Web & Digital Design
Dialing In: Design Strategy for the Year Ahead
Q4 is here. And with that, planning for 2024 is well underway. Looking ahead, engaging, brand-bolstering design will be key to your long-term success.
Connecting with your audience is key — and if used correctly — incorporating modern design trends can freshen things up.
Your website is an opportunity to convey what your brand does and why, all while forging a genuine connection with your audience. Incorporating design trends can make your website feel fresh and relevant, and effectively connect you to a modern audience with high expectations for web design.
Before jumping on a trend, ask yourself: Does this complement my brand story — or just look cool? A/B testing can take the guesswork out of design; leverage tools like Userbrain to test prototypes before pushing any design to the public. Email campaign tools like Mailchimp can also gauge resonance by which designs garner high click-through rates.
Your audience should be at the heart of your decision-making process, and they should seamlessly feel the connection between your design aesthetic and your brand.
Some tried-and-true design trends will continue to resonate, but say goodbye to others.
As we move toward 2024, highly-engaging, immersive design — that transports users into a brand’s universe — is continuing to resonate. Coupled with 3D design, brands can easily convey abstract ideas and tell an engaging, actionable story. As impactfulness lingers, they’ll continue to be a prominent focus of web design.
Moving into 2024:
• The days of cold, black and white websites are behind us; bold and bright colors will leverage trends in a safe way.
• Building robust primary and secondary color palettes will enable brands to freshen up their look over time.
• Memorable color palettes will balance expressiveness with appropriateness.
• Next year and in years to come, ensuring animations aren’t a barrier to engagement will be pivotal.
• Illustration’s popularity will remain in-flux, but having extra core brand elements at your disposal will mitigate frequent rebrands.
Conversely, though the colorful nostalgia of the 90’s is finding its way back into design, the Y2K aesthetic is long-past its expiration. Though trends are cyclic, as design evolves, stale and simple gradients will be less impactful.
As society evolves, conveying who you are and what you stand for — via design — will be inextricably linked to your success.
When a brand is disingenuous, it shows. In recent years, we’ve seen increased concern for palatability with a brand. People care about the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ behind what you’re doing, so give them a peek behind your brand’s curtain. Practicing transparency with your audience via design will form a deep connection that withstands time and trials.
Authenticity in design will be at the forefront in 2024. Start by:
• Adding human-centric design elements to your website — organic shapes, rounded fonts and art direction depicting real people — to exude friendliness and approachability.
• Ensuring consistency across your website — to convey professionalism and care for your audience, while easing navigability and improving UX.
In addition to being approachable, ADA compliance should also be top-of-mind for your design team. As focus on inclusivity and accessibility grows, designers should begin to incorporate best practices into design, if they’re not doing so already.
Don’t be afraid to strategically experiment with innovations in tech.
Digital design trends come and go — a reality that’s expedited by tech innovation, a low barrier to entry for developers to bring their products to market and healthy competition. Rather than try to utilize all the options available to your team, Baunfire recommends focusing on a few that best complement your processes — then become an expert. This way, you’ll use your resources strategically.
Though design tools have been somewhat stagnant as of late, since Adobe’s acquisition of Figma, frequent updates are now happening. Over time, Figma will likely become an increasingly powerful tool — potentially expanding its use of AI tools and broadening its capabilities.
To spark a connection but ensure longevity, balancing current design trends and a timeless aesthetic will be essential.
Every brand wants a website that feels fresh and trendy, but most don't have the time — or the budget — to redesign it every time trends transform. Problematically, your website can quickly become outdated when what’s trending shifts. A successful design should be timeless at its core, but flexible enough to adapt and adopt new trends as they emerge. Trends should supplement — not dictate — design decisions.
As we look to 2024 with our clients and partners, it’s evident that striking, yet sustainable design will be more critical to success than ever before. Just like any area of expertise, a well-developed and executed design requires the research, planning and input of an experienced team, with a background in your industry and a proven track record of measurable results.
If your website’s design isn’t supporting your brand’s efforts as best it could, now is the time to engage with an experienced partner. Baunfire’s versatile team of designers is ready to help your brand succeed in 2024. Follow our page for more insights into what you need to know about web design and content.
To set up a time to chat with our team, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.