Forget bells and whistles. Hotel web design trends for 2024 are centered around pragmatic enhancements designed to bolster the efficiency of your website. The overarching goal is to minimize friction in the user experience and, most importantly, to pave a clear and seamless path to booking.
Trends of 2024 underscore the importance of a website as a functional tool to facilitate and enhance the overall guest experience and include:
- Bento Box Design
- Accessibility Informed UX Design
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- AR and Metaverse
- Web Performance and Lazy Loading
- On-site Translation
Before incorporating any new trend, assess your user journey to ensure each element contributes to a streamlined and intuitive booking process.
1. Bento Box Design
Departing from the conventional centered and stacked web design, bento box design is gaining popularity since Apple recently adopted the style. It is appreciated for its ability to compartmentalize information into easily scannable and digestible chunks.
Could this design work well for hotels? We think so! Here’s a great example of a different take on the bento design from a housing complex in Japan. In a few words and a handful of images, they’re able to showcase different features of their property in a really beautiful and simple way that’s easy to navigate, too.
2. Accessibility Informed UX Design
Accessible web design is big this year, emphasizing the growing awareness of creating inclusive websites usable by individuals with diverse abilities and disabilities. This involves making adjustments to accommodate cognitive or physical impairments ranging from blindness to ASD, brain injuries to deafness. Elements that support accessibility include closed captioning and descriptive narration on videos, alt text for screen readers on all images and videos, clear headings, logical information sequencing, and compatibility with assistive technologies.
Beyond meeting legal compliance standards, accessible websites can reach a broader audience. By prioritizing design decisions that benefit those with disabilities, you not only open your website to more users but also enhance its usability for everyone. This isn’t just about legal compliance; it’s an ethical commitment to providing equal access to information and services for everyone.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Nothing sizzles on website trend lists quite like AI, but does it find a spot on your hotel website in 2024? Absolutely! Many hotel websites have already tapped into the advantages of chatbots for handling guest FAQs. This year, we’re witnessing an upgrade as virtual concierges take the stage. These sophisticated bots communicate with digital assistants through voice or text commands, offering personalized recommendations based on guest preferences gleaned from their interactions with AI.
Another hot trend in web design this year is AI-generated imagery, thanks to advancements in technology. Designers may now craft specific images rather than relying on stock photos. However, within the hospitality industry, exercise caution: guests crave authenticity, and any whiff of artificial representation can cast doubt on your brand and erode trust. Stick to showcasing the real deal.
4. AR and The Metaverse
Augmented Reality (AR) and the metaverse continue to trend, offering immersive experiences and heightened visitor engagement. Incorporating these technologies into your hotel website, particularly through immersive tours through meeting and event spaces, proves popular. According to Cvent, 53% of event planners prioritize images and videos when choosing properties—and the metaverse takes this one step further by allowing them to explore spaces virtually to thoroughly understand layout and dimensions. By integrating metaverse technology, visitors can also explore guest rooms, providing a tantalizing taste of what’s on offer. Enhance this experience further with AR overlays providing information during virtual tours.
AR isn’t limited to virtual exploration; it also benefits in-person guests. Implement AR navigation tools on your website to guide guests through your property, aiding in-room location and amenity access. The potential applications of AR are vast—from virtual metaverse events to augmented menus and on-site marketing campaigns, keeping visitors engaged and exploring. The only limit is your imagination!
In terms of hotel website content, here’s what’s important for 2024:
Experiential Content: Thirty-seven percent of travelers consider social media an important part of their trip planning process, providing a window into the types of experiences they can expect from their destination. Among Gen Zers, that figure spikes to 60%! Incorporate experiential content into your website. Not only is it important to share what visitors can expect to experience at your hotel but in your destination as well. Immersive video may be an excellent way to express this.
Social Values: Demonstrating your social values throughout your website is trending again this year since 82% of consumers want to support businesses with values that are aligned with their own. In addition to written content, seek ways to support visual depictions of your values, too. For instance, if sustainability is a key value, consider incorporating content that aligns with this principle, such as an infographic illustrating how hotel waste is diverted or a photo showcasing your on-site water bottle refill station.
Smart Content: Smart content is exciting because it can serve up personalized content based on specific interests and online actions of visitors or their geological location. While this gets a little trickier with restrictions to third-party cookies pending, smart content can still be created using first-party data that your hotel collects in your property management system and/or CRM.
6. Website Performance and Lazy Loading
Whenever adding any new bell or whistle to your website, consider its impact on your website’s performance, such as loading speed and functionality. Website performance not only impacts your web visitors’ first impressions and ability to find the information they need to make a booking, it impacts search engine ranking as well. Implement lazy loading to help boost the efficiency of your hotel website by only loading page content on demand as opposed to loading the whole site when it’s not needed. This reduces the initial page load time and saves bandwidth, too.
7. On-site Translation
Offering AI translation on your website is an easy way to attract international guests. New applications allow you to easily translate your content into the languages of your choice. Upon landing on your website, guests may select their language and peruse your content with ease. The result is reduced friction for your international guests and an increase in bookings as your site becomes accessible to a wider customer base.
Your website allows potential guests to explore your hotel virtually, and it can make or break a booking. If your website is outdated, it gives guests the impression that your hotel itself is outdated. Keeping your website current is very important, and reviewing web design trends is a solid starting point.
Are you curious to see what our expert web design team can create for you? Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote.