In business, first impressions matter, and I’m not talking about your elevator pitch.
It only takes a person 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) to form an opinion about your website. For some, this first impression of your website is the only impression they’ll ever form about your business.
So, how do you make a good first impression — and make it last? Understand and, more importantly, employ the web design trends that are shown to impress potential customers and make your business stand out.
“But do web visitors even care about web design?” Yes, they do. In fact, 75% of the people who visit your website will rate your credibility based on web design. Staying on top of web design trends is important — albeit it’s easier said than done, especially when you’re running a business.
That’s why I’ve narrowed the web design trends of 2018, as projected by Webflow’s team of design experts, to the four that will make visitors fall in love with your business … at first site. Because first impressions matter, and we’re all too busy.
1. The <Video> Element
It’s no secret that the internet is becoming — or perhaps has already become — a videographic medium. In fact, video will make up 82% of all internet traffic in 2021. This trend is not to be taken lightly. After all, video has been demonstrating this incredible potential since 1979 (when it killed the radio star).
First, the bad news: Video production requires more time, money and resources.
Glad we got that over with. Now, the good news: Video does a tremendous job of capturing your business values in a way that neither copy nor static images have the power to do alone.
If you’re selling a conceptual product or service, video is especially important. Take Stripe Sigma’s feature page, for example, which seamlessly incorporates video into its design to portray a complicated concept in a digestible and engaging way.
There’s more good news for the SEO buffs out there. According to Video Explainers (via MarTech), adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times. That is, if it’s good.
2. Immersive “Multimedia” Long Form
Another means of bringing your products and services to life is immersive, long-form multimedia. A multimedia format is richer than any infographic or blog post, allowing your customers to visualize the experience of doing business with you and, hopefully, get hooked.
To compel your audience, bring your products and services to life, and demonstrate your expertise in the ecosystem you play in, you must create an experience.
Start with a custom layout and enrich it with video, sound, charts, graphs, maps and more to tell a long yet riveting story. Media outlets such as CNN, ESPN and National Geographic are embracing this innovative way of storytelling, and now, businesses are following suit.
Dropbox, for example, transformed its brand redesign into a compelling and engaging story in Dropbox design. What story does your brand have to tell?
3. Content Hubs (Or Web Books?) Get Cool
The demand for information is evergreen, making valuable content one of the best ways to generate leads and build brand recognition. Do you know what kind of information your ideal customer is looking for? Is this information you, or someone on your team, can provide them with?
If the answer is yes, you’ve just stumbled upon a stellar and subtle content marketing strategy: web books. Web books are the ebooks of the future built for the web.
If you’re really an expert on something, and your customers (or potential customers) stand to benefit from your knowledge, create a web book and tell the world about it.
Intercom Books, for example, offers readers valuable information and insights without gated PDFs or aggressive sales pitches. I told you, web books are cool.
4. Principles-First Design
Not everyone is a Ray Dalio (author of Principles: Life and Work), but all businesses can, and should, think in terms of principles first. What does this have to do with web design? These same principles that guide your product or service should guide your website design process.
Let’s say someone stumbles across your website with no prior knowledge of your business. For this user, your website becomes your brand. Now that your marketing team has generated this lead, it’s your job to ensure that your website correctly represents the values your business lives by.
To do so, ensure that your designer knows, understands and represents these values in your website’s design. This is a conversation that should happen early in the design process and continue to inform the stages in that process until your website is complete.
This may seem like just another variable to complicate the already fragmented design process. However, at Webflow, we’ve found that our brand principles help our team make faster, cleaner and more determined design decisions.
I’m no Ray Dalio, but I’ve seen principles work wonders in our company’s web design and believe they can do the same for you.