2018 is here! And with the new year comes new digital trends, such as the ever-changing web design industry. I’m sure if you took a moment to think back through the last few months and your experience with websites, you would probably be able to think of a handful that stuck out to you based on their user-friendly interface and intriguing layout. The same goes for the websites you visited that a terrible user experience - they stick with you and leave a negative connotation with the brand.
In today's vast and saturated world wide web, an amazing user experience and creative web design aren't unique, they’re expected. Therefore, we took the time to highlight these trends we think will make a major impact in the web design world this year.
1. Designs Containing Gradients
When Instagram rebranded their logo to the magenta gradient it is now, people definitely noticed. It was so different from the style at the time, but their decision to modernize gradients impacted design as a whole and has now become a popular design choice creatives. Another example of a modern gradient can be seen on stripe’s website.
2. Interactive Web Designs (User Interactivity)
The incorporation of user interactivity has become increasingly popular and will only continue to rise. Consumers are spending more time on pages of websites that utilize features with user interactivity. An obstacle this design trend is clients hesitance to pay for the advanced interactivity, despite both their clients and their own team wanting to include engaging features like these. Our prediction for this year is that more automated development processes will appear and will hopefully slash the cost for clients who want unique, interactive features on their sites. A great example of user interactivity can be explored on Cocainenomics from the Wall Street Journal. This type of web design not only showcases a visual design talent, but it increases the website's time on page and brand awareness.
3. Attention Grabbing LARGE Titles
In our rushed society, users seem to have less and less time to spend on websites. For this reason, is adapting and including large, bolded titles and shortened messaging to capture their audiences fast and expedite their time to convert. The increased size of these heading tags is usually paired with much smaller sub-text copy if more information is desired. Austin Eastciders demonstrates this matrimony of font sizes throughout their homepage design.
4. Scroll-Triggered Animations
An intriguing web design trend we have spotted lately are ‘scroll-triggered animations.’ This type of design keeps users engaged by taking them on a journey and hooking them with a story, which makes them more likely to convert. A great example of this is National Geographic’s “Bear’s-Eye View of Yellowstone.” As long as the animations don’t take away from your goal or confuse users, this web design trend can be a highly effective way to showcase your company’s credibility.
5. Designers Are Leaving Carousels in the Past
Have you noticed that carousels (slideshows at the top of website pages that showcase multiple images and text) have been appearing less over the last year or so? We have too. We are seeing brands move forward with new and innovative web design, like Molamil pictured above, and leaving the carousel in the past where it belongs. Brands are moving forward with a web design that displays all of the information for the user at one time rather than hiding valuable content and CTA’s, which our User Experience (UX) research has shown can be detrimental. Additionally, carousels increase a site’s load time and, therefore, increase bounce rate on website pages.
6. Well Designed Footers Set Apart Designs
Over the years, the footer of a web design has often been overlooked or left out of the overall web design - until now. A web design trend making a splash are ‘footer boosts.’ What was once just used to provide contact information or a signup form has transitioned into a space to include additional elements of the homepage. A company that has done a fantastic job showcasing this trend is 360gardalife. As you can see in the image above, they have incorporated other elements in the footer space that now feels inclusive to the overall web design.
7. UX Driven Diagonal Lines
In past years, we’ve seen the trend has been to use straight, horizontal lines to separate sections on website’s pages. After conducting some UX research on the matter, our team has discovered that using diagonal lines as this divider is not only visually intriguing, but it creates a directional purpose for the user’s eyes to follow down the page or to point to a call-to-action, just like Ruan's website. Using diagonals in your designs will increase the number of users that scroll through the entire length of the site.
8. Abstract Shapes Will Get Attention
A web design trend that we are loving is the use of abstract shapes. We have begun to see brands move towards versatile shapes that give an extra element of intrigue for users. The group does a great job of introducing graphics without actually embedding the photo. Notice this company has also started integrating modern gradients in their designs! Maybe they were inspired by Instagram?
9. Enhancing User Experience
New York Times
An interesting web design feature beginning to appear is the added user experience. The New York Times has developed a system wherein as you scroll through the article you’re reading, you can now reference the category and article title at the top of the page, as shown in the visual above. This makes users feel more comfortable knowing where they are when navigating a massive, content-heavy website. Additionally, this web design declutters the top navigation, creating a better user experience.
10. Companies Are Creatively Utilizing Color Branding
Camden Town Brewery
A web design trend that we are loving is the multiple color branding look. Companies like Camden Town Brewery are moving towards a web design that is branded based on page or product and changes when the user navigates and interacts with the product or pages. This web design subconsciously helps the user associate which product or service page is connected with which information solely based on visual color cues.
11. Web Designers Are Adding More Depth
The large drop-shadow look is growing in popularity and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. A company that is utilizing this web design trend is Olapic. In the visual above, they do a great job of creating more depth by incorporating large, opaque drop shadows behind images and overlapping the layers. The key to this web design is making sure all of the drop shadows are going in the same direction as if they’re coming from a light source.
Take Your Web Design to the Next Level
Is your company ready to take your web design to new heights? Our team of digital experts here at Blue Compass can do just that! Contact us today.