It’s hard to peruse the web these days without coming across sites that utilize the modern-retro trend. This is due to the fact that while there are some potential drawbacks, such as long-term sustainability for any trend, modern-retro web design is appealing and drives results.
Modern-retro design encompasses influences from the early days of the computer age, ranging from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. As with all things, trends tend to be cyclical, and the modern-retro trend in web design reflects the re-emerging retro trends in pop culture and fashion. Everywhere you look there are influences from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, so why wouldn’t that take hold in today’s web designs as well?
There are some substantial benefits of modern-retro design in websites aside from the fact that they reflect societal trends. Nostalgia elicits an emotional connection which is extremely important in impacting user retention, social sharing, repeat traffic, customer conversion, and trust. The demographics that spend the most money can connect better to the material. This design trend speaks to people ages thirty to sixty who have fond memories of similar imagery. Additionally, the bright, bold colors and geometric shapes help to create pages that pop with visual interest and attention-grabbing hues. The colors in modern-retro design are often thought of as “happy colors,” such as golden yellows, reds, oranges, and neon colors in some cases. Color can play a big role in enhancing mood which can prompt people to stay on a website or even to spend money. Modern-retro design also piggy-backs off of current typography trends with custom typefaces that help to distinguish a brand and show off their personality, while putting emphasis on the primary messages of the website.
As with any web design trend, however, it’s important to consider the business type and recognize that not all trends are right for all types of businesses. Modern-retro web design is a bit fun and quirky, and is not necessarily the best option for websites that are more serious, such as governmental sites, or more professional sites such as those for lawyers or doctors. As with any web design choice, the target audience must be taken into account. While it may not be right for every site, modern-retro design commands attention, helps to establish a brand’s personality, and helps to connect to users to the brand. The universal fondness for the styles of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s makes this trend one that many people are happy to see making a comeback.
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