The decision to redesign your company’s website should be based on several factors, but as a general guideline, it’s a good idea to consider a redesign every few years to keep your website modern, user-friendly, and aligned with your company’s goals.

One of the main reasons to redesign your website is to improve the user experience. As technology and web design trends evolve, user expectations change. A redesign can help you incorporate new features, improve navigation, and make your site more intuitive for visitors. Additionally, a fresh design can help your company maintain a competitive edge and showcase your brand in the best possible light.

Another reason to redesign is to optimize for search engines. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and a redesign allows you to implement the latest best practices for SEO, including faster loading times, structured data, and anything else that helps search engines better understand and display the content in rich snippets or enhanced search results.

If your business has existed for any length of time, its website has likely had a few iterations already—and you’ve no doubt seen countless website trends come and go over the years. As web design continues to evolve, it’s essential to learn from these past trends, embracing their strengths while avoiding their pitfalls. 

Trends in web design may always be evolving, with new technologies, techniques, and tendencies emerging every year. But certain core principles of good web design remain constant.

Principles of Modern Web Design

User-Centered Design: The most important principle in web design is to always put the user first. Every decision—about layout, navigation, content, and visuals—should be made with the user’s needs in mind. A user-centered approach to the design might involve researching your target audience, creating user personas, and possibly even testing the design with real users to validate and improve its effectiveness. 

Simplicity and Clarity: Modern websites should be clean, uncluttered, and easy to understand at a glance. Simplicity doesn’t mean boring—far from it— but it does mean stripping away unnecessary adornments and focusing on what’s essential to convey your story and enable users to complete their intended tasks. Using plenty of white space, limiting the color palette and font choices—which could already be a function of your brand guide, if one exists—and creating a logical visual hierarchy will help users make their way through your site.

Fast Loading Speed: Besides being a total pain, sluggish page load times also negatively impact both the user experience and search engine rankings. Modern websites need to be fast. Optimize your images and other media, leverage browser caching, and take other steps so that your website’s pages load in under two seconds. Faster than that is even better.

Accessibility for All: More than a billion people worldwide have some form of disability that could affect their ability to use websites. Modern sites should follow accessibility guidelines and best practices to ensure they are perceivable, operable, and understandable for all users. This includes proper heading structure, alternative text for images, sufficient color contrast, keyboard navigability, and more. An accessible site is more usable for everyone. It’s the right thing to do, period, but also a smart move. You might never know if your site’s accessibility issues have caused you to lose sales or business.

Current Trends in Web Design

Large, Bold Typography: One of the biggest web design trends is the use of oversized, bold typography, especially for headlines and hero sections. This makes a strong visual statement, grabs attention, and communicates your message loudly and clearly. This trend is often combined with ample negative space to create maximum impact.

Organic Shapes and Soft Lines: For many years, web design was dominated by rigid grids, sharp angles, and rectangular blocks. The latest trend is a shift towards more organic, curved, and fluid shapes and lines. This softer, more human aesthetic makes pages feel more approachable, comforting, and fun. This can be a smart design/rhetorical move for companies whose industry or products run counter to perceptions of friendliness or approachability. 

Immersive Storytelling and Interactive Elements: Modern websites are shifting from static text and images to more dynamic, immersive experiences that tell a compelling story. This trend often incorporates interactive elements that the user can click, drag, animate or otherwise manipulate. Animations, scroll-triggered effects, data visualizations, quizzes, and more can boost engagement and memorability.

Vibrant Colors and Gradients: While minimalist black-and-white designs remain popular, another trend is the bold use of bright, vibrant colors and color gradients. Vivid hues can evoke emotion, energy and personality. Gradients add visual interest and depth in a less “flat” aesthetic.

Responsive Design and Navigation: With mobile web usage surpassing desktop, modern websites must be fully responsive, optimized for various devices and screen sizes, and feature user-friendly navigation. A mobile-first approach prioritizes designing for the smallest screens first, then progressively enhancing the layout for larger ones—which is ideal for some companies. At Rare Bird, though, we typically create the desktop and mobile designs concurrently, as many clients prefer the expansive layout and precise mouse-based navigation that desktop designs afford. By designing the desktop and mobile layouts together, we help ensure their site offers an optimal, cohesive experience across the full spectrum of devices.

The key to successful modern web design is balancing timeless principles with cutting-edge trends and technologies in a way that aligns with your unique brand, audience and objectives. 

If your current website falls short of today’s standards and best practices—or just feels a little shabby—perhaps it’s time for a redesign. The most trusted marketing firm in the Midwest is ready to help.

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