Modern Web Design Trends

Modern Web Design Trends

Just like fashion, modern web design trends come and go.  Some of them come from changes in technology, such as responsive design and now AMP.  Others are just from aesthetics like flat design.  Whether you decide to follow what is trending should be based on the needs of your users not what some other guy is doing.  The thing about trends is they disappear pretty quickly.

All of that being said, what is trending right now in modern web design, which trends will stick around and which ones will be gone next week.  Some new design trends will probably stick around for awhile, others probably shouldn’t be used in the first place.

1. Hamburger Menus

Once mobile browsing started overtaking desktop browsing some of the feature transitioned from mobile to desktop design.  This makes cleaner and sleeker navigation and since mobile browsing is so popular it is something visitors are already familiar with.

2. Carousels on the Front Page

This is a trend that you should ignore altogether.  While carousels do have a purpose they are interesting and they can reduce clutter.  The bad outweighs the good, carousels are on websites everywhere and this makes your site look cookie cutter.

The other reason to ditch carousels is they certainly don’t help your SEO efforts.  While the whole “above the fold” content thing really doesn’t matter much anymore carousels push your content below the fold.  And lastly unless you optimize the hell out of them they slow your site down.

3. Parallax Scrolling

There are more and more sites using parallax scrolling, let’s face it, it is pretty cool looking the way it creates the illusion of depth.  It is not without its own issues though and there is some debate as to whether it makes the user experience better or worse.  Like carousels, it doesn’t do much for your SEO efforts.  It buries a lot of content in graphics leaving less for the search engines to crawl.

Parallax relies heavily on JavaScript slow it can slow your load time down to a crawl particularly on mobile devices.  Some users just don’t like experience of scrolling through a parallax site. On the plus side parallax looks amazing and it can bring your site to life so be careful using it.  Here is a video showing you just how parallax works and what it is.

5. Overdoing JavaScript

JavaScript is everywhere, it is used for a good deal of WordPress plugins and social plugins use them too.  However, JavaScript can slow your site down and if a user has to wait too long, they are gone. JavaScript doesn’t get crawled by Google so you can miss out on ranking opportunities with too much Java.

What were once modern web design trends eventually became best practices, much like responsive design.  A good web designer is always skeptical of what is new and builds web pages with the user in mind.

Is AMP Right for Your Website?

Is AMP Right for Your Website?

You probably already know the importance of fast loading web pages, long load times cause your visitors to leave and it affects your bounce rate.  There are tools and tweaks you can use to optimize your website to make it faster.  For mobile web browsing the AMP Project is one of the most promising solutions of slow load times on a mobile device, but is AMP right for your website?

What is the AMP Project?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and it is an open source project launched by Google late in 2015.  The mandate was to improve the speed of mobile websites using a light framework that builds light web pages and in effect cutting down load times.  AMP isn’t the only framework designed to improved load times, but with the support of Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and WordPress it will inevitably become the standard.

Before you decide to run out and make your website AMP ready, there are some pretty strict guidelines you’re going to have to follow.  If you jumped on the responsive design bandwagon early and you already have a site built for mobile browsing that loads fairly quickly AMP may not make much of a difference to you.  If your site can benefit from AMP and you’re already using WordPress a plugin will make the transition pretty smooth.

How AMP Works

While AMP has its framework, it essentially strips out all unnecessary code to cut out the bloat and increase the load time speed.  There are rules for style and layout to be compliant with AMP.  The pages rely on CSS but with no external style sheets and there are some animation features that are not permitted either.  You can find many of the default CSS components to AMP on GitHub.  If you’re a WordPress user the developers have already put together a plugin for you to use.

Is AMP Right for Your Website?

In most cases the answer is a pretty emphatic yes, you don’t have much to lose and everything to gain.  If you are a WordPress user there are plugins that allow you to integrate AMP with very little work.  If you are using a different type of CMS or have an HTML site, transitioning to WordPress may start to look better and better.  You may have to work with a developer to see the integration is done properly.  Either way having Google look upon your website favorably is never a bad thing.