Here at Makespace we are obsessed with delivering intelligent, engaging and beautiful websites that accomplish our clients’ goals and increase awareness, drive conversions and improve the bottom line. That requires constant vigilance, a deep understanding of their clients’ wants and needs, and the savvy to distinguish between effective features and flash-in-the-pan fads.
And so far, we’re batting 1000. We successfully avoided utilizing Flash in the 2000’s, anticipated responsive design in 2010 (allowing us to be the first Louisville web design company to make bring it to market in 2012), and expanded our services to include video production years ago. Now entering into our 12th year, we’re still committed to making sure our clients have access to the latest, greatest, and more importantly, the smartest and most effective website design available today. Websites that deliver financial returns over and over again.
While the other Louisville based web firms play catch up, we are blazing trails in the next phase of website design. Here's my take on the features, functions and attributes you'll want to condsider for 2018:
Gone are the days of the one-size-fits all websites. With all of the tracking technology available today we are ushering in a new age of personalized messaging. Understanding who your ideal user-groups are, anticipating their individual needs, and providing a unique experience is the baseline of UX and has been for years, but new breakthroughs in IP tracking, cookie usage, and social media integration allows for a much more hyper-personalized experience that leads to a better, more intuitive experience for the user, and much higher conversion percentages for our clients.
Marketing Automation Integration
Another trend that has been around for years but is now on the rise is utilizing inbound marketing software to greatly improve the experience of your website visitor and therefore much higher conversion rates and increased sales. Used hand-in-hand with the smart website experience described above will also allow for those website visitors (potential customers) who in the past bounced from your website without filling out a form to be kept in your sales funnel through thoughtful, personalized followup strategies.
As animation is becoming more accessible as web designers are mastering new tools and coding applications, expect to see more subtle, detailed movement in seemingly unlikely places throughout websites. Animated buttons, navigation, backgrounds and other previously static or on-hover elements will take on a life and personality of their own, influencing the path of the visitor through the website and into conversions.
With the emergence of DIY websites and the increase in amateur web designers, anybody and their mother can throw up a website these days. Many companies are content with cutting corners and slapping their logo on a “customized” template not realizing the “money they saved” will cost them thousands of times that over the life of their website. Not only should your website be designed from scratch, it should be an extension of your company brand. And I’m not simply referring to using company visuals: colors, fonts and images, or identity: your unique voice and tone, I mean the very presentation itself should be an immersive experience into your company culture and your brand should dictate every decision made during the development of your website.
As augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and chatbots are no longer the stuff of science fiction, savvy web marketers are utilizing them to provide rich experiences online. This technology is changing the way users interact with websites and therefore the way customers interact with brands. Integrating your website with Internet-of-Things technology will allow for new and interesting ways to access your products and services. Providing a delightful experience and wowing your visitors is an advantage over your competition as it not only improves engagement with them, it compells them to share with their friends or colleagues, increasing your customer base and brand loyalty.
As web browsers become more sophisticated and wifi bandwidth increases, this allows for web designers to have more freedom to utilize video. Previously a one way communication street in which the viewer is passive, video is now becoming interactive, allowing the viewer to have more control of their path through the experience. Think Google Street View on steroids.
New technology and marketing tactics allow for more opportunities for businesses to increase their customer base, outplay their competition and achieve more success. Not fully understanding the technology behind these emerging platforms is no excuse to ignore them. If you want the most effective website in your industry, maximize the results of your website and stay well ahead of other companies in your field, you must consider integrating some of these technologies into your company’s web experience. It is also very important to make sure that the decisions on what impending web design trends for 2018 are utilized are fully on-brand and congruent with your marketing strategy. When your branding, website and marketing are complementary and holistic, you will maximize your organizational success and leave your competitors in the lurch.