Mobile Design Trends You Should Be Concentrating on in 2018

Design trends are nothing new, so it should come as no surprise that 2018 has some new trends on the horizon. The mobile Internet space is quickly becoming more popular than the desktop, as such past trends have been focused on mobile users, and 2018 is no different. With this in mind we had a chat with the team from Internet Creation who offer web design in Edinburgh what they thought would be some of the biggest trends to look out for in 2018, and here’s what they had to say…..

Mobile App Prototyping

While not necessarily a new trend, the use of mobile app prototyping is something that many web designers are just becoming familiar with.

The use of mobile app prototyping allows you to try out the app before its released to the public, and save you some money in the process. What’s more, having a prototype to hand will make things much easier for a developer, contributing towards a quicker app rollout.

Prototyping won’t eliminate every bug and glitch, but it will ensure that there aren’t as many problems as there would have been had you chosen not to prototype the app.

Material Design is Preferred Over Flat Design

If you’re an avid follower of design trends, then you will have noticed that there have already been several changes in the last decade that has seen design trend encompass skeuomorphism and flat design.

It’s worth noting that design trends change every couple of years, and 2018 will be a year where material design will be dominant.

Flat design features clean and crisp edges and open space, akin to the layout seen in the Windows 8 layout.  However, Google rolled out guidelines in relation to material design, which many web designers have taken notice of. However, there are designers playing catch up, and 2018 is the year to ensure that material design is instilled in your projects moving forward.

If you’re just getting to grips with material design, then it could be advisable to read over the guidelines put forward by Google. They effectively contribute to a universal visual language that invokes good design with technology and science.

Logging into Apps Will Be Easier

We only have to look at our current devices to see how logging in has evolved. With the latest iterations of smartphone encompassing new technology such as fingerprint scanners and facial recognition means that users no longer have to remember a series of passwords, while still ensuring that unwanted third parties cannot enter the app.

Mobile designers looking to add an additional layer of security can offer something like Google with Two Factor Authentication (2FA.)

More Support for Smartwatches

When smartwatches first entered the fold, people were unsure of what relevance they held other than a sleeker digital watch. However, smartwatches have proved their worth and there are a series of different devices available, regardless of your preferred operating system and style of watch. While there’s no sign of smartwatches overtaking smartphones anytime soon, they are used in partnership with many devices every day.

While your designs won’t always offer an opportunity to incorporate the features a smartwatch can offer, it’s still a slow-burning trend that should be acknowledged when considering options for your next project.

More Focus on Virtual and Augmented Reality

We’ve already had a taste of what VR and AR can offer, but the truth is that current app incarnations are still young, and while apps like Snapchat and Pokémon Go have showcased what is possible, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Like any form of technology, AR and VR are two sectors that will continue to evolve and gain popularity, so it’s important that web designers are taking notes and making consideration for future projects.

Augmented reality can add some additional flair to a brand’s app, or VR technology can take viewers on guided tour, or give them an overview of a job role without ever having to leave the property. The possibilities are ended.

The world of web design is one that is constantly changing, and there can be times when we’ve spent a great deal of time learning to work in a certain way, only to find that we’re having to head in a new direction.

This can be frustrating, but it’s important to look at the benefits on offer from an evolving online world. The more technology that is being embraced means there is more scope for interaction, and more choice for web designers. Not only do online users get access to apps that are tailored to them, but businesses are able to expand their reach, simply by making use of new technology.

Keeping track of trends means that web designers can embrace change as it happens, meaning that the design process can be tailored as opposed to cancelling the project and starting again.

15 simple conversion rate optimisation hacks

What would you say to an increase of a few percent on your current site conversion rates?

Given that conversion rates generally equal money in your pocket (or at least a very big pat on the back from a client) – the answer is likely to be ‘yes please!’

Upping conversion rates is usually one of those ‘easier said than done’ exercises – but it doesn’t have to be.

We recently has a chance to sit down with the team at Think Zap who are one of Scotland’s leading web design companies and they have shared 15 reasonably simple site hacks that that’ll see you conversion rates heading sky high – and importantly, we’ll look at why they work.

Home page video

Having a video on your homepage appeals to our lazy brains. Give your customers the information they need in video format and save them hitting back at the prospect of having to trawl your site for the info they need.

Industry average rates suggest a homepage video will boost your conversions between 75-100%

Guest checkouts

You can expect an increase in ecommerce conversions to the tune of around 50% if you let your visitors check out as guests. The reason is simple – fewer barriers the conversion for your customer – and we all know, fewer barriers, increased results.

Reduce form fields

What do you really need from your customer when they’re completing a form? Ask yourself that question then strip it back to the bare bones. If you’re starting with 10-12 fields and can manage to reduce that down to either 4-5, you can expect to see around 140% more conversions…

Use high-quality images

How does a 62% increase in conversions sound? That’s what you can expect if you go from a lacklustre shot or stock image – to a high quality professional image on your homepage. People have got a nose for stock images – so use something that’s original and you’ll have them converting in increasing numbers.

Video testimonials

How can you be certain that any testimonial you read on a page is legitimate? Well, you can’t – but you stand a better chance of working out if what you’re seeing is genuine if it appears in video format.

Customers love video testimonials – they’re hard to fake and tick the same psychological boxes as a friend recommending a product. Some industries see conversion increases of 150%+ when they put video testimonials on their pages…

Add PayPal

Want to make spending money with you easy? Adding a PayPal button will see order increases somewhere in the tune of 35% – and it’s all about convenience. Most of your traffic is now likely to be coming from mobile – and while we love mobile browsers, inputting card details can be a pain.

Reduce those awkward form completions by offering payment with PayPal – and in just a couple of clicks, the customer’s money will be on its way to you.

Add a promo code on your homepage

A promo code is almost guaranteed to draw customers deeper into your site, searching for something that will mean they can redeem the code and save some money. Expect an increase of 6-8% in onsite sales if you offer an appealing code.

Make sure you’re mobile friendly

It’s nearly 2018 – if you’ve not optimised for mobile now you’re really missing a trick. Depending on your industry studies show you can expect an increase in conversions anywhere between 100% and 700% if you’re driving mobile traffic at your site but aren’t catering for smaller layouts and mobile browsers.

Add a contact number

Adding a contact phone number to your site is as much a psychological move as it is a customer service boost. Having a number on your site puts customer confidence through the roof – and when customer confidence is high, customers spend money.

A phone number makes you site look like the front of a real company – meaning support is immediately at hand if there are any issues that your customer needs resolving.

Are you a robot?

Complex captcha is a massive turn off for customers. The occasional ‘tick box’ isn’t too bad – but if you’ve had to identify how many of the squares have street signs/cars/shop fronts in them – you’ll know how tempting that back button looks.

Don’t take the risk that you’ll put your customers off, ditch the captcha and see conversions increase by 3-5%

Share share share

You might think that social share options on product pages will have people circulating your stuff around the globe – but in reality, it doesn’t quite work like that. In fact, removing social share buttons from your pages actually puts conversions up by 12% – owing mostly to the fact that you keep your customer’s eyes on the prize… tunnel vision all the way to the check out…

Live chat

Adding live chat to your page is useful in a couple of ways. It offers the same psychological confidence boost that having a phone number gives – and it also offers your customers a chance to pose a question that they’d otherwise go elsewhere with.

The psychological boost and the second chance to win your customer over will add an increase of anywhere between 20-200% in terms of conversions – depending on how you handle the live chat interactions.

Simple and clutter free

When it comes to landing pages – less is definitely more. A/B testing between image heavy, long landers vs. short and concise pages carrying the same information shows a big preference for the latter – increasing conversions by over 150%.

Follow the logo conventions

People are used to seeing your logo top left – and occasionally top centre. Start getting quirky and your site loses the familiar feel that inspires confidence in your audience. Tick all the ‘conventions’ boxes and you can expect an increase in conversions of around 70%

Speed is everything

So, we’ll finish off with a word of warning – rather than a solid figure.

All this work you’ve put in to maximise your chances of converting your traffic is worth next to nothing if your page doesn’t load in a reasonable time. And by reasonable – we actually mean lightning fast!

Make people wait for more than 3 seconds and you can kiss goodbye to around 20% of the traffic that was heading in your direction. Wait any longer and you’ll start to lose the majority of your traffic. Focus on page load speed to make sure as many people get through the door as possible…