First impressions are everything, now more than ever. Everyone and everything is clamoring for mere seconds of your undivided attention, we all know this.

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Yet as UX designers and developers in the world of web, to say we have a big job on our hands to captivate our consumers visually AND contextually with flawless functionality is surely the understatement of the century. Its enough to drive you mad, but luckily we’re all a little mad here!

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Let us be your guide through this rabbit hole of new design trends we don’t see going away any time soon and take a sneak peek at the method to our madness for being able to showcase your CONTENT in new and fresh ways.

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1. Mobile first. Always. In fact, digital first!

Most of us rarely go a day without accessing the Internet from our phones, tablets or other portable devices. And with all kinds of crazy cool high-resolution tech knocking at our doorstep (think VR & 8k TVs!), things once dreamed impossible are quickly becoming the norms in how we access information.

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So what does this mean in terms of design?

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It means responsive design is no longer a “nice to have,” it’s a necessity. Take the Apple Watch for example. What would your website, email communication, blog and social media posts look like on a tiny device such as this? Thinking in the terms of digital first allows you the opportunity to be as succinct with your content as possible and not relying on added information to get in the way. In other words, get to the point!

2. Flat Design & Minimalism

This one definitely isn’t budging. We are more or less expecting to see flat colored buttons and design elements on the web these days. Minimalism takes away distractions, remove redundancies and offers clarity for our brains to “connect the dots” so to speak for what isn’t there. Flat design is so appealing not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but what it really provides is an effective use of time for us as consumers of content. We won’t spend time on confusing navigation or user-interfaces that stray from the mainstream approaches to web design.

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And I’d even venture to say developers fancy it for reducing load times (something that should be top of mind for rendering your content on smaller devices).

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3. Bold Typography

Typography is the under-celebrated star of the show when it comes to web design in that if you don’t have the LANGUAGE to support a large, beautiful visual type element, then what is the point?

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It may sound a little harsh, but its something we have to embrace these days. With all of the numerous web font tools available at our fingertips, there’s really no excuse to have your message become an afterthought to your design. San serif fonts are great for again limiting distractions while drawing us into the story and holding our attention, which is the ultimate goal.

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4. Long/Infinite Scrolling

Concise storytelling alleviates any concern of staying above the fold that was once a caveat to how information was presented on a web page. Today, we all scroll and if you have an interesting and unique story to tell, the long scroll is your best friend.

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We want to see how the story unfolds before us, and micro-interactions, animations and parallax effects can increase the intrigue to keep reading.

5. Data Analysis

Luckily, the days of business decision making based on ideal situations and whims are behind us, though there are most certainly some who will continue to be reluctant to accept that data is the new black.

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In order to create customer-centric digital strategies, genuine facts and data have to be compiled. If you’re late to the data analysis game, then now it is the perfect time for you to jump on board.

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Plenty of data analysis tools are available and Charity Dynamics can help you analyze your constituent base and much more. Remember to always keep a pulse on your data to adjust and evolve your strategies accordingly.

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6. Unified Design

We all want a unified experience when interacting with our different channels online. Being able to craft a unified, cohesive experience, regardless of where the experience begins, continues and ends is paramount when communicating to our audiences and bringing order to the chaos.

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Many times the best interface is the one within reach. We start tasks on one device and usually finish it on another, and striving to unify actions, not just content will surely make you stand apart from the crowd.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey and feel empowered to go forth and create some amazing content!

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As always with any trends, we recommend discovering who your users are and what motivates them when deciding what makes sense for your organization.

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