In today’s overcrowded and incredibly competitive marketplace, your website decides the success of your digital presence. There are other factors to consider as well, naturally, regarding your digital marketing strategy, but it all starts with your website – the digital face of your brand. Hence, web design is something that doesn’t concern designers and developers only, but also small business owners, bloggers, and pretty much anyone out there who has a website.
And it’s a constantly changing landscape, too – something might work great today, but there’s no promise it won’t look cheesy and outdated in the blink of an eye. To help you stay on top of the game, we’re bringing you some of the 5 web design trends you can’t miss in the new year.
1. Custom graphics and illustrations
With the web being so saturated, designers have worked hard to create websites that don’t only provide a formidable user experience, but also leave a lasting impression on the visitor. However, web design is a practice that integrates aesthetics with functionality, and some things simply work better than others. That’s how the limitations multiply in the practice of web design to the point that creating something unique and impressionable requires true mastery. More often than not, you’ll see websites designed by the same principles, guided by the same minimalist aesthetic, whose visual differences simply aren’t resonant enough to the viewer.
That’s why we’re seeing more and more designers straying away from generic web templates and integrating graphic design into web design. Custom graphic design and illustration art are featured on home pages, menus, buttons, etc. It’s two modern art forms meeting to help brands stand out from their competition and establish an authentic visual presence.
Last year has shown an impressive rise in video consumption, and now, we’re finding ourselves in a digital world ruled by video. From IGTV, Instagram’s new platform designed exclusively for video content, to video being used more in email marketing and beyond, this is clearly not a mere trend but rather a medium that enriches the digital experience. Unsurprisingly, video has infiltrated web design, and it’s there to stay.
We’re going to be seeing more video backgrounds, especially on home pages. There’s also the rising trend of introductory videos to replace the “about” section and engage visitors the moment they land on the page. Impatient readers are being catered to with more and more articles being recreated in video format for easier consumption.
3. Different scrolling techniques
There’s always debate about scrolling in the web design community, with trends coming and going. In 2019, the pressure is taken off to keep the most important info above the fold. With good, engaging design, visitors will be enticed to scroll further without it being a noticeable effort. We’ll be seeing more dynamic scrolling, pages designed to draw the eye downward, and elements revealed behind moving scrolling graphics. But the trend can go even further, into exciting waters, with websites that use horizontal scrolling instead of the traditional vertical layout.
Designers are experimenting and bringing fresh ideas to the table, but we have yet to see what will stick. If you’d like to implement a horizontal scroll on your website or redesign your site to compel the viewers to scroll, it’s best to find UX professionals and consult them first. A bad scrolling experience can send visitors skimping off your site by the dozen. The only approach that will provide fruitful results is the one that closely monitors the user experience in regards to non-traditional scrolling.
Speaking of the importance of UX, here’s an element of web design dedicated to user engagement. A micro-interaction is a response your website provides to the user for a specific action they perform. We see a lot of micro-interactions in apps and on social media especially – for example, when you delete a message in Instagram DM’s, you’ll see a quick animation that looks like a smoke cloud that disappears in the blink of an eye. It’s a tiny animation that says “poof, it’s gone” and although it all happens within seconds, the interactivity that the app provides for you makes for a pleasant and effortless user experience.
Micro-interactions serve to make websites and apps more interactive and provide reassurance to the user for their completed tasks. On websites, they can be animations, sounds, and various forms of visual feedback triggered by actions such as mouse hovers, clicks, scrolling, etc. They’ll be a big hit in 2019, as web designers seek for sophisticated ways to improve even the most subtle nuances of the user experience.
5. Abstract shapes
Here’s a purely aesthetic trend that we’re excited to see being used in so many different ways. Combined with the rising trend of animated backgrounds, micro-interactions, and even custom graphic design, we’ll be seeing a lot of websites creatively using abstract shapes to add an authentic element. Gradients and bold colors remain a beloved practice in web design of 2019 as well, and they will be used in the process of creating unique abstract illustrations and backgrounds. We’ll be sure to see a website or two that just makes it difficult to peel your eyes off.
Keeping up with the continually shifting trends of web design is demanding, but it’s absolutely necessary. Every year brings a new and exciting take on the web experience, with some old elements being repainted in a brand new light. This year is no different, and we’re excited to see which trends will be the most impactful.