The internet is absolutely enormous, and it’s growing even bigger by the hour. New pages and sites are being added to it and new technologies designed to improve the user experience and customer journey are coming on board all the time. Our world is in a state of constant innovation and change. If you’re busy researching website trends for 2022, you’ve landed in the right place. As an experienced B2B website design agencywe’re already way ahead of the curve. Read on to find out the things you need to be doing to win an edge over your competitors, stay cool and contemporary, use all the fresh tech available to you, and make your website a stand-out player through 2022.
Operating in a fast-changing online landscape means you always need to be aware of website design and development trends for businesses. Just like a high street shop window or the outside of a business premises, the look and functionality of your website creates an all-important first impression with prospects. If you’ve ever visited an old-fashioned looking, poorly-performing website and clicked away fast, you’ll know what we’re saying! It’s essential to stay bang up to date and fulfil user expectations every step of the way if you want to delight visitors and stay competitive. And that means your website needs lots of attention - you’ll need to continuously review, revise and update it. So let’s take a look at some of the strongest website trends for 2022.
The internet is overwhelmingly consumed on mobile devices, which leaves old-school websites out in the cold. Back in 2008 the tipping point finally tipped and more of us began accessing the internet via mobile devices than desktop machines. It changed the world, and when Google implemented its mobile first strategy things changed for good. This is hardly a new trend but you’d be surprised how many business websites still don’t display properly on mobile devices, still skewed towards comparatively few desktop users.
If you haven’t done it yet, transform your site into something mobile friendly that displays on every kind of device in a way users can enjoy. It’s so much better than sending people to a site they land on then immediately click away because of the tiny text, the impossible navigation, the sub-standard appearance. It’s also really important to remember that Google’s search algorithm will suppress your site in the natural search results if it doesn’t display properly on small screens.
A few seconds didn’t used to matter one way or another before the internet came along. But in a digital world, waiting for any amount of time feels like forever. Speed matters. When a site or page loads so fast it’s just there for you, without any effort, life as a consumer feels good. If a site delays, hangs, loads like a dog or doesn’t load at all, consumer trust goes down the drain. Impatience sets in almost immediately, and they click away to buy from your fast-loading competitor instead.
Again this isn’t a new trend but it’s another one that many businesses haven’t caught up with yet. And it is becoming increasingly important. Fast rendering web pages mean people can easily, enjoyably interact with your business, a fundamental aspect of every good user experience. The Google algorithm’s ‘page experience’ assessment and ‘core web vitals’ are both primarily concerned with performance speed, so this isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must.
It has taken a while, and it still hasn’t bedded in 100%, but voice functionality is another trend that’s brewing, another way for you to steal an advantage over competing sites. Google has provided reliable, fast voice based search control, and we’re seeing more voice activated user interfaces being implemented than ever before. Get onto this bandwagon and you could see some exciting improvements in performance simply because people appreciate the fact you’ve provided handy voice search and other exciting voice functionality. Once it takes off properly, our world will change profoundly yet again – as you can imagine, it’s always going to be easier for most people to speak than type.
Imagine your vision isn’t that good, or your hearing is impaired. You deserve to be able to use the internet just as much as anyone else, and that’s why there’s statute law to take into account around accessibility. The RNIB predicts we’ll have 2.7 million people with sight loss in the UK alone by the year 2030. That’s a lot of potential customers you want to attract and keep, and the only way to do it is to ensure every aspect of your website is accessible.
You might need to improve your image meta data so everyone can understand what an image is about, or provide product description and video transcripts so people with vision issues can consume the content. There’s no excuse these days - all websites must be made accessible to all visitors, and every website must fulfil today’s accessibility expectations.
White web page backgrounds have long been the norm. But it’s just as easy and often easier to read light text on a dark background, and it’s fast becoming a trend. Dark mode web design is a thing, in much the same way as increasing numbers of us are choosing to switch our mobiles into dark mode to save energy. If your site is starting to look out of date, you might want to redesign it in dark mode to give it a lift. Alternatively you could offer visitor the chance to switch into dark mode if they want to.
Personalised direct marketing has been around for decades, but the internet has provided the perfect setting for genuinely personalised content based on the interests and needs of the user, a data driven way to target offers and goods to the right people. It makes sense. When you visit a site full of information you genuinely need and want, it’s a great experience. You can do that for your users and it’s important because people increasingly expect personalised online experiences.
Interactive sites feature things like chatbots for humans to engage with, and machine learning to figure out and record visitor preferences. This means two people visiting the same site can have very different experiences, directly based on preferences or previous behaviour that’s been noted and stored. The more you learn about your individual customers, the better you can serve them, and the more you’ll sell.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are not new trends, but they’re developing fast. VR, for example, is used by estate agents to provide virtual property tours and by CAD software to visualise designs in 3D. Both can be harnessed very effectively to make friends and influence people. Providing interactive content can dramatically enrich the visitor experience in a world where happy, satisfied people are more likely to part with their cash.
A micro-animation can add so much more than the sum of the parts to your digital business. Imagine you sell an unusually complex widget. You could use 500 or 1000 words to describe it in fine detail, and that’s great. Some people love to consume written content. But others prefer to see visual representation of an object before they can understand it properly, and micro-videos capture and hold these people’s interest beautifully. You might provide a micro-animation of your product being used, an animation revealing all the different uses of a product, how to fit it or even fix it. Doing so will help you create even better visitor engagement and ultimately sell more stuff.
None of the anticipated website trends for 2022 we’ve mentioned are terribly complicated or difficult to achieve, but they do require careful thinking, planning and implementation. We can help you with all of that, leaving you in an excellent competitive position for 2022 with a site Google’s algorithm loves and people enjoy using so much they’ll tell their friends and family.... and that’s marketing gold dust. If you’d like to discuss the possibilities for your website with an Oxford based web design agency, get in touch. We know everything there is to know about B2B website development.