Good Website Design for 2023 and Beyond
Good Website Design 2023 – Website design has come a long way in the last few years and it will continue to evolve in the years to come as people continue to change the way they consume information and interact with businesses and content creators online. Businesses, Non-Profits, Institutions, and Content Creators who keep up with the these trends will benefit greatly, and those who do not, will fall behind.
Today, consumers of information spend a lot of time online, and their expectations have never been higher. They insist on finding the information they came for immediately. They want the information to be clear, concise, relevant, up to date, and to help them make choices or solve problems. They also want to be entertained while they are doing it.
Here are some trends we are seeing in Website Design, and User Experience in 2023 that will continue to be relevant for years to come.
Good Website Design Includes User Experience
In August of 2022, almost exactly one year ago, Google launched a major update that made user experience part of their search engine rankings. That by itself should be enough to get most business interested in UX/UI.
User experience refers to the interaction someone has with your website. User experience includes ease of finding information, how the information flows, and ease of navigation.
For a long time, you just needed to get all of your information “somewhere” on your website, and users would search through it until they found what they were looking for.
Not any more. Now, if a person comes to your website, and they cannot instantly find what they were searching for, they hit the “back button” and never return to your website again.
This has a double negative effect – First, the person leaves your website. Second – if Google Search Engine continues to see this pattern of people coming to your website and instantly leaving, they start to penalize your content in search rankings. They figure your site is not set up well for user experience, and you are making it hard for people to find things, so you are not a good source of information, so they push your content down, or worse, delist it entirely.
Imagine You Are Coming To Your Own Website – To understand user experience you need to get in the mind of a person visiting your website and think about how they are going to look for things, what is most important to them, and how to make sure they can find it quickly and easily.
If you are unsure how to do this, or getting into the mind of a user is difficult for you, you should consider doing some marketing focus groups, so you can see precisely how people interact with your website, what they look for, and how they click and react to different elements within your website.
You can also do some marketing research by using your own Google Analytics to see what content on your website people are interacting with the most, and make sure that content is right out front and easy to find.
Make Your Content Easy to Read – If your content doesn’t have any headers. If you write in long paragraphs that are full of long sentences. If you don’t use lists and bullet points. And if you just aren’t a good writer. All of these things make your content hard to read.
And if your content is hard to read, people don’t read it. This is the opposite of a good user experience.
So as you are thinking about your content, remember these basic rules:
- Use Headers (and bold them)
- Write in Short Sentences
- Keep Paragraphs Short
- Use Lists, Bullet Points, and Outline format
- Learn to Write Well. Nobody Wants to Read Crappy Writing
- Be Entertaining
Remember, people read all kinds of information online today. If you want your content to stand out, it should be engaging, easy to understand, up to date, actionable, and entertaining.
If your content sucks, and people leave your website, this not only harms your brand and your sales, it also hurts your search engine ranking. All of this creates a downward spiral which can be very slow and painful to turn around. So get with the times – put out good content, make sure it is easy to find on your website, and makes sure it is clear and well written. Your users don’t just like it – they insist on it.
Make Your Content Easy to Find for Great User Experience – U/X U/I
My first writing instructor used to say the most important thing to know about storytelling was to “get your fighters fighting!”
What this meant was, start right in the middle of the action. But what does this have to do with website design content? Everything. The web design version of “getting your fighters fighting” is to get the most important information your visitors want right up front where they can easily find it.
In 2023, if you design your website in a way that makes your visitors “hunt” for what they are trying to find, they click the “back” button and go to someone else’s website. Nobody wants to waste their time searching for information any more. They expect you to anticipate their needs and give it to them straight off.
How do you do that? Here are some examples to follow.
Video – If you are going to put a video on a web page (and we think you should) about a product or service, don’t make someone read a paragraph of nonsense about you and your brand first. Put the video at the top of the page, label it well, and make sure it loads quickly on the page (people won’t wait for a video to load).
Also – do the same for the video content. Get straight to the point. Nobody wants to listen to you expound on your philosophy or talk about who you are and what your mission is for ninety seconds before you share what you promised them. Get right to the meat and potatoes of what they came to get – and then if you want to, put the information about you or your company at the end, and then people might listen to it as a reward for giving them great content to begin with.
Avoid too many links – again, nobody likes being made to keep clicking to get the rest of the story. This is a terrible user experience, and it is selfish in that it ONLY benefits the website company owner to have things this way. Everyone hates this – so don’t do it. Put all of the information they need on ONE page.
Use Breadcrumbs – it helps people get back to where they started. It is really annoying when people design websites that make it hard to find what you came for, but it is equally annoying to use a website where you click around and can’t find your way back when you finally want to purchase or download something.
Over-use of sub-navigation or subdomains – again, this ONLY benefits the website owner. For the user, it is just a royal pain in the butt. It makes things hard to find, hard to know where you are on the website, and hard to find your way back. Again, the point is to avoid making things hard to find. If you are making something hard to find, why have it on your website at all?
Good Website Design - Minimalist Website Design is Good Website Design - Avoid Web Design Bloat
Minimalist Website Design is good website design. Minimalist web design has been coming for the last few years, and is really catching momentum in 2023. Users are tired of “web design bloat” and are interested in visiting sites that are clean, fresh, have lots of white space, make everything easy to find, and don’t overdo it on content, graphics, colors, and images.
This is our way of saying people want a graphically pleasing experience when they visit a website, but do not want to be overwhelmed by the design or the sheer volume of content. If someone looks at your web design and ever says, “there is just a lot going on here,” then you know you are not practicing minimalistic website design.
Website Design Bloat is often caused by businesses who are trying to do to much, be too much, to too many different target audiences all on one website and all under the same brand. These businesses would be better off splitting off their product offerings into multiple distinct brands, and target those products specifically to the target audience who is interested in those items, who will resonate with that brand.
A place where anything goes – is eventually a place where nobody goes. This is true of websites as well. We realize that creating a unique brand concept and unique targeting for every product line or service may seem daunting, but this is what todays consumers want, and if you won’t give it to them, they will find someone who will.
So instead of trying to figure out how to get everything you do or offer on one single website and “make it work.” Instead consider adding the minimal amount necessary to establish your brand and your offering, and no more. Then, change and update your site often. This will keep those people who are loyal to the brand coming back for more, and when they get to your website, you will have something new to show them.
Everyone knows that less is more – but in 2022 web design, less is becoming a requirement.
Good Website Design - Minimalist Website Navigation
Speaking of good website design, minimalist website design and 2023 web design trends, minimal website navigation has become very popular in 2023. In days gone by, website navigation sprawled across the top of the header, and had drop down menus, and those menus had drop down menus, and then those pages had sub-navigation URL’s embedded in them. People are tired of that. Today, website visitors do not want their visual experience interrupted by the navigation.
Imagine you are out on a wonderful driving trip down the Pacific Coast Highway. The sun is shining, and the waves are coming in along the rocky shores. Everything is pure bliss. Now imagine the windshield is specked with words, like little bugs that are obstructing your view and diminishing your experience. That is how users in 2022 view navigation – as something that is obstructing their experience.
To solve this issue, web designers have begun adding only the “hamburger menu” to one corner of the page, and often it “floats” down the screen with the user as they scroll. If you don’t know what the hamburger menu is – it is the square box with three little lines running through it that makes it look like a Big Mac from McDonalds. The point is, this is all of the navigation shown on the page.
Images as Navigation – this one is giving older (literally older aged) website designers fits. They want to make “boxes” and label those boxes with buttons to click on. Todays web designers are adding the images, and the design, and nothing else. No words blocking the photos. The words only appear if the user hovers over the image.
Some of you might be asking (especially if you are old like me), “How are the people going to know where to click if we don’t label it?” But the younger generation does know that those photos are there for a reason. They know to hover over them.
Is this a perfect solution for everyone? No, it isn’t. We have to admit that our older clients dislike this trend a lot. They complain about not being able to find anything on websites whose designers deploy minimalist navigation. So if your target audience is men over fifty, you might want to go ahead and keep some of the words on there so they can find what they are looking for. It’s always good to know your customer.
One Page Websites That Scroll Forever - Sitemap in Footer
Another interesting trend we are seeing in 2023 is the one page website that scrolls and scrolls but has everything on the one page.
And these are not just start up companies any more either. Nor are they companies with only one product or service. Today, the younger generation would prefer to scroll endlessly than to click this and then click that. They want all of the basic information about a company on one page. They want to see everything there is to know on that front page.
Then, if you have more pages, you can put those all in a sitemap in the footer and if they get that far, and want more information, they will drill down from there. But they don’t want to be clicking back and forth through your website. They want it all up front where they can see it all, and decide if they need to know anything further from you.
In truth, this new website design trend for 2023 is a bit of a challenge for SEO experts. A one page website isn’t going to rank well on Google. So whatever is in that sitemap in the footer, there better be lots of content buried underneath that one page, or Google is not going to rank that content very well. Learn More About SEO Content Writing on our Blog.
Web Design Trends 2023 - Bright and Bold Colors
Bold and bright colors
Gone are the days of muted website colors. In 2022, website design will be all about making a statement with bold and bright colors. From vivid primary colors to pastel hues, expect to see a lot more color in website designs this year and into 2023.
This is a trend that has been gaining momentum over the past few years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. While some web designers are drawn to subtlety and restraint, others are gravitating toward more eye-catching hues. Whether you prefer muted tones or vibrant shades, there is a place for both on the web.
One of the benefits of using brighter colors in web design is that they can help to capture attention. In a world where we are bombarded with visual information, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But by using bold and bright colors, you can grab people’s attention and make your website or app more memorable. Additionally, these colors can also convey a sense of energy and excitement, which can be helpful if you’re trying to promote a new product or service.
Of course, brighter colors should be used sparingly, as they can quickly become overwhelming. When used judiciously, however, they can be an effective way to add some visual interest to your web designs. So if you’re looking to make a statement in 2022, don’t be afraid to go big with your color choices.
Responsive Web Design - Mobile First
As mobile devices become increasingly popular, it’s important to make sure that your website is optimized for all screen sizes. This is where responsive design comes in.
Responsive design is a website design technique that allows your website to adapt to the size of the user’s screen. This means that whether someone is viewing your website on a phone, tablet, or laptop, they will be able to see it correctly.
One of the benefits of responsive design is that it can help to improve the user experience. By ensuring that your website is easy to read and navigate on all devices, you can keep visitors engaged and reduce the likelihood of them bouncing from your site.
In addition, responsive design is also beneficial from an SEO perspective. Google has stated that they are looking to mobile-first indexing, which means that they will prioritize websites that are optimized for mobile devices. So if you want your website to rank well in search engine results, it’s important to make sure that it has a responsive design.
If you’re not sure how to create a responsive website, there are plenty of resources available online. There are also many website builders that offer responsive templates, so you can create a website without having to code it yourself.
But whatever you do, don’t forget responsive design – mobile matters. So before you launch that new website, make sure you make it look good on a mobile screen, and all screens for that matter.
The good news is, most website platforms with any type of web page builder are already set up to be responsive and mobile friendly. This is true of Wix, Weebly, Shopify, Duda, and WordPress Themes that work with Elementor or Divi Builder. But if you are going old school and using block editor or writing code, you need to check every web page and make sure every page, every form, every entry point, every e-commerce viewer is set up to work well on mobile. If you don’t, users won’t stay on your site – and going forward as far as SEO is concerned, if Google won’t rank your site on their search engine, owning 95% of all internet searches, effectively you won’t exist at all on the web.
User Generated Content
As website design becomes more and more user-centric, we can expect to see a rise in user-generated content. This is content that is created by website visitors, rather than the website itself.
There are several benefits of using user-generated content, including:
– Increased engagement. When website visitors are able to contribute their own content, they are more likely to be engaged with the website overall.
– Fresher content. User-generated content can help to keep your website content fresh and up-to-date.
– Greater connection with website visitors. By allowing website visitors to contribute their own content, you can create a greater connection with them.
If you’re looking to incorporate user-generated content into your website design, there are several things to keep in mind:
– Make sure that it’s easy for website visitors to contribute their content.
– Moderate the content to ensure that it meets your standards.
– Promote the content so that website visitors are aware of it.
– Use it to improve the user experience.
By following these tips, you can create a website that is both visually appealing and easy to navigate. And as more people embrace digital minimalism, your minimalist website will be ahead of the curve.
Paralax Scrolling Effect in Website Design
Parallax scrolling is a website design trend that has been around for a few years now. But it’s set to be even bigger in 2023 and into 2024 as images are larger and videos with custom thumbnails are front and center on websites. This effect creates a sense of depth and movement on websites, making them more engaging and interactive.
In effect, Parallax Scrolling allows images to “enter the screen” and “scroll with” the user as they scroll down a page. As a website designer, one thing we employ Parallax Scrolling for is if our clients provide us with images that are shot extremely close up and take up a lot of room on the page. Parallax Scrolling gives those images the “feel” of being smaller than they are as the user is scrolling down.
The other time we like to employ Parallax Scrolling is when our clients give us images that are vertical focused. Meaning they are “tall” pictures. Parallax Scrolling enables the person to take in just the piece of the image that is in front of them, rather than giving them the feeling that they are scrolling forever down a long screen just to get to the next image.
There are several reasons why parallax scrolling is so popular. For one, it makes websites more visually interesting. With so much information available online, it’s important to find ways to stand out from the crowd. And parallax scrolling can do just that. It also helps to create a sense of immersion, which can be helpful if you’re trying to promote a new product or service.
Additionally, parallax scrolling is a great way to engage users. By using this effect, you can encourage people to explore your website more deeply. This can lead to increased engagement and conversion rates.
So if you’re looking to add some visual interest to your website in 2022, be sure to consider using parallax scrolling. It’s a trend that’s here to stay.
Massive Images are Popular in 2023 and Going into 2024
In 2024 Website Design we are starting to see MASSIVE images on websites. This is especially true on home pages and high value internal pages. Although some people might think of this as more “minimalist design” – it is more than that. It is in fact, more design on and around the image.
This has given rise to most of our web design customers needing to either rely on animation type figures for their images, or hiring both a professional photographer and a professional videographer.
Todays world is a visual world. You needn’t look any further than the rise of Instagram to see what forms of content people are consuming. People want to look at images and have an excellent user experience on your website, and while they are there enjoying your images, they want you to quickly tell them precisely what they came to find out.
In 2023 and going into 2024, the rise of multiple short, and we mean 30 second long short videos about specific things will start showing up on corporate websites. You don’t think so? Look at the rise of Reels on Instagram, Shorts on YouTube, and TikTok. People are not just consuming information in video format, they want that format extremely short and to the point.
So rather than making people read an entire FAQ on your page, it is advisable for user experience in 2023 and going into 2024 to have a video FAQ loaded with short thirty second product clips that tell people exactly what they want to know.
In addition – you must ensure your videos are excellent. People look at reels and shorts and TikTok’s all day long now and are used to seeing high quality video from individuals. So what do you think they expect from your business? The same thing – except better.
Summary - Good Website Design
Website design has come so far in the last few years, and it’s only going to continue to evolve. Here are some of the biggest website design trends you can expect to see in 2022:
– User-generated content. As website design becomes more user-centric, we can expect to see a rise in user-generated content. This is content that is created by website visitors, rather than the website itself.
– Parallax scrolling. Parallax scrolling is a website design trend that has been around for a few years now. But it’s set to be even bigger in 2023. This effect creates a sense of depth and movement on websites, making them more engaging and interactive.
– Video backgrounds. Video backgrounds are another website design trend that’s set to be big in 2023 and will grow in 2024. This effect can add a sense of energy and movement to your website, making it more visually interesting. Additionally, video backgrounds can help to create a sense of immersion, which can be helpful if you’re trying to promote a new product or service.
-Responsive Website Design. Websites need to work on every screen. Especially mobile. Users insist on a mobile friendly website experience or for thei website to fit whatever sized screen they are using. Plus, with Google’s latest update, mobile first indexing is making responsive web design critially imporant to SEO.
So if you’re looking to create a website that’s ahead of the curve, be sure to keep these trends in mind. By embracing user-generated content, parallax scrolling, and video backgrounds, you can create a website that’s both visually appealing and easy to navigate
About the Author
Tim Vanderkamp is co-owner of Stay Wild Digital Marketing, a website design agency based in Salt Lake City Utah, serving Park City Utah, and Austin Texas.