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Great web design counts more for 2014 than it ever did before. Companies are facing an increasing amount of pressure to not only be online, but to have a real and responsive presence there for customers searching for them. One study of Fortune 500 companies found that these websites were 63% more likely to have sites that rated as “high quality” in comparison to the average website. eCommerce sales are reaching new highs with global sales now in the billions. How can your website stay relevant? Here are three web design trends that are sure to have lasting impact.

1. Simplicity

It might seem silly to label simplicity as a new trend, but in truth, it’s a concept on which an incredibly large number of websites experience a disconnect. Simplicity doesn’t mean “plain” or unprofessional website design — instead, it means sleek and getting to the point of directing the consumer to what they want to see. Forbes recommends split testing to see which versions of your website offerings actually benefit your conversion rates and sales — this is an easy way to figure out the answer to “how can we pare this down without eliminating important pieces?”

2. Better Design for Mobile

Did you know that approximately 25% of online users are now primarily or only accessing the internet through their phones? Web site design that bars access or makes access cumbersome for mobile users should be on the way out considering it can significantly impact your ROI. Only about 40% of businesses have a site optimized for mobile, though. The great thing about this is that it represents an easy way you can get ahead of your competition — just invest in professional website design to make it happen.

3. Less Reliance on Text to Point the Way

“Telling a story” might be seen as a big trend for the future of web design. The reason images, infographics and videos work so well for advertising, as opposed to paragraphs of text, is because of the way our brains process visual information. Visual content for brands increases engagement on social media by 70%, according to Simply Measured. When possible, think of ways you can convey the message of your company to consumers through visuals, rather than text. Web copywriting should be informative but concise. However, be wary of going overboard. Visitors often react negatively to the idea of needing to watch a video in order to understand how to navigate a website.

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