There are many trends each year that come and go. Jumping on the bandwagon to try them all out isn’t practical and won’t be suitable for many clients’ projects. Therefore, it’s necessary to pick and choose between them with each project.
Also, factor in the ones that are likely a fad that will disappear in a few months. Those are best avoided to prevent a new design from badly dating too quickly.
Here are some trends worth reviewing for potential use in a new web site design.
The previous sweeping change as monitors and other displays increased their pixel density and the number of supported “web-safe colors” beyond a couple of hundred into the millions let designers go a little crazy.
Shadow boxes and other approaches were taken to give some definition to previously two-dimensional objects on the screen. However, that quickly started to look too heavy. Eventually, the more recent pared-down minimalism in designed to flat single-colour web designs.
The latest trend is to effectively blend the two visual concepts by reintroducing gradients. The excessive shading around borders is still long gone but instead, it’s been replaced with delightful gradients that blend the background to provide interesting visual effects.
Faster Rendering as a Plus Point
The need for speed is evident in web design today. Clients want faster-loading websites to avoid keeping visitors waiting for the initial page to load.
Web designers like WSI Digital Web have the in-house technical capabilities to deliver final designs that load quickly.
To do this, they pay attention to which elements need to load first and defer other ones to the latter part of the page loading process.
By doing so, essential parts of the page such as the above-the-fold content arrive at the visitor’s browser the soonest – images below-the-fold aren’t loaded unless or until the visitors scroll down enough to view them.
While an attractive design is important, a noticeable trend is to actively avoid an overly fussy design that slows websites loading up. Functionality and usability are just as important as looks. Good designers must find the right balance.
While careful design, pictures, and the occasional video work wonders for the stickiness of a page, more is required to extend the time on the site.
One of the growing trends this year is with the use of illustrations and animations:
Google has taken to using illustrations to bolster its logo and commemorate special days in local regions.
The usefulness of getting illustrative is that they can provide visual clues about a topic to better explain it, deliver an abstract viewpoint, or simply show a more expressive side to a brand.
Illustrations also may add depth to what was previously a flat picture and concept. By introducing additional color, intensity, and imagination to a concept, it can make it easier to grasp and more appealing too.
Animations are also being increasingly used to provide a quick introduction to a product, service, or idea. They’re extremely useful in marketing materials, websites, apps, and other places to explain complex thoughts in a basic manner.
Instead of a 500-word instructional, a well-animated clip can cover the basic concept so that the viewer now “gets” what the company is all about.
Distinctive Design as a Marketing Hook
The world has never been as competitive as it is today.
The landscape of billions of websites that people are competing with for attention is mind boggling. The competition is so strong that many sites never see a single visitor from one month to the next. Once on the site, something must keep the visitor there for longer.
Website design is now being used as a marketing hook to keep the visitor from clicking their ’back’ button. Creating a distinctive design that’s easy on the eye and stands out from the crowd is no simple matter.
The real trick is creating one that visitors can readily understand despite its newness and not get irritated because they cannot find the menu or figure out how to use the site.
White and Black
The opposite direction from distinctive design is also evident in 2020 with minimalism being taken to extremes with a push for a simple black and white design and imagery on web sites.
The move of abandoning a Kaleidoscope of color for something more basic and primal began near the end of last year and continues to grow in interest.
Certainly, for galleries that wish their artists’ works to get the most attention, designing with a black and white aesthetic where only the colorful artists’ finished pieces are shown in all their glory would do just that.
Loud and Proud Typography
Headlines are just too small.
That’s the message that designers are getting across loud and clear this year.
Whether it’s the headline atop of an article or it is the overlaid copy on a photograph – bigger and bolder is indeed better this year.
File this one under “try it for yourself and see how you like it”.
Pushing the boundaries beyond fast-loading illustrations and animations is the move towards using background video instead of a static photo and a plain white background.
It works best for websites that need to get a visual across quickly as a key selling point. A travel site or a car company might find this beneficial to grip the visitor.
These videos are loaded in the background so that the page is seen, and the video adds itself to the page when it’s ready. This avoids it blocking the content or buffering for the audience.
Background videos are best used on websites in countries with notably fast internet access. Desktop use is probably preferred to get the best effect, so checking the display that’s most commonly used by site visitors is probably a good idea before adding one.
Not all of the web design trends will hold appeal. That’s inevitable. Just go with the ones that you like using and which are suitable for the current project.