You probably know this already, but web design plays a crucial role in how your visitors will perceive your website and your brand in general. Some sources claim that its impact is huge, it takes a fraction of a second for users to create an opinion about a website.
That being said, an engaging design will undoubtedly help you get closer to your online goals, may that be boosting sales, building awareness, and so on.
That being said, it’s incredibly important for every site owner to include a modern web design into their marketing strategy.
However, this can get a bit hectic, as trends are constantly changing and if you are not up-to-date with the latest craze, you’re running the risk of refreshing your old site (or build a new one) with outdated approaches.
You want to avoid that, and in order to help you, PopArt Studio comprised a list of the best innovative web design ideas that will ensure that your site sticks out from the crowd and leaves a good impression with your visitors.
There are also a few handy tips for web designers that will help inspire them and get their creative juices flowing.
1. The Use Of White Space
If you want something modern, consider heading back to the basics of the well-known minimalistic approach and have a tide of purposeful white space, like what you’ve come to associate with print magazines.
Why is it a great idea? It helps your visitors to move through your site pages with ease, going from element to element without any feeling of crowdedness. It also helps to create a visual hierarchy among your elements, making sure that they create perfect visual balance and harmony.
It’s also a great way to help your visitors’ eyes rest and helps to structure the overall page better with distinguishing between elements clearly.
We’ve mentioned hierarchy before. The smart use of white space will enable your users to identify the most important pieces of information on every page, which is especially important when you want to improve user experience (not to mention, achieve your objectives at the same time, i.e. boost sales).
When it comes to having a minimalistic approach, note that sometimes less is more. When you consciously decide to put only the essential information on your main page, chances are, your visitors are going to stick around, browsing your pages to find out more.
Such designs can be interesting and beautiful at the same time and they also pose visitors a fun challenge to figure out what your site’s all about and they engage with it for longer to find out more.
2. Consider Full-page Headers
Web designers have been implementing different header variations for a while now, but the latest trend involves adding a call to action (or CTA) button on the left side of the header with engaging images on the right side.
They do this because people tend to scan texts in a certain way, and most of them focus most on the top-left section of a page.
This is a great way to get down to business right away. The imagery you include can help with your brand-building efforts, as it could help you with storytelling, while the left upper corner conveys a clear marketing message.
When the user scrolls down, you should still have your basic site elements, full functionality, every piece of content, and all the fame and glory your web app comes with.
3. For Web Designers: Recycle Wisely
Are you one of those who delete every canceled design project or do you keep them for future referencing or as a great way to help you get creative?
Reusing old projects can definitely help you save time, and in some cases, they can even be a good place to start your next operation.
The only problem is, when you want to come up with something ground-shaking and innovative, you’ll probably have a hard time since you will be mostly closed into the confines of the previous project.
Instead, when starting out, consider experimenting a bit. Who says you have to start with a white canvas? Set it to black and see where it takes you.
Mix things up. If you’ve started with the headers before, now, try figuring out how you will configure navigation. Instead of focusing on defining the layout, try to come up with an unusual yet functional way to display post and page titles.
The main idea here is that you don’t necessarily have to go by the same old process every single time. Dare to experiment within the confines of the best UI/UX practices, and dare to come up with approaches that might even help you create an even more optimal and ground-breaking design.
4. Give Playful Cursors a Shot & Embrace Dynamic Scrolling
Implementing a new cursor type (or different cursor types) can give your visitors a totally new experience and a fun way to express your creativity and individuality. This is a relatively simple trick that can range from different cursor shapes to different cursor-triggered animations.
It might sound a bit childish or game-like, however, if you embrace it the right way, it can be really beneficial for your online business efforts.
For starters, if the animations are really engaging, visitors can stick around on your site a few extra minutes that can potentially draw them closer to making a purchase. On the other hand, if the cursor-triggered animations (and cursor shapes) are strategically crafted, they can also help you with brand recognition. That being said, consider a shape or animation that in some way relates to your brand. This can help deepen the bond between your visitor and brand and can inspire future purchases.
Looking for another inspiring web design idea for 2020? What about dynamic scrolling?
One way you can go about this is by setting different scrolling speeds for the foreground and background of your website which can give visitors a 3D-like effect.
You can also calibrate it to make images load or to have video or audio playing when users scroll. It’s a great way to grab their attention, however, you’ll want to go easy on some of these effects, as you don’t want to overwhelm your reader with unnecessary fluff.
5. Web Designers: Throw Your Pre-designed Layouts in the Bin
Don’t take this one literally. However, if you want to create something truly new and inspiring, you may want to at least give it a shot.
It’s true that grid systems serve a clear purpose and they increase efficiency, save time, money, and increase the usability and consistency of any web page layout, not to mention, it keeps cross-browser support in check.
However, if you need to hammer out a project where the focus is on creativity and uniqueness, strict layout formats can actually hold you back from coming up with something new.
What if you had a chance to work outside of the 960-pixel box? If you’re not required to do it, why not come up with a new way of making a website design work and engage visitors?
Things like horizontal-scrolling can have a huge impact on audiences, and they are definitely worth a shot when you want something truly unique and individual.
6. Consider Going with a Custom Website
For most site owners, taking the CMS-route is probably the best way to get an easily maintainable website that focuses on delivering content and that’s easy to tweak on the fly without having to rely on a web designer for every little change.
However, even though these tools save time and a lot of effort when it comes to site ownership, they also take away a significant portion of the individuality and uniqueness that comes with having your very own site.
If you really want to leave your mark on the digital scene and have your story told the best possible way, why not build a custom page?
This way, you can work closely with your web development team and they can create a truly unique website just for you with the latest features, the best UI/UX practices, and with all the functionality you need, all in one place.
7. Opt For Custom Illustrations
The imagery you use is an important and crucial part of your design as it is responsible for the lion’s share of the visual impact of your website and it’s also an essential branding tool that can help you present your brand better.
For modern website practices, try staying away from the cookie-cutter stock images, and go with unique shapes and images for an inspiring look to rock 2020.
Get creative. Embrace artistic and unique 2D images and feel free to incorporate custom illustrations. Also, consider digital designs that create 3D illusions for an even more engaging overall look.
This same artistic and unique approach shouldn’t be restricted to illustrations and filler-imagery. This strategy can be embraced when you’re mingling around with your product images as well. They can also be intriguing, unique, and artistic. Also, if you manage to capture an angle (literally) that’s enticing enough, you will also manage to keep your visitors on your website for a few extra minutes.
On the other hand, you can also use product images as design elements. Who says you can’t put one of your best-selling products as your background? Let people know what’s the flagship product of your brand, and that you are proud of its success!
8. Content Should Still Be King
With all this talk about different design trends and practices, you shouldn’t forget about your content.
That being said, always focus on creating top-notch, whatever you do. Written articles, audio, or video, you want it to be high-quality and easily visible.
One great way for making this happen is by designing your entire website around your content. This makes the most sense for certain types of businesses, like media companies, and other firms that have a content-heavy business model or choose to prioritize content for achieving their marketing goals.
9. Bold Fonts
As bold and outline types are becoming more and more popular, embrace them for your 2020 website refresh project.
Use bold fonts in landing page headings, brand names, etc. This practice also evokes a certain visual hierarchy, helping visitors distinguish elements, separating secondary information from your main message.
It also makes your overall design less distracting, more straightforward, and gives your website and brand a more professional and confident overall look.
Just make sure to use the typeface that matches your brand best.
10. Web Designers: Stay Offline
No, not entirely. What we’re talking about here is trying to avoid online inspiration when you want to come up with an innovative design.
It’s sometimes difficult to zone out and not to surf online as a visitor and not as a professional.
While it’s true that most design galleries and inspirational lists can help spark innovative ideas, they can also ground the designer.
Admittedly, this is not easy. Most of the time, you’ll have to work off of somebody’s design, especially when your client sends you a link with the message: I’d like something like this”. In these cases, the source site will pretty much have to your inspirational source, otherwise, the client may drop you from the project and nobody wants that.
Also, if you have a bad day and feel unmotivated, looking at a few good websites may give you the inspiration you need.
However, if you want a unique website, see how far you can go without online inspiration. It’s difficult, and chances are, your first few shots at it won’t exactly be that good. On the other hand, it can give you a moment of clarity and some space for individuality as you avoid the trap of constantly stalking your competition.
11. Shift Your Focus on UX/UI
If you truly want to come up with something innovative and something that will “click just right” with your audience, simply focus on them more.
For great user experience your website in 2020 should be:
- Easy to navigate with little clutter
- Embrace multimedia
- Full with relevant SEO content
Web designers do their best to wrap functionality in a creative, clean, and clear package to deliver a great user experience.
On the other hand, UI (user interface) should be intuitive for the best results.
- Image captions
- Voice-enabled interfaces
- Video transcriptions
- Balanced motion designs
- No distracting elements
So, to spice up the UI/UX aspects of your website, consider:
- Giving your visitors content that’s easy to read on a platform that’s easy for them to use
- Providing an aesthetic environment where they can enjoy your content.
Also, it’s quite self-explanatory, but in order to keep on top of the industry and web design trends, your website should be stunning both on desktop and mobile.
12. Center Your Design around Storytelling
Great website design isn’t just easy to use, intuitive, and clear. As brand development becomes more and more important and as customers are more and more intrigued by brand stories and the associated lifestyle, you should create a website that genuinely tells a compelling story with its content, imagery, and design.
For this, everything should come into perfect harmony. The dominant website colors, the imagery, the design elements, the navigation, the functions, and all the bells and whistles should aim to contribute to telling your brand’s story, its identity, and the message it’s trying to convey.
If you manage to nail that, your site will strike a chord with your target audience and will convert them into buying customers easily.
As you can see, there are a couple of different tricks and tips listed here that can help you keep up with the latest trends and innovative ideas that not only can help you boost your sites conversion rates but also serve as a foundation for an entirely gourd-breaking website design that might even set a new standard in your industry.
The key takeaway here is to always keep your brand identity in the forefront. Customers and people who are already familiar with you will want to see the same company, and this means that every design directive and idea should blend into your brand development strategy.
If you already have a preferred font type, color palette, and imagery, don’t try to reinvent the wheel and forcing something new that just won’t sit well with your audience and your brand just because it’s “trendy”.
The truth is, every design trend and innovative idea can be tailored to a specific brand, and it only needs somebody with experience and knowledge.
That being said, if you find yourself at the crossroads of a website refresh or a complete re-haul, your best bet is to consult a web design agency as their professionals will surely know the right course of action to take to hook you up with modern and innovative website design.