There’s no substitution for a good design when developing your website. Assuming you’re a business owner, the way in which your website is designed could help or hurt your brand image. A good web design reflects a superior level of professionalism and authority, which in turn builds trust in your target audience.

Bold Typograhy

As explained on the wpmudev blog, the use of blog typography was a hot web design trend in 2016, with its popularity expected to increase through 2017 and beyond. Bold typography lives up to its namesake by emphasizing words or text with a different font. By using bold typography on important phrases, you’ll draw visitors’ attention towards those phrases. As such, bold typography is a useful tool for increasing clicks on a call-to-action (CTA).

Ultra-minimalism

The digital design experts over at HubSpot cite another popular trend in web design: ultra-minimalism. As you may already know, minimalism is a design style characterized by pared-down visual elements. Ultra-minimalism goes one step further by using even fewer, and oftentimes smaller, visual elements.

The general idea is to achieve a delicate balance between aesthetics and function. Ultra-minimalism keeps visitors focused on important elements like the business’s logo and product pictures, while disregarding elements of little-to-no importance.

Alternative Navigation

Horizontal-top and vertical-sidebars aren’t the only navigation options for a website. Many design-conscious webmasters are now using alternative forms of navigation.

DesignModo cites several examples of alternative navigation for websites, including pop-out sidebars and hidden menus. Moving a cursor — or finger for mobile devices — over an area of the site may reveal a pop-out navigation menu. Of course, you should only use a navigation that visitors can easily understand and access; otherwise, this could backfire by hurting your site’s user experience (UX).

Location Awareness

Consider incorporating location awareness technology into your website’s design. The highly popular home-buying website Zillow is an excellent example of how to integrate location awareness into web design. Upon visiting the site, Zillow displays “Video walkthroughs” of homes for sale in your surrounding area, as well as “Potential deals,” homes for sale near great schools, and more. This information is all highly targeted since it’s dynamically displayed according to the visitor’s location (based on IP address).

Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Stock Photos

Would you trust a business if its homepage featured a generic stock photo instead of an actual photo of its employees and/or trade? There’s nothing necessarily wrong with stock photos, but they shouldn’t be the primary visual elements of your website. While there are always exceptions, many stock photos have a fake look and feel, which can negatively affect the perception visitors have about your website and business.

Responsive Web Design

We can’t talk about web design trends without mentioning the coveted responsive web design (RWD). Responsive websites use CSS media queries tied to proportion-based measurements to achieve a fluid and functional UX, regardless of the device or computer on which it is being viewed.

Still confused? Think of RWD as a web design configuration that automatically adjusts its visual elements to achieve the best possible layout for the respective device. If you view on a website on a desktop computer, you’ll have more space to accommodate small text. But if you view the same website on a smartphone, you may have trouble reading the text. A responsive design solves this problem by detecting the visitor’s device and automatically adjusting the layout to achieve the best UX.

While Google supports several methods for creating a mobile-friendly website, the only configuration it specifically recommends is RWD. You can learn more about responsive web design and how it works by checking out SmashingMagazine’s article here.