Last year we saw a heap of innovation and creativity in web design as designers steered away from the generic. There was a fine line to toe, as we placed more importance on UX Design, designers (and users) noted that there was a perfect formula for web design. So, we saw this neat balance between staying ‘generic’ enough so users were able to find exactly what they were looking for, but without looking like every other website.
Some of the trends we saw in the web design world this year were shaped by changing technology and necessity. Others were shaped by UI, UX, and the love of good design. We’re expecting 2018’s best design elements to sneak into 2019 too; interactive animations, geometric shapes, minimalism.
Every web design blog under the sun has been yelling about UI and its benefits. Things like improved brand awareness, more time spent on page, and a more professional aesthetic. 2018 saw the hover animation take over. A hover animation is where an icon or image moves when the user hovers their cursor over it. The image below is a pretty fancy type of hover effect, but we’re seeing this on most websites and there are some super neat kinds. For a simpler sort, have a look at the services on our homepage.
This year in the US, adults spent an average of three and a half hours on mobile devices. Researchers believe in 2019 mobile should surpass TV as the most popular medium.
Creating depth & texture
Creating a textural website using overlapping shapes and images became big in 2018. As well as shapes and images, using elements like drop shadows and colour variations to create depth was also the ‘niche’ of the year. This sleek, modern kind of design is likely to be adapted in 2019 as it not only looks sweet, but caters to UX and SEO.
If your website takes more than three seconds to load, the average user is already gone. It’s common designer knowledge that users will make a judgement on whether they like your website within literal milliseconds. As web design and the internet advance, users are becoming more and more impatient, so you can’t expect them to sit and wait while your flash content loads.
Integrating geometric shapes into design
Geometric shapes create an illusion of symmetry, organisation, and overall tidiness. While writing this, I asked our designers what they liked about using geometric shapes. There were shout outs like ‘the minimalistic look’, ‘the aesthetic’, and our Lead Designer, Alex compared geometric shapes like circles, squares, and triangles to the primary colours of shapes. Our designers like using geometric shapes because they can pull a website together with flow and consistency.
Serif fonts on the screen
In 2018 we saw this weird shake up to the rules of design. It’s forever been a rule that serif fonts belong in print and sans serif on our screens. Web designers began to ignore this rule, creating really neat serif fonts for their websites – think Medium’s typeface.
On the other hand though, we found brands with loud, eccentric branding and fonts wind things back. Their designers opted for minimalistic sans serif fonts, more white space and classier touches. It was kind of like watching these big name brands’ logos grow out of their awkward teenage phases and blossom into responsible adults – think Uber and MailChimp’s rebrands.
Video content took off in 2018. There are a few different avenues you can take to incorporate video content online. The most obvious is in the header – like on Sonder’s website. It adds a more interactive element to the website, but it has to be done right. If the video increases load times too much it can be detrimental to the website’s SEO as well as User Experience. It’s worth mentioning that the video content should be high quality and high resolution otherwise your web design agency probably won’t want to touch it.
We love storytelling. Whether it’s within content marketing or your about page, the user is going to have a much better experience if the content follows a narrative. Without going too deep, there are case studies that have found humans are more likely to relate, empathise, and find interest in stories than just basic information. Most of our entertainment is based around storytelling, we started with books and plays and now we love television shows and movies, we even love reading short narrative-style captions on social media.
Telling a story, whether it’s on your About Us page on your website or in blog form discussing a recent case study within your business or industry, is effective. It creates authenticity, encourages trust, and increases empathy for your brand. By incorporating that narrative into your business you’re inviting long term customers or clients in. It creates more of a partnership with the client than a one-off transaction.