How do you create a modern website design? What elements do you need to make your website look fresh, bold and professional for your business?
Long gone are the days where website’s used to look like classified sections of the back of newspapers.
If you don’t know the kind I mean, it’s where everything is literally thrown on one single page, crammed together tightly with tons of colourful and flashy images, gimmicks, and hardly any breathing space.
A little bit like this one below.
I wish I could tell you that the screenshot of the website design above is somewhat of a gimmick, but it’s not. It’s actually someone’s business, and a very successful one from what I’ve heard. Look it up on Google when you can.
Anyhow, these days modern website design is about creating clarity and beautiful simplicity with seamless functionality right?
So if you’re thinking about a website redesign or rebranding, here are 6 essential elements of modern website design to look out for.
Let’s get started.
1. Minimal design
Minimal design is exactly how it sounds like, less is often best.
Minimal design can be applied to any style, be it flat, bold, elegant, classy or boutique.
Minimal design in websites is essential for helping to create focus and clarity for your site users. It helps users to focus on your content, and makes for simple navigation around your site.
With minimal design, sometimes less can appear as more. Website designers will try to balance the essential elements of a page. i.e. content, forms, graphics and images, and put adequate amounts of white space around those elements (breathing space).
If you are at all conversion focused or minded, you’ll appreciate the benefits of having a website that boasts minimal design.
A website that is designed with minimal elements:
- Is easier to manage.
- Loads much quicker than websites that have a lot of clutter.
- Helps users to focus more on your content.
- Is better at converting.
- Makes your business look more professional.
- Is easier to navigate around and use.
Design architect Sergey Makhno’s website is a fine example of minimal design.
2. Mobile friendly (Responsive design)
Right moving on to mobile.
If your website is STILL not mobile friendly, then you are leaving a ton of cash on the table my friend!
In fact your competitors are probably laughing at you right now.
You will not believe the number of websites I come across that still look crap on mobile devices.
If you want to know how important responsive design is for your business, just check out these staggering statistics.
3. Web-safe typography
Modern website designs will also boast clean and bold typography.
Clean design typography will include the following elements:
- Web-standard fonts.
- Well sized text, usually bigger than 16px. This website uses 17px and 18px size text for improved readability.
- Adequate line-spacing, for improved readability.
- Limited use of different coloured fonts.
- Grey or black typography, depending on the background tone / image.
4. Hero images and banners
The use of large hero images is another very popular modern designer trend.
In fact this trend has been steadily increasing over the recent years according to Google Trends. Take a look below.
Hero images are essentially large banners, usually visible above the fold. These images somewhat relate to the nature of a website or it’s content.
If you visit the homepage of Magnet4Blogging for instance, you’ll see that there’s a nice big hero image of me (smiling away) on a grey coloured background.
Many other personal brand websites make very effective use of hero images, usually to help them establish a positive connection with their visitors, and on a personal level.
Here are two examples of this.
Chris Ducker of ChrisDucker.com makes exceptional use of his hero image.
So as Mariah on her website at Femtrepreneur.
5. Fullscreen background videos
Have you noticed how some websites have custom videos playing in the background headers? This is another trend in modern website design that is becoming increasingly popular.
Check out the trend growth on Google Trends.
Use of background video in websites is achieved either through hard coding with custom HTML and CSS.
Or if you’re not too savvy and want to save time, money and retain your sanity, you can discover some plugins to help you create a background video for your WordPress site quickly and easily.
If you are at all interested in learning how to create a background video in WordPress yourself, check out this tutorial video.
Whilst this is a trend that’s growing in popularity, and can help keep your visitors engaged longer on your site, videos in the background do have it’s down-falls.
One of those down-falls is that the videos can hog a lot of server resources, so beware if you’re on limited resource web hosting.
Check out Coulee Creative’s website for a fine example of a fullscreen background video in action.
6. Ghost buttons
OK so lastly I want to share with you another design fad in modern websites that you might be seeing a lot of, and that’s the use of ghost or transparency buttons.
These buttons usually come in white. You’ll see them present over hero images and graphics. See below.
Admittedly I do think these look great on some websites that have got this right, however when it comes down to your conversion rates, the use of ghost buttons could potentially do you more harm than good.
In fact, in a recent case study on Elevated Third, tests found that solid coloured buttons performed better than ghost buttons.
It’s not hard to see why. If you look at the screen capture above that I took of icon.pr, you can see that it’s still a bit of a struggle to find the button in the first instance. You might disagree, do let me know in the comment section.
If you’re going to use ghost buttons in your website design, just make sure you make them visible, and not hidden over poorly contrasted images.
Wrapping things up
So there you have it, 6 fresh modern website design trends to inspire your next web project.
Of course you don’t have to go out and invest time, money and energy in using every single elements to make your website or blog more fitting with modern times.
At the tend of the day, user experience and fulfilling the needs and desires of the people consuming your content, is of top importance.
Also I want to state that good copywriting and your marketing message is part of the overall design architect here. Good copy should never be an afterthought in modern website design, it should be part of it.