highest conversions.

Imagine you have your cell phone in your right hand… where is your thumb? At the bottom of the phone, right? So in a Mobile First World, you want to put your most important sticky on the bottom.

7. Grown Up Animations

Gone are all the flashy animations and whiz bang parallax that yo-yo your eye every which way as you scroll down a page.

And in our sparing, grown-up, scroll-activated animation that draw your attention to the most important parts of a page. Nothing more and nothing less.

If you’re going to use animations, make sure you use them to accentuate your content, rather then overwhelm your content.

8. The Chatbot Takeover

They’re here and they’re not going away. You may have noticed Chatbots delivering you messages on Facebook.

What you may not know is that they’re being integrated into website chat to provide 24-7 customer support.

They can answer basic questions, direct visitors to specific content or even help them complete a transaction. I’m convinced they can even bring you coffee…

Visitors today expect instant support… at the same time, teams are seeking greater time flexibility. Chatbots are the only way to provide the support your customers demand without needing a massive team or burning out your poor VA!

Let me know in the chat which one of these 8 trends you want to jump on first…  after all, unless you’re a Bot, you can’t do everything at once!

And if 2018 is the year to get a brand new, beautiful website that will build your business, then be sure to check out Heroic, our new website building platform that helps you achieve points 1, 2, and 3 in this list, all in one swoop. 🙂

The main thing is to make the main thing the main thing… J

Now go out there and Live Your Message!

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Denise Avatar

    Great Information Marissa! I had noticed some of these trends on a few sites that I have visited recently but did not realize that these things were a part of a strategic marketing plan. Thanks for the awakening.

    (P.S. Please consider having a workshop or two in the New York City area for us East Coast fans)

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome! Denise it’s all about adapting how you market to the new trends and technologies in the market and what people come to expect.

      I’m not planning a Workshop on the East Coast anytime in the next couple years. Why not come out to LA in February? It’s just a short plane ride away? We have people flying in from at least 20 countries to join us, so New York isn’t so far… 🙂

  2. Mary Collette Rogers Avatar
    Mary Collette Rogers

    Are you seeing any similar trends in landing pages. The ones I’m seeing are just as long and cluttered as ever. I was trying to go for more simplicity in my latest one but wondered if I was missing the boat? Thanks

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      If by landing pages, you mean squeeze pages, I have noticed that simpler squeeze pages are outperforming longer more complex ones.

  3. Mr Move it! (Masara) Avatar
    Mr Move it! (Masara)

    Thank you Marisa, I have intuitively done 1 through 7 but 8 is still an unknown for me. What do you mean by “burn out your poor VA”.
    You are the most unique creative Ninja online-I love the style in which you deliver quality, add humor, make your pitch, place your product and present your call to action.
    I actually read all your “Marketing” you are my current favorite.
    My real name is Masara (not Marisa) but my business name is and will remain Mr. Move it! because that is exactly what I DO and TEACH to DO. I move people in the direction that they want to grow at the speed that they want to go, so now you know I don’t go with the flow. 🙂 M!
    Keep sharing “Live Your Message” and compliments of the season.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks for the kind words Mr. Move It! #8 is using Chatbots to do customer support, so your VA or support person doesn’t have to spend time answering basic support questions.

  4. monicka Avatar

    Awesome, valuable and confirming post. Thank you!! 🙂

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Monicka! Good to see you again… 🙂

  5. Brian Baker Avatar
    Brian Baker

    This is awesome. But what if brands that sell multiple types merchandise exclusively through their website? Surely that can’t all be incorporated into single page design, although simplicity certainly can. Thanks for the great content!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Nope. While you still want to go simple, you would skip the single page approach in this scenario. We don’t use a single page site for It’s a trend, which doesn’t mean you have to use it!

  6. Penny Avatar

    Great useful information. Are you using more than one web page on your site? If so, why not just one page?

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Yes I’m using a multi-page site. These are trends, that doesn’t mean you have to follow all of them. That’s why I suggested to pick the 1 that you really want to focus on. Not all trends will relate to all people.

      I have a blog on my site, so that doesn’t allow a 1-page site. I also have multiple kinds of offers, which requires a multi-page site.

      However, we still keep it simple and keep our top navigation options to just 4. 🙂

      1. Penny Avatar

        Perfect and helpful answer. I get it now. I like the idea of a one page site to reduce load times and scrolling option. Going to make my landing page longer to include areas to jump further down. Thank you!

        1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
          Marisa Murgatroyd

          Sweet! It make sense for a lot of our students and clients too!

  7. renee Avatar

    OK, two things which are connected: First and foremost, mobile first. I usually start my design concepts from the desktop vantage point. It’s time to flip my thinking around, which also goes right into STICKY, especially keeping the most important elements on the bottom near the thumb. Totally logical.
    Thank you!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Renee! Glad to get this info out to designers. 🙂

  8. collette m yuille Avatar
    collette m yuille

    Great content I will go for the one page and maybe some live video

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