New styles in design, new elements, and new opportunities in web design arrive on the market every few months it seems, as more and more coding opportunities and more server processing power can be allocated to websites.
But not every element which rises in popularity is worth adding!
Some, for example, can be incorporated thoughtfully and help explain your company’s culture, help tell stories, or communicate better to visitors and potential clients.
Other design elements can help websites look better, improving their display across devices or improving your visitor experience, creating a memorable website visit.
But others can look slapdash and shallow, if they’re not incorporated well, and can dramatically increase your website’s load time, meaning less visitor time on the site.
So which ones should you pick, out of the roster of best modern design elements moving forward?
1. Utilize More Custom Web-Safe Font Options
In the past, it was true that not all fonts were web-safe; and that’s why non-serifed fonts grew in popularity! These days, though, there are thousands of new web-safe fonts to choose from; and you can even utilize a website plugin to gain access to all of Google’s library of web-safe fonts designed specifically for easy use in websites.
The font used on your website can help indicate a company’s culture, and create a strong mental image of a brand. More and more websites should consider utilizing custom fonts on their website to create differentiation. For example, the New Yorker font is very recognizable, as is the font used in the twitter logo: so look to typography to help create a strong brand image.
But more than creating a strong brand image, custom font can help readers easily navigate down a page, especially when they’re scrolling down on mobile devices.
2. Large, High-Res, Responsive Hero Images or Graphics
Whether you’re custom building a website or using a builder like www.websitebuilder.com, most people know that large, high-res sliders are in! But often they are not optimally responsive, or have questionable callouts and CTA buttons.
Even worse, a lot of websites don’t use high-res images and graphics, meaning the image looks skewed, stretched, or blurry. To get the most effect out of this, use a large and high-res image or graphic with set responsiveness parameters, so that whenever a visitor looks at the website, the graphic is optimally displayed, rather than bizarrely cropped. And if you intend to overlay text or other content above the image, consider using a gradient or pattern overlay to darken the image and provide better contrast, so that the content you actually want users to engage with (text or buttons) really pops, even on mobile.
Big hero images like these are often a little better than home page sliders, which often don’t give users enough time to interact (especially if they’re on mobile) before changing. So upping the ‘wow’ factor with high-res can help make a big impact, while giving enough of a punch that it looks fantastic even in the pared-down smartphone size.
3. Use Background Videos Behind Text
For pages with very little content and some landing pages, having videos behind the call out text is another big modern design trend which has been adopted by many big companies (Paypal is a good example), and gives the movement impact of the slider, while allowing mobile visitors the time to interact with CTAs. These videos often start playing in the background when a user lands on the page, without sound, and tell short stories which represent the company or website’s spirit.
They’re very enticing for visitors, and can serve the secondary purpose of helping new visitors understand more about the purpose of the site, consolidating talking points or information into motion. Many such videos are plugged in behind filters so that it makes CTA text easier to see. If you can’t afford custom video, it’s relatively easy to purchase video content from media-producing websites at pretty low costs.