Digital Transformation

Design insight: mobile web design trends for Summer 2017

Steve Dale on May 31, 2017

So far this year, we’ve seen a growing amount of web designers’ time and creativity invested in building unique and well rounded mobile experiences for users. Mobile visitors are fast becoming target audiences and consumers for all sorts of different companies. Digital designers are searching for new ways to engage users on mobile devices, and to maintain their interest long enough to build solid customer experiences and relationships.

Here are some of the biggest new trends in mobile design we can expect to see this summer 2017, as recommended by our Nurture web designer, Steve Dale.

Colour, and lots of it

According to Steve, the days of pallid pastel shades are finally over, and this summer will welcome back vibrant primary colours into the webosphere. Check out what the Premier League has done this season as a good example. Awesome work. 

Steve says these bright hues will likely be contrasted with bold blacks to create a richer, more layered appearance on the page. This contrast is particularly important to help draw attention to CTAs on mobile sites, helping guide the user seamlessly across the site.

According to Pantone’s ‘Viewpoint Colour’ magazine, the urge for designers to look to ‘restricted uncompromising’ palettes does tend to occur during ‘complex’ times – and if 2017 doesn’t count as a complex time then who knows what will.

Due to the popularity of Google’s ‘Material Design’ guidelines, its highly likely that this summer will see companies start to take on this advice in a big way, and we’ll soon see a domination of ‘Google approved’ colour palettes across the web.

The simple colour combinations that Google suggests we adopt will help to make content easier to understand and keep designs looking fresh. These design decisions act to improve mobile user experiences, which, by nature, should be ingenuous.

University of Toronto study on how people used Adobe Color CC revealed that most people responded better to simple colour combinations that relied on only two to three colours – so keep it simple.         


Along with brighter hues, Steve tells us we can look forward to seeing more gradients weaved in to mobile sites, with different shapes and textures used to evoke emotions, and to promote an authentic experience. Many companies are doing this by experimenting with in-house photography, and moving away from the more graphic- based imagery that dominated 2015-16.

According to Digital Arts Magazine, this summer will welcome a whole host of spring and summer textures like ‘fresh and zesty yellow and green leaf designs’ – helping to encourage the idea of a website as a living and breathing ecosystem.

Expect also to see a rise in deep hues such as khaki and olive green, working alongside brick reds, maroon brown and charcoal grey to recreate a sense of rich and earthy minerals and materials.

Modular layouts

As the year has gone on, more and more designers have looked to mobile first, building desktop designs as an equally crucial afterthought. Because of this trend, we’ve started to see more sites made up from more mobile-friendly modular layouts. Modular typically refers to squared out boxes next to one another to section content – or actionable ‘cards’ as some companies call them.

Google trends data tells us that though this development isn’t a particularly new one, its grown rapidly in popularity this year. Many financial sites in particular are turning utilising modular layouts to display their typically varied selection of content.

The modular approach is widely praised as being reusable and responsive-friendly, with tiles forming a flexible stacking layouts that look nice and clean on any screen size.

Experimental use of navigation

Steve tells us that content is no longer going to be hidden by intrusive and outdated hamburger menus. Whilst on desktop, we’re seeing a cleaner use of hidden content via tabs and accordions, on mobile, customers are far happier to be served with all content at once.

Many of the biggest main apps and websites like LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram have recently made big changes to their navigation. Most daily-use apps have moved to a tabbed approach, and the hamburger or home icon is taking a secondary role.

VP of Sales & Marketing at Crowd Favorite & UX Expert, said: “As the year goes on, we’ll start to see the hamburgers being methodically replaced with tab bars, Priority menus, and other alternative forms of navigation.”

All of this means we will be hearing more about parallax scrolling and more creative, non-linear navigation. In fact. new navigation solutions have the potential to completely reshape user experience.

Watch this space…