Like the proverbial rolling stone, web design gathers no moss: it’s always moving. The best designers are the ones who keep tabs on the trends, so that they can employ them to make your website look attractive – without being a slave to fashion.
In other words, you don’t want to look old-fashioned … but nor do you want to look silly. Understanding trends are also about understanding why they’re suddenly popular: beneath all the hype is the function of the thing.
You should take advantage of trends – that is, use the latest technology because it makes sense for your site, not merely to follow the crowd. Of course, to be aware of the newest developments in design, you need to keep your eye on the competition … so what are this year’s big innovations on the web? We thought you’d never ask!
For a while, ‘flat’ or ‘cut-out’ illustration was all the rage: think Google or Slack. These clean lines, though, are being phased out (familiarity always breeds contempt). They’re being replaced by vibrant, three-dimensional designs that will blur the lines between reality and the digital world.
Your logo, on the other hand, should be heading towards minimalism: think sans serif fonts and similar styles. Times New Roman is out, in favour of Arial. Logos used to be very varied beasts, but every new rebrand seems to involve Helvetica logo: think Spotify’s recent overhaul. Make your logo light.
We’re all so used to scrolling up and down on a website that it feels sometimes as if that’s the only way things can be. But horizontal web pages have seen a growth in adoption and they make the browsing experience more unique and memorable. They’re especially suited to graphics-heavy and showcase websites.
Show your personality! Unique design concepts, vintage designs and bold use of colours are all very much in. Don’t be afraid of experimenting within your brand: the more sophisticated web users become, the more they will be struck by variations to the usual structures of a site. Throw in some randomness!
Hero images are great, but the text is design, too. Perhaps that’s why designers are getting reacquainted with letterforms, and why websites are putting textual content centre-stage. Think about the popularity of letter-press postcards and posters: eye-catching typography is the new banner video. Make an impression!
So, there you have it: five trends you should be tracking, and applying intelligently to your own site. Just remember that fashion is like hot sauce: a little goes a long way.
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