We’re starting to see three main types of websites. There’s the simple WordPress theme with one large header image and top menu.
Then there’s the Wix site, which is all moving, scrolling, images. Finally, you have the custom webpage – which is where you come in (or where you will after working with us).
Those first two types have something in common – their design doesn’t thrill anyone. They’re not cutting edge, but they get the job done.
If you’re looking for a sweet spot in web design trends that straddles cutting edge without being inaccessible, check out the trends below.
1. More Decorative Fonts
For a long time, all you’d hear web designers say was that the simpler the font – the better, at least for web design. But we’re seeing people push their way (albeit slowly) out of that simplistic box.
We’re not encouraging you to do anything crazy, but you could try to change around the font of your headers. Pick a font that is 100% clear – there should be no question of what your text says.
We’re talking about going from sans serif fonts to serifs, which doesn’t seem like a big change, but it might be just the refreshing touch your page is looking for.
2. Move Away From Simple Photos
Another trend we’re seeing is people and graphic artists experimenting with different mediums. That may mean they use their stylus to sketch something onto a photo or that they upload a hand-drawn design.
Either way, people are having to get more creative to catch the attention of web visitors. What can you do to make your photos more exciting?
Experiment with collages, digital drawings, and combinations of the two. If you have an idea, just try it out – you can always switch out the image if it doesn’t work.
You can also work with .gifs instead of plain image files. Some artists, like the genius behind this piece, can create subtle but moving art.
3. Higher Contrast Colors
By no means are we encouraging you to go back to the neon pink and green “glittering” Myspace theme you had in high school. But we are seeing more brands choosing higher contrast accent colors and text.
If you have a white background, go with a stark black color for your text, and make the accents pop. Pitch black backgrounds with a bright white are popular too.
If you do choose to use darker colors, make sure your navigation doesn’t get lost in the mix. You’ll need to change (or have your graphic designer change) the text color in your menu text.
For an even more striking look, experiment with “shadow” lines behind your buttons.
4. Inclusive Design
Maybe you don’t have time to create an audio version of every page on your website. We get that. But whatever you can do to appeal to people with different abilities will be greatly appreciated.
One of the simplest solutions is text size changes, which are a widget your designer can install. Your website shows up in a normal view – the way you designed it.
But if someone is having trouble reading the text, they can use the text size bar to make it bigger or smaller.
That and using alt-text for your images are two really small things you can do that will help a lot of people.
5. Motivating Animation
We’ve moved a long way from the loading ring of death we all stared at five years or so ago. But if pages aren’t loading quickly, an interesting loading wheel won’t keep people there.
You can use things like a cached version of the page and lower-quality images that load first to let people know what’s coming.
A new trend we’re seeing touches on this, but in a more creative way. It works both on bounce rate and on getting eyes below the fold.
What if your header or your header image had an animation that translated to different points down the page? Like if you sold paint, the paint can could spill and “drip” down the page as you scrolled.
That’s a simplistic example – but it should give you an idea.
6. More Organic Shapes
How often do you see perfectly square boxes in nature? Almost never, right? That’s one of the appeals of nature, everything is beautifully and organically imperfect.
And that trend is popping up in web design, in the shapes, people use for their graphic designs and logos. We’re seeing more circles, arches, and what you’d call … blobs for a lack of a better word.
They give your site a small dose of whimsy and are somehow more relate-able – though the trend is too new to have any research on why.
You know when you send a message on Facebook messenger and it turns into their profile picture once they’ve read it? That’s a micro-interaction. You could get by without it, but it gives you a small confirmation that the page is working with you – and for you.
That’s another trend we’re seeing in web design. Maybe when someone scrolls over a picture of your CEO, the photo flips its orientation.
These are little things that keep peoples attention for longer – which is exactly what you need.
Web Design Trends
We’re not quite at the point with websites where holograms pop out of your phone, but maybe we’re not that far away. These trends, like using more organic shapes and non-static imaging are working their way towards being 3D.
If you’re not sure these web design trends are for you, start with a small one – like working on your headers font. Or ask us what we think needs some changing up – we’re here to serve you.