shutterstock_336919673If 2016 saw the rise of user experience design innovation, 2017 looks to be the year of AI, mobile, and storytelling. For small businesses that provide products and services to local markets, staying on top of the same trends as the “big guys” is crucial to creating a website that engages and impresses audiences. Your website serves both as a first impression for prospective clients and as a springboard for future marketing campaigns.

If you want to stay current on all things web design, here are the top trends to look for and incorporate into your brand’s website in 2017.

AI Bots

Artificial intelligence will be the big game changer this year, with chatbots dominating mobile and web app development. While they don’t necessarily have a big visual impact on your website design, bots will allow you to better distribute content, answer customer questions through apps like WhatsApp and Facebook, and ease navigation.

Increased Adoption of Mobile Needs

In the U.S., over 30 million mobile users are mobile-only users. If the current trend continues as expected, eventually the entire internet focus will be transferred from desktop to mobile. In 2017, look for websites to be more mobile accessible than ever, with designs that make it easier to quickly find the solution the reader is looking for.

Motion User Interface

There will be an increase in motion and animation capabilities in website design that goes beyond mere videos. Web sites will benefit from fluid motion animations across their pages that showcase their products and services in an innovative and eye-catching way.

Redesigned Landing Pages

Live chat will still be popular, but less intrusive, with fewer pop-ups covering the screen a lead is trying to read. Online forms will be pared down to capture only the minimal amount of information required, and customer reviews will be used throughout a site, not only on testimonial pages. Text paragraphs will get shorter, with the goal of making valuable content quick and easy to read.

Storytelling

Web sites that tell great stories using great content and compelling visuals emotionally resonate with audiences. Small businesses can accomplish a successful storytelling strategy by highlighting their products and services in a way that the reader personally identifies with.

If there is a common theme that runs through this year’s trends in small business web design, it is this: increased user interaction. Whether it’s pop-ups, graphic CTAs, or social media integration, promoting interaction will generate more leads and help you better stay in touch with your customers. Trends will always continue to change, but the goal of your small business web design should be providing value to your customers. Regardless of the products and/or services you offer, follow these trending practices to build customer engagement and grow your business online.

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