In terms of design, we’ve seen many opinions about what makes a good website in 2021: according to Webflow, it’s retro fonts, horizontal scrolling and 3D visuals; Wix highlights the importance of videos, animations and accessibility; HubSpot says ultra- minimalism, broken grids and web textures were to be watched.
It’s probably safe to say that any designer will answer the question about do’s and don’t’s in the industry taking into account the profile of the businesses they are talking about, their customers, the general context, the culture and the need for innovation and creativity.
So we wanted to know what 2022 has in store from experienced specialists in the industry. Here’s what they think web designers should focus on in order to offer a great experience to the end-user and to convert visitors into paying customers:
- Basic psychology insights
- High quality
- Voice search optimization
- Innovative 3D elements
A good website is one that meets its users’ needs and in order to do that, Lucian Grofsorean, Founder at Darkcore Branding Studio believes that it is essential to look at psychology in the search for answers.
I am a big fan of incorporating psychology into the process of website creation and branding in general. That’s why having a deeper knowledge of what colors and shapes evoke into the page visitor’s mind is a must for 2022.
Every day I come across websites that break the common-sense rules of design. And I am not talking here about them doing it on purpose, for the sake of art. Because that’s something completely different.
Once we understand how basic elements like color and shape can influence choice and differentiate one brand from another, we are one step closer to getting the results customers are looking for.
Once we understand all of this and once we’ve gathered data about the end-users, what will help websites convert in 2022 is the wise use of data, as Nicoleta Ban-Stefan, Web Developer & UI/UX at Digital Swiceberg says:
Data should meet design!
In web design the focus should always be on understanding the consumers / users. As a business you should pay attention to how your users behave, how they read the content, what actions they take, or don’t – so that you can design accordingly to fit their needs.
Most people absorb content from websites in an F pattern: they scan a page from left to right and down, rather than reading every word. Using heat maps makes it easy to track where visitors are engaging with your website and understand what can be optimized.
So, after setting a strong foundation based on data, what should be the next step?
Well, probably it won’t surprise you to hear this, but according to Statista, over 7 million people will have smartphones in 2022. We’ve got used to using our phone for so many inquiries that we kind of expect websites to be prepared to service this need of adapted design.
We live in a mobile society with more than half of people getting their information on mobile devices, so responsive web design should be one of the main focuses for website design.
Responsive design allows your website content to work great across all screen resolutions, translating into a better reach and a more solid overall online presence, helping you gain more trust from your customers. says Vlad Stoica, Head of Design at Stoica.Digital.
Being mobile-first is a principle also shared by Adina Stroe, Graphic Designer at Republika.ro. She thinks that accessibility is a growing trend that will continue to leave its mark in 2022.
Web design is one of the industries that develop really fast and clients have higher and higher expectations.
And it’s not that the design should be responsive. With an attention span of 8 seconds, people want websites to load FAST.
Faster is better!
Another important web design standard is ultra-fast load time. The loading time has been an essential factor in UX and SEO for years, and it continues to be a top priority for websites that want to rank well and convert better. comments Nicoleta Ban-Stefan, Web Developer & UI/UX at Digital Swiceberg.
Web design should help content creators send a message and build connections. Innovation and creativity will always be on the “job description” of a good designer and for Adina Stroe, this means that in 2022 we’ll see a lot more voice search, interactivity, narrative visualization and innovative 3D elements.
Pay careful attention to following your brand’s voice and intentionality, as well as your customers’ expectations. Innovation means using the right elements in the right places, not over cluttering a website.
Wojtek Adryanczyk, Head of UI at ExtraHut, believes that simplicity itself, combined with high-quality materials can make a difference:
I think that simplicity and long-term relations with users/customers are going to prove most profitable in the long run. Simple and honest should go a long way. Good quality product images/visuals will do the job.
What else is there to avoid though?
We asked our contributing guests to think about what should be left aside in web design as well in 2022. It’s important to know what to stop doing in order to save time and resources and focus more on those trends that bring high returns.
Thus, in 2022, web designers should avoid:
On our way of trying to convince people to buy from our website, we might be tempted to continuously add new elements – more text, pictures, videos, animations, chats, pop-ups. But this might create the opposite effect, leaving customers confused or tired. As we said, simplicity (which does not equal bore!) might pay off better and faster.
Website clutter is one of the main reasons that people don’t engage with a website. Having too many distractions can overwhelm potential customers, making them lose focus and leave the site before any conversion can occur.
The focus should be on keeping the visitors engaged on a clear path toward the conversion goal, so removing the unnecessary distractions and structuring the information in a clear and concise way should be the way to go. – Vlad Stoica from Stoica.Digital.
This idea of using fewer elements that distract potential buyers is also emphasized by Lucian Grofsorean from Darkcore Branding Studio:
Two elements immediately come to mind when talking about what to avoid in 2022: pop-ups and over-the-top animations.
Anything that prevents me from going through the information on the page at a pace I am comfortable with is a big NO for me.
Less is (always) more.
Lack of personality
Being creative and including psychology in the design process are a big yes. At the other end of web design, there are generic stocks and a lack of customized elements that can only make potential clients rapidly move away.
I could definitely do without the ubiquitous 3d elements or generic/stock illustrations – using them is simple but not necessarily honest 😉 says Wojtek Adryanczyk from ExtraHut.
And he’s not the only one to share this idea:
I think that in 2022, we can eliminate everything plain, that lacks personality or a story people can believe in. adds Adina Stroe from Republika.ro.
Image carousel and slides
There are 2 main reasons to stop using carousels and slides in 2022, Nicoleta Ban-Stefan (Digital Swiceberg) says: they cause confusion and…you’ve guessed, they can distract users – which takes us back to the importance of simplicity.
Image carousels and slides are more and more ignored because users can easily confuse them with ads, but also because these might be either too fast for some users or too slow for others.
Another reason that the carousel / slides is a dying trend is because it distracts users and decreases conversion rates. A simple static message in text or a call-to-action alongside some text and an image might work better for almost any business.
There you go, a few guidelines to help you navigate web design in 2022 and to create websites that turn visitors into paying customers. Special thanks go once again to our contributors, who’ve shared from their insights and experience:
- Vlad Stoica, Head of Design, Stoica.Digital
- Lucian Grofșorean, Founder, Darkcore Branding Studio
- Wojtek Adryanczyk, Head of UI, ExtraHut
- Adina Stroe, Graphic Designer, Republika.ro
- Nicoleta Ban-Stefan, Web Developer & UX/UI Designer, Digital Swiceberg
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