How do you create a modern website design? What design elements do you need to use to make your website look fresh, bold and professional for your business?
Long gone are the days where a website used to look like the 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 page, crammed tightly together with tons of colorful and flashy images, silly gimmicks, and hardly any space between elements.
A little bit like this website below.
I wish I could tell you that the website above doesn’t really exist, but it does.
It’s actually Ling Valentine’s business and believe it or not, a very successful one at that. Look up ‘Lings Cars’ on Google to see for yourself.
Anyhow, these days modern website design is NOT about cramming as much as you can on a page. It’s about creating clarity and 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 you shouldn’t ignore.
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 stay focused 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, images and other visual content, and put adequate amounts of white space around those elements.
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 options, features, and elements.
- 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 friendliness.
If your website is STILL not mobile friendly, then you are actually doing your business more harm than good!
In fact, your competitors are probably taking full advantage of the fact that your website isn’t mobile ready.
Just check out these staggering statistics to fully appreciate the importance of having mobile-responsive design.
3. Web-safe typography
Modern website designs will also boast safe, 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 18px and 19px size text for improved readability.
- Adequate line-spacing, for improved readability.
- Limited use of different colored 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 website design tactic.
In fact, this trend has been steadily increasing over the recent years according to Google Trends. Take a look at the screen shot below.
Hero images are essentially large banners, usually visible above the fold. These images somewhat relate to the nature of a website or its content.
If you visit the homepage of Magnet4Blogging for instance, you’ll see that there’s a nice big hero image of myself working in the background.
Many other personal brand websites make very effective use of hero-images and banners, usually to help them establish a positive connection with their website visitors and on a personal level too.
Here are two examples of this.
Chris Ducker of ChrisDucker.com makes exceptional use of his hero image.
So does 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 some 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 video tutorial over on YouTube.
Thrive Architect is a powerful visual editor plugin for WordPress that will allow you to use background video in your page design.
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 or with a transparent background. You’ll usually see them embedded over hero-images and visual graphics. See below for example.
Admittedly, I love ghost buttons and I think they look great on many modern websites, I use them myself on Magnet4Blogging’s homepage.
However, when it comes to conversion rate optimization, the use of ghost buttons incorrectly can have a detrimental effect on your conversions.
In fact, in a recent case study on Elevated Third, tests found that solid colored buttons performed much better than ghost buttons.
It’s not hard to see why either.
If you look at the screen capture above, again, you will see that the ghost button at the bottom of the page is almost invisible in contrast with the background image. It doesn’t stand out as much.
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 all your time, money and energy in using every single element to make your website or blog more fitting with modern times.
At the end of the day, UX and fulfilling the needs and desires of the people consuming your content should be a top priority.
Also, I want to state that good copywriting and having a solid marketing message is part of the overall design architect too. Good copy should never be an afterthought in modern website design, it should be part of it.