In today’s fast-paced digital world, having a strong online presence is not an option but a necessity for any business. And as all of us know, a great online presence starts with a well-designed website that is capable to grab, engage, and sell. In fact, the first impression users form of a website is 94% design-related and 75% of users judge the credibility of your business based on your website’s overall aesthetics.
Hence, whether you’re a web designer who wants to deliver users the most contemporary experience or a business owner planning to launch or revamp their website, keeping yourself up with what’s hot and trending right now in the web design sphere becomes imperative for you to stay ahead of the competition.
With that in mind, we have researched and put together some of the latest and hottest web design trends that you can implement in your upcoming projects to make your websites look fresh and stand out from the crowd.
Let’s get acquainted with them, one by one!
#Vibrant, Eye-Catching Colors and Gradients
Colors are an integral part of web design and according to a recent study performed by the University of Loyola, Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. While soft tone and monotone have been a prominent web design trend for a while, more and more users nowadays are craving high contrast, vibrant colors that have a sky-high saturation level. Some reasons why companies now more than ever are using bold bright colors are:
- They improve readability and make your website easier to understand.
- They make your site more visually appealing, ensuring your users would stay on the site for longer.
- As a general rule, the longer a user stays on your site, the more likely they are to convert.
Moreover, ever since Apple and Instagram started to use Gradients in their branding, colorful gradients have become more of a standard than a trend in the web design world.
Examples: Sikkema, Whimsical, Jaszczuk
#Vintage Typography/More Serifs
Brands for a long while have been using serifs for print and sans serifs for the screen. However, this year, web designers have gone back to basics, shifting from the modern and thinner looking fonts like sans serifs to softer and rounder old-school typography styles such as serifs which offer a more vintage and relaxed feel.
One of the biggest contributing factors to the adoption of this web design trend is the availability of better screen resolutions across all devices. There was a time when Sans Serifs were the most readable on screens, but thanks to the advent of high-definition, high-resolution screens; using Serifs on your website is no longer an issue.
Examples: MailChimp, The New Yorker, Reform Collective
Micro-interactions are small animated interactions with one purpose: to create surprise and anxiety to the users through subtle visual effects so that they get compelled to take a specific action on a website. According to many user experience experts, they play a vital role in improving the usability and driving user engagement on a website.
Although Micro-interactions has been around for a long time, they are now being reinvented in a completely new manner. Unlike previously, where Micro-interactions were being used on clickable elements such as buttons and icons, they now come in form of more interactive incarnations such as scrolling animations, hover effects, chimes, and more – making your website feel alive, smarter, and fun to engage with.
Examples: Femme & Fierce, Montreux Jazz Festival, Affinity
This trend is prevalent in 2019 as users these days are looking for the easiest ways to access content online. Reducing the time and effort involved in the interaction, Voice-command interfaces or conversational devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home makes accessing web content significantly quicker and easier for the end-users.
Where the famous Gartner report predicts that at least 30% of web browsing sessions will be conducted without a screen in 2020, on the other hand, ComScore estimates that over 50% of all searches will be performed by voice in the same year. Hence, as a web designer, you must be familiar with how users interact with voice commands and how to prototype a voice interface with keywords and related actions.
Examples: Voice Assistant, Siri OSX El Capitan, and Dropbox Files in Active UI
#Custom Graphic Design and Illustrations
A powerful illustration with bold colors speaks volume and is more versatile than an ordinary image. Even, statistics also say that the visual effect of a custom made illustration on the users is 7 times better than that of any stock photography.
With that said, more and more businesses today are looking forward to incorporating modern-looking illustration into their websites to make them even more interesting and lively. A few benefits of custom design and illustrations are:
- They look unique and authentic
- They can quickly portray powerful emotions through a singular voice
- They make abstract and absurd concepts easier to understand
- They make your brand more personal and less corporate
So, if you want to visually differentiate your website or web app from the competition, you should opt for customized web design packed with professional, hand-drawn sketches and illustrations.
Examples: Airtable, Avocode, Hey Influencers
#Brutalism and Maximalism
Most of us love simple, sober and elegant websites. But think, what would happen if you visit something rugged or unadorned? No matter what you feel, you would surely never forget that website, right? This is actually what Brutalist Web Design is all about!
Inspired by the poster arts of the 1950s to 1970s, Brutalism in web design is a style that intentionally attempts to look raw and haphazard, reflecting the aesthetic of early internet websites. With bright colors, bold fonts, blue links, and monochromatic Monospace text, Brutalism sometimes also refers to a bare-bones, almost naked HTML site.
Since Brutalism is one of the best ways to distinguish your brand from others, you can leverage this web design trend to create unforgettable experiences while all your competitors are going for a sleek, conventional design.
Examples: Drod, Mary Gaudin, Bergen
#Thumb-friendly Mobile Navigation
Responsive Web Design (RWD) isn’t a web design trend anymore! Given that there has been a rapid, continuous decline in the usage of 4” or smaller screen devices in past few years, web designers today are going beyond Responsive Design to make their website even more mobile-friendly. To be more specific, web design nowadays revolves around creating websites that are thumb-friendly.
Since most of the users use either their right or left thumb to interact with a mobile responsive website, putting your hamburger menu, navigation bar, and even contact buttons in the Thumb Zone make your site easier to navigate and improve its UX manifold. Wondering what the Thumb Zone is? It is indeed the most comfortable area on mobile touchscreen devices where your thumb can easily reach with one-handed use.
To help you better understand, here is a great graphic from Smashing Magazine showing the thumb-friendly areas of a mobile phone screen:
Examples: Wallet Screen, YONO and Watering Tracker
#Emotion in the Design
The ultimate goal of your website or web app is to establish a real connection with your users and that’s what Emotional Design is all about. In 2019, there has been a rapid rise in the emergence of websites that are based on the emotional appeal where every design element of the website provides a cue to users about how they should react. According to web design experts, emotional connections can be divided into four basic categories:
- Joy and Sadness
- Fear and Anger
- Trust and Disgust
- Surprise and Anxiety
So, ideally, to incorporate emotions into your website design, your choice of colors, text, and imagery must portray any of the above groups of feelings. Otherwise, your site may fail to captivate, engage, and retain users.
Examples: Dice Berlin, Sproutsend, and Emotional Designs by Gleb Kuznetsov
#Design for Privacy, Safety, and Transparency
Even though Privacy is a fundamental human right, it is still one of the most confusing and least understood topics of the Internet. However, with the introduction of several privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA in recent years, designing a website or web app with users’ privacy, safety and transparency in mind has now become more vital than ever.
Especially when Google recently was fined a record $57 million by the French data regulator CNIL for lack of GDPR compliance, designing for privacy becomes even more crucial for both legal and economic aspects. So, as a web designer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your design is privacy-aware and doesn’t violate any data privacy regulation.
Examples: Wrike, Atlassian and Disney
In the simplest terms, a Design System is a collection of reusable elements guided by a set of design rules and standards. In recent years, these systems have climbed in popularity with more and more companies leveraging them to make their brands scalable and cohesive.
Regardless of the type of web design, Design Systems today are the foundation for everything related to design. When implemented well, they not only reduce inconsistencies in design but also speed up the design process by facilitating communication between developers and designers.
Some popular companies that have developed game-changing Design Systems are Shopify, Trello and Salesforce.
#More Depth and Almost Real-like Design Elements
Although VR (Virtual Reality) is still in its infant stage, its influence on web design can be seen evidently. To make their designs look more realistic and lively, web designers these days adding more depth to their designs as well as using a variety of other design elements which eventually tends to bring out a more natural feel to their projects.
This includes everything from three-dimensional elements to illustrations to moving shapes to anything that users can virtually feel. In fact, the mash-up of real-like 3D design elements Flat interfaces is leading to the re-evolution of Flat Design, aka Deep Flat or 3D Flat Design.
Examples: BCdesign, Ringba and Stripe
#More Focus on Data Visualization
You have some complex data, but how would you show it to your visitors in a simple, fun way? Data visualization is probably the only web design trend that can help you do this. Allowing you to effectively present complex information in a completely distinct manner, this innovative web design technique makes your data easier to understand and more interesting for your users.
To make Data Visualization work most effectively, you can easily turn your complex data into a visually compelling story, where users are taken through the beginning, middle, and the end to the story. Depending on the platform and the intended purpose of your website or web app, you can use Visualized data in the form of scrolling panels, an animation, a still image, or an interactive game.
Examples: Zef Cherry, TasteAtlas and Wind Map