At Greenleaf Media, we are always on the lookout for the most important trends in web design and development so you don’t have to be. As we move swiftly through 2021, here’s a few trends we’re seeing that will help keep your website ahead of the competition.
Mobile-first web development is here to stay
In 2020, 61% of website traffic in the U.S. came from smartphones. So while mobile-first web development is not a new trend, it’s never been more important.
Developing a mobile-first website means creating the best user experience on the smallest screen first, and then scaling your work up from there. The benefits of mobile-first development are substantial and include higher rankings in Google search results, lower bounce rates, faster load times, and increased interactions from your users.
Where do you start with mobile-first web development?
- Think about your users first. What task or problem do you want your users to complete? Put that at the forefront and make solving that task as easy as possible.
- Use design cues to help your users quickly navigate your site. This can be accomplished by breaking up copy into smaller paragraphs, adding white space, using high contrasting color schemes and buttons that are easy to click on a smaller screen.
- Optimize your site for faster load times. This includes compressing images and videos, cleaning up extra code, using current technologies and CMS systems, enabling caching and more.
Deliver an engaging experience with motion design
When used well, motion design, or subtle animations, can make your website feel more engaging, responsive and personable. It’s more than just fancy decoration. Motion design functions as a way to help users understand the flow of your website and gives feedback on an action. When it has a clear and logical purpose, motion design brings your website to life.
For example, it can be helpful as a visual cue when you want a user to complete an action on your website like a sign-up form or registration. Motion design can be used to draw a user’s attention to that area of the site enticing them to sign up or complete the action.
It can also be helpful when a user is scrolling down your webpage. Adding motion design to images or buttons as they appear on the screen can help re-engage the user as they scroll causing them to take notice.
Motion design can also be used during site transitions. Entertaining or distracting a user as one feature loads or transitions creates the illusion of speed for the website and encourages the user to stay.
Behind the scenes is important too
Mobile-first web development and motion design are trends you can see and are immediately evident when you use a website. But there’s another key trend for 2021 that’s behind the scenes—web security.
We recommend adding a firewall to proactively block hackers and attacks on your website. These tools can also improve the overall performance and speed of your site resulting in more favorable rankings in search engines.
Here are a few examples of how these tools work:
- Hackers tend to be located in certain parts of the world. Geo-blocking targets those areas and prevents them from accessing your site.
- IP-based access keeps hackers out by allowing administrator access only to users from a set list of IP addresses.
- Bad bot blocking. When something is identified as a possible hacker tool, it is automatically blocked from your site.
- Using a content delivery system (CDN) and enabling caching options can increase your site speed.
Nearly 300 million Americans own a smartphone and the average American is spending over five hours a day on their devices. Your web development strategy should focus on providing users with a secure and engaging mobile-friendly experience.
Contact the experts at Greenleaf Media today if you’re interested in making the most of your web design and development.