Essential Design Trends, May 2017

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Making a good first impression is a vital part of website design. The homepage is often the first experience a user has with a business or organization and a striking design can help create interest. This month’s trends all focus on homepage design elements that are just a little bit different than what users are used to seeing.

From a purely aesthetic trend in shallow hero headers and diagonal corner layouts to a user interaction trend in this or that calls to action, there are plenty of interesting ways to draw the attention of users.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month:

1. SHALLOW HERO HEADERS

For a while the trend with hero images have been big, bold images and videos that fill the screen, often from the top of the homepage to right about where the scroll starts. More designs are starting to back off of this oversized image trend for shallower hero images.

Much of the design is still the same. Hero headers still include nice images or text with a configuration that’s made to be looked at. But the images are about half as deep.

What’s nice about this concept is it helps move other information up on the screen. Body copy and calls to action that aren’t in the hero image appear higher up in the design, giving users something to do or click right away. It can help prevent clutter in the image itself, which can be pretty important if the image is busy or hard to pair with text effectively.

This design pattern can also add more whitespace to the overall design, making it feel lighter and easier to navigate. With more minimal styles still popular, this concept might be one of the factors that’s driving this design decision.

The toughest part of using a more shallow hero image is cropping. It’s one of those things you’ll want to think about early in the design process, all the way back to when you talk to the photographer about images. Because the shape is not as standard, you might need to explain how you plan to use the image to get a photo or video that will look good with that aspect ratio.

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