Most of the other trends in this article have been reactions to popular design trends of the past. With muted colors becoming popular after vivid colors dominated, and abstract illustrations replacing the realistic icons.
However, I think that the shift to somewhat minimalist designs and homepages has also been driven by the need for better load times and smaller page sizes.
If you weren’t aware, Google rewards pages that load fast with better spots in the search rankings. This can be a huge deal for a lot of SEO-focused companies!
Over at Buffer use a very moderate landing page that looks great on desktop or mobile devices:
Zendesk used a similar layout, embracing muted colors, heavy fonts, and abstract illustrations as well:
With a flat background and modular design, these homepages can easily be used for mobile or desktop users too. Sometimes, when a company uses a large photo, video, or illustration, that shift isn’t as seamless as it should be.
That’s another positive aspect of these minimalist pages, they a lot easier to navigate for the user. Instead of distracting elements, the messaging or information stands out instantly.
As well as direct them to your main call-to-action, like Slack did below:
It’s hard not to immediately be drawn to and click on the main purple button. And that’s the point!
That said, you don’t have to avoid using an image, video, or graphic. Just make sure the rest of your page is easy to navigate and the image, like below, is actually optimized.
If you were curious, that GIF in the example above was around 100KB, which is TINY in the grand scheme of things.
One final thing I really like about some of these minimalist landing pages is that they make things easy for new and returning users. Just check out how easy it is to sign in to your Dropbox account below:
It’s literally one of the first things you see on the homepage! Now if you don’t have an account you can quickly sign up for the service as well.
The designers at Sonder used a minimalist layout that makes it easy for you to search for lodgings as soon as you land on their page too:
Little user-experience decisions like this can really help push your visitors in the right direction and convert them into long-time users.
So just remember that in 2020, sometimes a picture is not worth a thousand words. Especially if that picture increases page load time.