Common Features of the Most Successful Websites in 2023
As the digital landscape evolves, designers constantly innovate to create digital experiences that stand out from the crowd but still offer functionality. In 2023, the most successful websites will prioritize user experience, aka UX design, mobile-first approaches, responsiveness, and accessibility, while incorporating cutting-edge design trends. Today, we’ll explore five of the most common features that successful websites will have in 2023, complete with examples and tips for implementing them on your own site.
Minimalist Design & User Experience
- Clean, simple layouts
- Clear and concise navigation
- UX and function first approach
This year, minimalist design will continue to dominate the web. Even though there is an emerging push for anti-design and brutalism, In the B2B ecosystem where attention is at an all-time low and efficiency is more valuable than ever, leaning on clean and minimalist design will generate better engagement for your clients. Here are some tips for incorporating minimalism into your designs:
- Use clear, easy-to-understand navigation menus (see the Law of Similarity).
- Eliminate unnecessary elements and distractions (pop-up modals, I’m looking at you 👀)
- Concentrate on accessible typographical and color systems
“Less is more when it comes to B2B web design in 2023. A clean, minimalist design allows users to focus on your content and quickly find the information they need.” – Shawn Tarr, Senior Web Designer 3 Media Web
Custom Illustrations and Unique Visuals
- Personal and custom feel
- Reinforcing brand identity
- Replacing drab stock images
Custom illustrations will be a key feature of successful websites this year and likely for a while, given the exponential rollout of AI. By taking the time to work in custom illustrations across your site, you’re telling your visitors you care about the work you do––jobs aren’t rushed to make sure the bottom line is met, but rather the work is done right and with attention to detail. Setting yourself apart from your competitors in such a genuine way will help build brand loyalty and keep your clients coming back for more. To incorporate these custom visuals into your site:
- Work with a professional illustrator. Not only will they be incredibly consistent, but they will also likely save you more time than piecemealing stock vectors from across the web.
- Focus on the homepage. Start by first replacing stock images on the most visited pages to avoid getting overwhelmed.
- Reinforce your brand identity. Incorporate your brand colors and patterns throughout your website design.
Mobile Responsiveness & Accessibility
- Ensuring your website is accessible on all devices
- Prioritizing readability and usability
- Implementing accessibility features for all users
Mobile responsiveness may be old news to you, but it is surprisingly not as common as it should be in 2023. Accessibility, however, will be more important than ever. Successful websites will be designed with all users in mind, ensuring content is accessible and easy to navigate on any device. Here are some pointers to incorporate these themes into your web designs:
- Install mobile emulator extensions to test multiple devices as you work
- Prioritize readability with a clear typographical hierarchy and well-organized negative space by creating a style guide
- Review WCAG Accessibility Guidelines (one helpful tool I always recommend is a color contrast checker).
“Successful websites will be designed with all users in mind, ensuring content is accessible and easy to navigate on any device.” – Shawn Tarr, Senior Web Designer 3 Media Web
Engaging Data Visualization and Interactive Elements
- Making hard-to-understand data engaging and digestible
- Incorporating interactive elements to increase engagement
- Utilizing branded infographics, graphs, and other visual tools
In 2023, successful websites will leverage data visualization and interactive elements to engage users and present information quickly and conveniently. With attention spans at an all-time low, captivating content is in high demand. Here are some ways to start to engage your audience better:
- Creating Branded Infographics that include motion on load
- Create interactive polls or quizzes to engage and funnel
- Take a look at LottieFiles Animations and see how you can leverage them for your next design
Cutting-Edge Design Trends & Techniques
- Glassmorphism and gradients
- Merging photography and branded graphics
- Offering a dark mode for your users to reduce eye strain
“Of course!” you say, as a designer who is always on the edge of innovation and design. Listen, looking back through the years; it’s pretty easy to place a decade on an aesthetic. For example, wind (windbreakers) never stood a chance in the ’90s, and there was probably a shortage of hairspray in the ’80s. Today, however, it’s difficult to put a general blanket on the current trends. There are so many tributaries of culture (which is a great thing) nowadays that while you may have found a new-to-you trend, it doesn’t mean you’re on the precipice of the next big wave in design. Here are some semi-current trends that will elevate your designs and contemporize your website:
- Gradients are a great way to add visual interest while also staying true to minimalist design, which is a dominant feature of successful B2B websites in 2023
- Frosted Glass Effects, aka Glassmorphism, uses blurred overlays to create that modern, visually appealing effect while maintaining readability.
- Instead of using plan ol’ stock photography, jazz it up by taking it into Photoshop and blending custom-branded elements to reinforce that brand story
- Dark mode, which seems like a heavy lift from a design and development perspective, can be worth the investment when considering your audience and how they are engaging with that site
Make Your Website Design More Successful This Year
In 2023, the most successful websites will prioritize user experience, mobile-first design, and accessibility. By leveraging minimalist design, custom illustrations, data visualization, and cutting-edge techniques, you will create a website that stands out from the competition and provides a seamless user experience.
The biggest theme here is keeping your users in mind when working through your creative problems. What works for one market or user base may not work for another. By capitalizing on these tips uniquely, you will most likely find the creative solutions you seek.