For any business, a good website will be the center of a successful online web presence or digital marketing campaign. And there’s always room for improvement in your website. Even if you think your business website is pretty effective, web designers or graphic design companies are always experimenting with new ways to improve business web design — like finding techniques to streamline navigation and make websites even more engaging.
This means that staying on top of the latest design trends is a great way to find ideas that can make your website more effective.
These are six of the most useful current web design trends for businesses, plus how you can integrate them into your business website.
1. Illustration and Handcrafted Design
Not every website wants to go for a look that is 100 percent professional. For certain brands — especially those that want to emphasize authenticity or the “handcraftedness” of their products — a degree of playfulness and looser design can go a long way.
Sketchy lines and digital textures that emulate analog art materials, like heavy drawing paper or watercolor brushes, are a great way to make the feel of your site a little more crafty or artistic.
If you want to suggest that your business’s approach is more out-of-the-box or playful than others, even subtle tweaks to site textures and illustrations can go a long way in communicating this message.
2. Dark Mode Design
Many web designers are taking notes from social media apps, where offering a dark mode has become a standard feature in the past few years.
Light text on a dark background is slick and professional, and a dark background really helps bright visual effects stand out. Because most websites look more like “light mode,” dark design will also help your website stand out from the competition.
Dark mode design isn’t too difficult to implement compared to other styles of design. You can build a successful dark mode website by following the principles of good web design and starting with a very dark or black background in mind. This approach will require overhauling a lot of your website, however, if you want the aesthetic to be site-wide.
If you do the design in-house, adopting a more flexible design methodology, like agile development, could help you expedite this process.
3. Overlapping Layers
Take full advantage of the space that you’re working with by using overlapping layers.
This page from Quality Overhead Door, a Toledo-based garage door company, shows how you can use layers to communicate extra information in the same amount of space.
Check out the sidebar elements, which use transparent color blocks containing links. Another site may have chosen to use images and links that take up separate space. This overlapping adds some complexity and is a more interesting option than just placing elements one after the other. It also offers a chance to integrate an accent color that brings together the image with the rest of the page.
Minimalism has always been a popular choice for clean and professional web design, but it is having a moment right now. The minimalist approach to web design is easy to describe but a little harder to pull off.
For a great example of minimalism in action, check out the homepage for Made Together, an Australian brand and product studio.
The current hallmarks of web design minimalism include the sparing use of color, minimal text and lots of white space. The only non-text design elements here are a logo in the top-left and a navigation menu in the top-right, both represented with extremely clean and simple iconography.
It’s also possible to take inspiration from these minimalistic designs without necessarily committing to an “as little as possible is more” design philosophy. Cutting down on unnecessary text and prioritizing white space can help your website feel cleaner, a little more open and less overwhelming.
5. Design With Sound
Designers are increasingly building audio experiences into their websites. This is an interesting trend that moves away from what was once conventional wisdom among web designers, which is that users don’t like auto-play audio. Now, designers are finding ways to make it work.
For an example of modern audio web design in action, see this page from Moooi, a Dutch furniture and interior design company.
This interactive furniture catalog uses a simple, looping soundtrack to add some extra character and interest. Before clicking through to the catalog, the site also indicates that the page is best experienced with sound using a small note that says, “Audio On.”
Improving a Business Site With Current Web Design Trends
If you want to adjust your site’s design, starting with the latest trends is a great idea. Drawing inspiration from these design trends can help your website feel more modern. Because these trends aren’t worn out right now, they can also make your website feel very novel and engaging.
You don’t have to completely overhaul your site to benefit, either. Even simple changes that take inspiration from these design trends can go a long way in making your site more interesting and user-friendly.