modern web design

Modern website design is responsible for nearly 95% of a visitor’s first impression of your business, and great design can help you improve sales numbers.

Website design has come a long way. Websites cannot afford to look like the Classified section of a newspaper. No site stands a chance if it cannot look sophisticated and function flawlessly.

Effective website design does not just create visual appeal but also implements favorable SEO optimization techniques to help the site rank higher on Google searches. While there are hundreds of design elements to choose from, a few of them are indispensable. Let’s dive deeper into what it looks like to create a modern website design. In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of modern website elements.

What is a modern website design?

A modern website design is one that emphasizes aesthetic quality and usability by utilizing up-to-date elements and design principles. Imagine what an outdated website from the early 2,000s looks like, with grainy stock images and Comic Sans font. Modern websites are the opposite.

Whether you’re starting a business, re-branding or simply planning to freshen up your site, optimizing your site with the sleek, trendy and professional traits of a modern website design will help you reap. A modern website can best be defined by looking at the individual attributes:

  1. HTML5 and CSS These are the core technologies for building a modern website. They allow functions that are easily readable by users and consistently understood by devices.
  2. Responsive Design This is huge. Websites need to be able to move seamlessly between multiple devices. This is an art that will be noticed by any person that has navigated the same website from their desktop, phone and tablet, and believe it or not, this feature can keep a user on your site, or show them the exit. International Data Corporation Market Research projects that by 2015; more Americans will access the Internet through mobile devices than through desktop computers.
  3. Parallax Scrolling Jack Roscoe of Design Principals describes parallax scrolling as “creating the illusion of depth in a 2D environment by moving two or more objects simultaneously at different velocities”.
  4. Video Flash has become a bit of a lame duck in the online space. Video is the shining star now, but we are not talking about your father’s postage stamped sized media player from the nineties. Service providers and CDN’s (content delivery networks) are providing improved connection speed and playback. Properly produced and placed video will capture your audience and get them to stay. Live streaming and interactive video is where websites are headed. Be ahead of this curve in the road or you might get stuck on an old path.
  5. Inbound Website If you don’t know this term by now, you will certainly be seeing this a lot moving forward. This is the now and the future of marketing:
  • Calls To Action (CTA’s): Drive traffic to your lead generating landing pages.
  • Landing page & forms: Every campaign you run should be tied to a custom-landing page. Not just another homepage where visitors have to guess where to go next. Forms will gather appropriate information at every stage to unlock the next offer.
  • Personalization: people are more than anonymous page views. Smart Content is a feature that enables you to personalize your content to different visitors.
  • Integration with marketing channels: Every marketing tool from Content tools, social media, marketing automation and analytics are all deeply cooperative and connected to a marketer’s contact database. This allows for a complete history of your leads interests and interactions, enabling personalization throughout your marketing. 

Why website design is important?

As you look into redesigning your website, you may wonder the importance of website design. How does it impact your audience and your business? Let’s look at five reasons website design is important.

1. It sets the first impression

When your audience visits your website, it gives them their first impression of your business. They will judge your business within seconds. In these first few seconds, you want to make a positive impact on your audience.

If your website looks unappealing or outdated, your audience will immediately have a negative impression of your business. They won’t find your website appealing, which deters them from your page. You’ll miss out on leads because they’ll leave your page for a competitor’s page.

Website design is important because it impacts how your audience perceives your brand. The impression you make on them can either get them to remain on your page and learn about your business or leave your page and turn to a competitor. A good web design helps you keep your leads on your page.

2. It aids your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy

Many web design elements and practices influence how you publish content on your website, which in turn affects how search engine spiders crawl and index your website.

This is one thing you cannot afford to mess up. If your on-page SEO fundamentals are not up to snuff, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle for visibility from the start.

Aside from how content is published on your website, certain web design elements can directly affect SEO in and of themselves. Web design can be difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with how it works, but to put it simply, your code needs to be SEO-friendly.

The best way to ensure proper web design practices (and subsequent search engine visibility) is to partner up with a web design agency that knows what they’re doing.

3. It sets the impression for customer service

People can judge how you will treat them by looking at your website. Your design gives them insight as to how you view your audience. If you don’t put any effort into your website’s design, your audience knows that you won’t put effort into helping them.

Your website is like a customer service representative. If your website is bright, modern, and inviting, your audience will feel more welcome on your page. You’ll give the impression that you are open and welcoming to new people who visit your website.

On the other hand, an outdated and unappealing site makes your business appear cold and aloof. People don’t want to check out a business that doesn’t value them enough to make a good first impression.

Think of your web design as the digital face of your business. If someone walked into your physical location, wouldn’t you want a friendly face to greet them and make them feel welcome? An updated and modern web design is the equivalent to a friendly face greeting your new visitors.

4. It builds trust with your audience

People don’t trust poorly designed websites. If they see your poor design or the information looks outdated, they won’t trust your site. They may view your site as seedy or shady because you don’t have an updated web design.

Think about a person looking to place a bulk order with a manufacturing company. They’re spending a tremendous amount of money, which means if your manufacturing website design doesn’t convey trust, they’ll find another business to fulfill their order.

On the other hand, a professional site signals trust with your audience. They will trust your business and feel comfortable checking it out further.

It’s important to build trust with your audience so they remain on your site. When visitors remain on your site longer, you create more opportunities for your business to capture those leads.

5. Your competitors are doing it

If you need a reason for why web design is important, here’s a big one: Your competitors are already utilizing web design. If you want to remain in competition with them, you must use web design for your site.

You want your website to stand out from the competition. If you have an old, outdated, and low-quality website, your competitor’s will outrank you. Their well-designed website will perform better than your website.

This means you’ll lose leads to your competitors. They’ll attract more leads to their page because their page is more appealing.

Your website’s design is an opportunity for you to set your business apart from the competition. When you’re competing with other businesses, you generally have the same services and similar pricing. You need that one thing that will make your business stand out from the rest.

A well-designed website is an opportunity for your business to showcase your unique features. You can show your audience why they should choose your business over the competition.

6. It creates consistency

When you’re trying to get new leads for your business, you want to build up your brand. You want your audience to get familiar with your brand so they choose you when they’re ready to convert. Online web designs are important because they help create consistency across your page.

You need to have the same fonts, styles, and layouts across every page on your website. If you have a different design on every page, this will make your site look unprofessional. It also makes it more challenging to build brand recognition because your audience won’t know which colors to associate with your brand.

If your website is not consistent, people will bounce from yours to one that looks more professional. By building consistency, you keep leads on your page longer and get them familiar with your business. You’ll earn more leads and conversions down the line when you redesign your site for this key element.

Elements of modern website design

Below are common modern website design elements to gain inspiration and implement to your site. Included are live sites that have successfully applied some of the latest and greatest modern design features.

1. White space

White space is a modern website design practice that embraces organization. The effect creates a visual hierarchy between content on a page. Using white space to distinguish the visual order of elements—such as images, written content, or calls-to-action—helps attract users to key parts of your site. It does not have to be in the color white, any color can create this modern effect as long as the content is spaced correctly.

2. Scroll effects

Unique scroll effects can create an interactive browsing experience on top of a clean design. Incorporating movement and flawless flow, effects like parallax scrolling add a fun and modern quality, while encouraging visitors to explore more parts of your site. There are different types of scrolling effects:

  • Parallax scrolling: Scroll down and the background changes.
  • Scroll-triggered animations: Scroll and animations pop up but the rest stays the same.
  • Horizontal scrolling: Your page moves to the right or left instead of down.
  • Long scrolling: You scroll down one page for a longer period.
  • Infinite scrolling: The page will go in a loop and you will scroll down and eventually start again at the top.

3. Bold colors

Bold, bright and colorful are your modern website’s superpower. Ensure you choose a website color scheme that matches your brand’s tone. Keep in mind that certain colors provoke specific emotions. Blue for instance is associated with confidence, security and reliable authority, hence many brands in the social media industry are blue.

4. Large typography

Give a big warm welcome to your website visitors with large text right when they arrive. Use a captivating lettering style to easily achieve a modern vibe. Many web designers today will even cover the entire top fold of a webpage with one word or phrase that captures the spirit of their site. This allows the text to be the initial focus and provides context for first time visitors. You may choose to go with a unique font that makes you identifiable and differentiated from competitors.

5. Device consistency

Since half of the worldwide web traffic comes from mobile devices, creating a desktop-only site is passé. A key to a modern site is meeting expectations of a clean and user-friendly mobile website. Your goal as a website owner is to keep your user’s experience consistent regardless of the type of device.

6. Movement

Also known as animation web design, movement is a modern website design element that makes your site more interactive when visitors click, scroll or hover. This is undoubtedly attention-grabbing, since our eyes tend to seek movement and focus on things in action. All in all, animation and motion are sophisticated features that generate playfulness and lead to people spending more time on your website. Here are some ideas for how to add animation as part of your modern website design:

  • Have a playful cursor or button: If you’re a pizza restaurant, you could have a pizza slice as your cursor (this can be achieved by using hover box effects).
  • Rotating images: If you’re a tourism company, you can show holidays packages with different destination images or simply make an icon pop upwards.
  • Spinning elements: After clicking “buy” from your online store, the object can spin into the shopping cart.
  • Navigation menu animation: Different items on your menu change as you hover over them like this food marketing site’s bitten-off buttons.
  • 3D motion: If you’re interested in adding a 3D moving element, use transparent video tool to add this type of motion to your site.

7. Minimalism

When it comes to modern website design, less is more. Choosing a minimalistic design with no flashy features is sometimes a safer design route and can come across as more professional. With little distractions, the most relevant elements stand out on a clean, minimalistic website, making it easier for visitors to find.

8. Clean website layouts

Part of modern web design is forging a cohesive visual experience. While many creatives are experimenting with asymmetrical designs these days, a classic symmetrical website layout will ensure your content is broken up in a clean and organized structure. Two such layout ideas include:

  • Card based layouts, which are great for portfolio websites. Slightly resembling a collage, this layout is simple to navigate, stays consistent across screens, and makes all images bite-sized. 
  • Split-screen layouts, which efficiently navigate users. This interface layout divides the home page into two or more vertical parts, creating a quick navigation experience to featured sub pages.

9. Clear navigation

Website navigation encompasses the organization of links and menus on your website. Your navigation menu influences the connection between different pages and how easily visitors can find them. In a modern world, you want to streamline how people get from point A to B on your site—because no one has time to stay on a site that isn’t intuitive.

10. Homepage video

On the search engine optimization (SEO) side, “using video boosts organic search traffic to your website by 157%” and “your site is 53X more likely to rank on the first page of Google if it includes video.” If that’s not reason enough, videos also benefit engagement on the modern website design front. Video can be processed faster than text, as a result, you can say more with fewer words. 

11. Incredible images

We live in a visual world that is becoming more immune to reading lengthy text. By including engaging images in your web design, you will capture the attention of modern audiences and let your products speak for themselves.

What’s considered an incredible image? A high-quality photo shot in good lighting that tells an interesting story. Even a product image with no people in it can communicate a message to visitors based on where it’s placed, how it’s captured and the content surrounding it.

Wrap up

The term modern can be subjective. Maybe you consider interactive content to be a modern element; or having a responsive design lets you know that the website owner is current on SEO best practices. And if you’re in an industry that relies on cutting-edge technology (such as SaaS), then you’re definitely expecting a site to incorporate modern components. 

A professional website is clean and modern design that makes a strong first impression. Modern website design elements are trendy, sophisticated and adapt to today’s users. This means including features that facilitate a clean, good looking website experience.