Top web design trends for 2017
April 10th, 2017

5 Website Design Trends for 2017

by Christine Hennessey

There you are, surfing the internet and minding your own business, when suddenly you’re assaulted by a case of bad design. “Was this website built in 1999?” you wonder as you click around, lost and confused. “Are they trying to give me a seizure with these flashing lights? Why does music play when I open a page—what is this, Myspace?”

Lucky for us, most companies, brands, and businesses redesign their websites on a regular basis. Much like the world of fashion, the world of web design follows certain trends. Although they can’t strut down runways, there are definitely styles that are “in” and styles that are “out,” and the last thing you want is for your website to show up in last year’s look!

To keep your website current and stay up-to-date with the latest trends, it’s important to know what new styles are taking hold. By keeping up with these trends, you can ensure that your website stays on the cutting edge. To that end, consider this article a sort of Vogue magazine, but for website design. Introducing: the top five trends of 2017, fresh off the runway.

Big, Bold Typography

Information is conveyed with words, and in 2017 we’re seeing a return to typography that isn’t afraid to make a statement. Big, bold fonts over a clean and minimal design is going to be a familiar look this year, with stunning results. In addition to type taking up more screen space, fonts are also climbing out of the box. Say goodbye to familiar friends such as Times New Roman and Helvetica, and hello to attractive strangers like Futura, Gotham, and Neuzeit. At Sage Island, we’re already seeing this trend in some of our latest web design projects, including Scratch on 23rd, a new restaurant near the Wilmington airport.

Illustrations and Icons

While bold imagery and high quality photos continue to dominate websites, there’s been a trend toward original illustrations. These doodles, often used as icons and accents, are a great way to give a site a more homespun feel, helping visitors connect to it and making them feel comfortable as they navigate. A good example of this is the site we designed for Cucalorus, a popular film festival in Wilmington, NC. The illustrations of sea creatures and monsters bring whimsy to the design without taking away from its ability to share information and an easy-to-read schedule.

Cinemagraphs

Video marketing continues to gain steam in 2017. Delivering consistently high levels of engagement, it’s an excellent way to capture and hold your audience’s attention. Many websites have begun using GIFs and video loops on their homepages to take advantage of this trend, and it’s working. Sage Island recently used this tactic for Sea Turtle Camp, with stunning results. When you open the homepage, you’re greeted with a loop of a sea turtle, swimming first toward the camera and then away from it. The video is beautiful, pleasant, and oddly mesmerizing. It also does a great job of highlighting the best thing about this camp—the turtles.

Responsive Design

Websites that are responsive—that is, they automatically scale to the device on which they are viewed, whether it’s a desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet—will continue to be a key to success in 2017. It’s one of the most effective ways to ensure a good user experience and, thanks to Google’s new algorithm, is also a great way to improve your site’s SEO. If your site isn’t responsive, it will fall off the first page of search results fast. Making your website responsive also makes sense in an increasingly mobile world. Many of us access the internet from our smartphones almost exclusively, and if your website doesn’t translate well to mobile, you’ll lose visitors, users, and sales.

A Spotlight on Content

Content has always been a big part of website design—after all, websites are generally built to house content of some kind, whether it’s an e-commerce store or a robust news blog. In 2017, however, content is taking center stage and many website designs will be built to present their content in the best possible way. (A good example of this is the news section we created for our client Carolina Arthritis Associates. It’s updated twice a month with interesting, engaging, and helpful articles, written by our talented team.) This means putting a feed of a company’s blog on the homepage, feeding content from social platforms directly onto the website, and spending more time building robust pages with information that informs and entertains. In today’s day and age, websites aren’t just tools to deliver information—they’re vehicles inviting their audiences for a joyride.

If you haven’t updated your website in a few years, it may be time to get a new look. If you feel overwhelmed by the inspiration offered in this article, don’t worry—the team at Sage Island can help figure out the best way to embrace your personal style and find a unique and modern look that’s 100% you. Contact us and make 2017 your website’s most stylish year yet.