Over the years, we have seen scores—probably even hundreds—of web design trends come and go. One such trend that readily comes to mind is the hit counters button.
For some time, the hit counters button was everywhere. Then webmasters realized how useless it was for accurately tracking your visitors, right to the point where they became embarrassing because they only showed too few hits. It was rendered even more useless with the advent of Google Analytics.
Thankfully, the word “trend” suggests something temporary, and the hit counters button turned out to be as temporary as it could get.
Many other web design elements that started out as a trend, however, have stuck with us for years for the simple reason that they actually work on so many levels. Judging by the way things look, the following web design trends will last forever.
There was a time when web designers fell over themselves trying to outdo each other in terms of how intricate and complicated their designs were. Eventually, however, they realized that keeping things simple resonated better with visitors, as a simple design makes a website a lot less confusing than a site with so many elements and a huge amount of information being shared on its pages.
Being cute with your web design can only get you so far. It’s always more important to focus on the primary reason people visit your site in the first place, and that can be easily achieved with a simple web design.
People come up with dozens of brand new fonts with each passing year, and it’s only normal for web designers to play with them. However, no matter how cool and trendy fonts get, their readability should always be a primary consideration. You can use all the beautifully-designed fonts you want, but legibility is all your visitors will always care about, and text that’s easy to read will never go out of style.
To make sure your content is easy to read, you should use a font and size that is readable across all screens. Breaking up your content through bulleted or numbered lists or images is also a great idea.
The use of white space is a relatively recent web design trend, but it’s shaping up to be one trend that’s going to be en vogue for a long time.
The use of empty or white space is proving to be such an effective design element, as it gives the various other elements of your website plenty of room to breathe. Some people might think that white space wastes a lot of real estate, but in reality, it makes your website content and other elements more engaging. Besides, the average website visitor is not really interested in knowing everything there is to know about your business in one visit, so there’s no point in cramming all the information in every empty space you can find on a page. Leave enough whitespace on every page on your website and help your audience reserve their energy and interest levels for future visits.
You can write whatever you want on your website, but the biggest attention-getter will always be the images on it, especially the photography. When your website carries striking pictures, people will always respond to them. Human beings, after all, are incredibly visual creatures. If visitors see plenty of beautiful photographs on your site, whether they be of your products or anything related to your business, they will be more likely to stay on longer and explore the site more.
Most web design trends will fade away, but great photography will last a long time.
If all your visitors were tech-savvy people, then you can do whatever you want with your site, and they will instantly figure out what that weird icon on the upper-left corner of the screen does or what that animated rabbit at the bottom is trying to tell them.
Unfortunately, the average Internet user is not that enamored with fancy bells and whistles. People have neither the time nor the interest to figure things out on your website. All they care about is easy navigation and simple processes. If anything, a website should be primarily designed for users who aren’t that technically proficient. That means clear labels on all critical sections, streamlined processes, and of course, a better-organized interface that makes navigation a whole lot easier. Now that is something visitors will always want any website they visit to be for all time.
Responsive web design is probably the most recent web design trend on this list, but from all indications, it’s going to last just as long as the other trends on this list. It might even outlast them all.
The number of mobile users has grown by leaps and bounds ever since it was revealed that phone and tablet users have already overtaken people who do their Internet surfing on desktop computers. As mobile users multiply exponentially over the next few years, responsive design is going to be bigger and more important than ever.
Giving responsive design a boost is the roll-out this year of the Google Mobile-First Index, which will use the mobile versions of websites as the basis for Google’s rankings and search listings. With webmasters’ prospects of ranking well improved by having a website that performs well across all devices, it’s just a matter of time before all of them work towards making their websites mobile-friendly in all aspects. For as long as Google keeps the Mobile-First Index in place, responsive design will remain a timeless web design trend.
As the years go by, you will notice that so many web design trends will fade away, but not the items listed above. Unlike the hit counters button mentioned earlier and countless other trends that many web designers have adapted, then ditched when they were no longer hot, these six web design trends will never outlive their usefulness and are here to stay.