2020 is going to be a big year for web development and design, as intuitive voice tech and chatbots become a focus of the latest website design trends.
Every year there are new trends and ‘inspiration’ posts online encouraging you to revamp your website, brand and content marketing strategy. Of course, sometimes you can afford to ignore these, ultimately trends come and go.
However, for about 2-3 years voice tech and chatbots have continued to grow in popularity and now, voice tech is becoming commonplace in our homes, meaning it’s here to stay and our websites and online presence should reflect this new tech.
Website design will always fluctuate and trends will always come and go, but factoring in some of the latest tech innovations is crucial for a lot of bigger businesses to start taking notice of and incorporating into new website projects.
If you’re currently - or about to - undergo a website revamp or launch, it’s ideal timing for reviewing if any of this year’s recommended website trends are worthwhile adding to your new site…
Providing a quality mobile experience has been essential to website design for several years, the only reason we’ve included this is because it’s now imperative that your designers offer you a mobile-first design. Why? 52.2% of global internet traffic in 2018 came from a mobile device.
This means that an ever-increasing majority (up from 50.3% the previous year) of your visitors are viewing your site on mobile so it’s no longer acceptable to have jerky scrolling and unclickable buttons. Your site should be designed with a priority of mobile-first, desktop secondary.
Start your web project by reviewing how much of your traffic is visiting your site on mobile vs desktop (Google Analytics can reveal this), and use this data to steer the focus of your website design. Some industries will see desktop traffic is much higher, so mobile-first may not suit your organisation.
Secondly, conduct a speed test like Google’s to ensure your site is responsive and fast-loading. Mobile sites can be slowed down dramatically if they have not been designed mobile-first, as they have large image files and a great number of elements that prevent the site from loading immediately. Did you know that 3 in 4 people will abandon a mobile website if it takes any longer than 5 seconds to load?
In today’s super-fast, high-expectations-filled world, we expect instant answers and immediate solutions to our problems to be at hand. That’s why marketing automation has become of great importance - your website can work for you any time of day, meaning you don’t have to send emails, send ebooks, send real-time social messages, etc.
Increasingly, this isn’t enough. What we need are robots. Chatbots provide powerful opportunities for 24/7 communication and - more importantly - lead nurturing - with your prospects and website visitors.
By 2020, Gartner predicts that chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions.
Chatbots are currently limited by their technology to provide the contextual answers a human can, but there is already testing in place to improve the conversational capabilities of chatbots.
Voice search is no longer a made-up idea from sci-fi films or a gimmick. Alexa, Siri & co., are here to stay. The fact that they are increasingly being found at the core of our homes and offices means that our websites should start to respond to their Q&A abilities.
Voice User Interfaces (VUI) is the way that we can start to capture a similar experience to that of Alexa, Siri & co. it makes human interaction with computers possible, using speech recognition technology to understand spoken commands and answer questions.
All five of the big tech companies - Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google & Amazon - have all invested billions into developing and improving their AI assistants as they anticipate the rise in popularity and reliance in voice-activated search.
If you still need evidence that your website needs to answer the questions of Alexa, Siri and et al, look no further than this surprising statistic - voice will power 50% of all searches by 2020.
Yes, we’ve mentioned video many times over the last two years, and we’re all pretty accepting of the fact that video will remain a core marketing asset for some time to come. However, the use of video is changing - it should be useful, relevant, value-adding. A stock video of someone typing isn’t enough to convince, not if it’s not “real”.
Use video in more empowering ways, such as:
- Walkthroughs of your products
- Q&As about your services and abilities
- Case studies
- Showcase your company culture with real videos of your team
05. Information transparency
Thanks to the many data scandals in recent months it’s never been more important to be as transparent as possible in all that you do and say.
Website trends are steering this newfound need to be seen as “open and transparent” and ensuring that pricing is clearly stated in their product pages. A lot of us have been on the mindset:
- My pricing is too complex
- Seeing my pricing, without an explanation, will put prospects off
- I don’t want my competitors to know my pricing
In 2020 none of these ‘excuses’ will have any substance. Instead, you should be proving your value in the messaging and wider content of your website. Your users should trust you to be providing a fair price in return for a high-value product as they’ve engaged with your content and services.