May 14, 2018
If the last couple of months were setting a grade, then 2018 is all set to be a breathtaking experience in web design. Couple that with advancement in display technology for devices most people use to consume web content. And web designers will not go wrong to splash a dash of vibrant colors and creative mixes not tried before.
Some trends, such as gradients, are making a comeback although this time as dynamic gradients.
That means if flat design decides to take a nap, it could die a sure death starting in 2018 (which is where hard-to-spot ghost buttons are headed). And dynamic gradients could take over the entire darn space—at least for a while.
But then again, with pioneers such as Google and Apple backing flat design, this year might see an injection of depth and color into the minimalist concept. Over the past couple of months, it has been evident flat design can accommodate splashes of deeper and more energetic colors when afforded the attention and experimental dash it deserves.
Here are 10 top web design trends in 2018 that are set to set the web on fire.
As more brands seek to stand out among a sea of competitors online, more website owners will continue to adopt bold and bright colors.
Think of supersaturation.
Not only are brilliant and deep colors immersive, but they are also attention-grabbers which are something many online brands can use.
Not only that. Going against the grain, where most web designs have defaulted towards safe shades and shadows, demonstrates a brand’s forward-thinking, daring and even eccentric personality. And, depending on that particular brand’s target market, that can be a great thing that induces loyalty and association.
It helps that more device screens are adopting In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology, which will make bold colors stand out beautifully for the world to enjoy.
Here’s an excellent example by Egwineco.com; see how they use bold colors to exemplify each can.
Looks crispy to me!
That’s bold, no doubt.
The video almost went big in 2017. But slow page load times are making it a tough-sell this far, seeing that slow web pages will make you lose readers (potential customers).
Yet motion graphics are pretty popular with readers across the board. So what is taking video’s place?
Animation. Animation. Animation.
There are a couple of ways the animation bug could bite:
These motion graphics tend to take up less time to load compared to outright motion pictures such as good-quality video (despite having a range of possible use cases).
Not only do these motion graphics add spunk and persona to your overall brand, when well executed, but also the integrated animations, GIFs, and custom illustrations can help illustrate what you stand for and tell your story—in a cool, clear and confident manner too.
Shopify illustrates how Polaris is meant to be a guiding light. Works better than photography here!
Of particular note for 2018 is mobile animation.
Mobile-first has been a web design trend for a while now, and mobile’s colossal uptake (over the desktop, no doubt) will continue to drive accelerated enthusiasm for the mobile animation to new heights from 2018.
Illustration, on the other hand, can make it easy for product brands to demonstrate to potential users how to use the product—or help the reader to preview a site’s pages.
Even e-commerce sites could use custom illustrations to help online shoppers navigate through product pages and see how a product works beforehand, how to configure filters and shopping carts and guide them to the checkout page.
Still, “serious” brands can utilize custom animation and illustration to inject fun and pizzazz into a buyers journey or sales funnel. Or to simply keep the reader’s attention while the page loads (such as dadadata.com does).
With advancements in web-based, AI and big data technologies, animation and 3D effects can swoop in to offer less stringent and bland data visualization. Then maybe more people would care to look up the numbers twice.
Clearly, there are many ways to use animation to connect and cement stronger relationships with customers.
Think about it…
Most websites are grid-based, obsessively orderly bland fields where playing it safe is the order of the day. Not like well-arranged homepages are a sin, but in 2018, asymmetrical structures are receiving adoptions in a bold bid towards flourishing individuality, brutalism and unbalanced fun and enthusiasm.
Personal websites, in particular, are increasingly taking this idea to titan levels. Broken-grid structures are especially appealing due to their perceived uniqueness and dogged assertiveness.
But there’s need to tread carefully here.
Brands with significantly large amounts of live content might find deploying asymmetric design onsets a chaotic web experience for their readers. So such a brand would do well to reconsider the idea and switch on to a more fitting yet personable design—if they are to keep users happy.
We might as well use dadadata.com again. They use a combination of asymmetric structure and dynamic background, which flows into action as you move your mouse’s pointer to browse:
How audacious is that (or how quickly things can get out of order, in a nice way)?
Typography as visual is not entirely a new web design trend in 2018, now is it?
But while previous to 2018 typeface design made use of traditional san serif fonts to say it loud, the emerging crop of typefaces are set to be bolder, dogged and entirely hard to miss.
Sometimes words speak louder than the thousand words a photo might yell out.
For those times, deploying big, bold and custom fonts to usher in more elaborate typefaces makes a ton of sense. With more tools and devices available to support custom fonts, 2018 is a big year to make bold statements that set you apart from the crowd.
Variable fonts are coming on strong as well.
A variable font is fundamentally a single, dynamic font that changes to appear like multiple fonts.
Here is an excellent example by Typekit Blog.
OpenFormat is officially supporting the new trend. In fact, type designers can easily interpolate individual glyphs alongside up to 64,000 axes of variation—from width to weight and so on. So adventurous typeface designers will have a wide variety of options to play around with and flourish.
And, of course, topography counts for something for any online business that appreciates (wants, actually) to tap and leverage the power of search engine optimization by using targeted, yet well-designed keywords.
Here is a web design trend born to solve the evergreen responsive design question.
In recent times, online brands have had to decide between creating a mobile-only or desktop-only site. And designers have had to configure those sites to detect what device a visitor is using, so the latter can be re-directed to a version of one website that suits their device size.
And while it has been official since 2017 that more people now browse the web through their mobile devices than on desktops, a smart CSS grid offers a brilliant option to flex one site into multiple versions to fit a user’s screen size (instead of opting for mobile-only web design).
The layout system allows the web owner to organize content into rows and columns that respond to the user’s screen size.
What better way to demonstrate this than bring up a visual?
If you are wondering how to create a CSS grid, Robin Rendle breaks the process down in this actionable post.
People love multimedia, and sites that host engaging multimedia content score higher than text-only webpages when it comes to engaging and retaining visitors.
But in the past websites with rich content have had to suffer slower page-load times thanks to traditional file formats such as GIF, PNG, GIF, and other video formats. These formats have been notoriously anti-mobile.
Now Google recently made everyone aware they’ll soon be using mobile-first indexing results to rank websites. This statement doesn’t come as the big news seeing the number of people using mobile devices quelled desktop traffic since two years ago.
What this means for players is it is time to make the early bird switch to responsive, mobile-first designs that put mobile prioritization at the heart of the design process—without sacrificing rich visual content that enchants visitors.
And that’s where SVG come in.
These are vector images that scale with the size of a screen while upholding the quality of the original graphics. SVGs are not pixels, which is a significant contributor to their scalability aspect.
As more webmasters realize a website represents more than an online address, hand-drawn elements that add unique charm and character to website pages will pop up more often.
The trend took off on the back of two other growing web design trends in recent times—bold typography and custom illustrations.
You can utilize hand drawings to enlighten, engage and enchant while oozing personality and standing out from the crowd—a massive differentiator among the billions of quality websites choking for attention around the web.
Source: Enchanting Marketing by Henneke
Attention spans are fleeting. And smart webmasters know they need to team up with progressive web designers to capture and lead an increasingly distracted readership.
With millions of devices hosting smart virtual assistants like Siri, Google Now and Cortana, more people are embracing voice over text. Web developers can take advantage and entreat busy audiences to less effort browsing by levering the more engaging voice-powered model.
Device screens are also becoming smaller and more crowded, and voice-powered models take up little (if any) space and personalize content delivery in a way text might not.
The social media giant, Facebook, welcomed the world to 2018 by releasing their predictions for social media trends to take off in 2018 entirely. Three among those were (Social) Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.
For UX designers looking beyond 2018, you’ll be enlightened to know the UI of tomorrow is headed towards doing away with the traditional homepage.
A bubbling trend is to swap it for more targeted and personalized landing pages geared along use cases and context.
Advanced machine learning will help webmasters, web developers and UX/UI designers to capture readers’ details based on their browser history and location, for example.
In turn, that information will help website owners, developers and designers to come up with relevant web pages that land individuals based on the kind of information, product or service they’d be looking for on say, an e-commerce website.
Already, Adobe Sensei and TheGrid are offering a stack of tools to help designers move with speed to conquer this growing trend.
Before material and flat design popped into the scene, stringent grid layouts with sharp edges ruled over the web design block.
We have seen in the past year big brands embrace organic designs with their soft, curved lines, shapes and patterns—true works of art meant to add a dash of authentic fun and help uncover the brand behind the design by humanizing them to the target audience.
Google’s rounded-edge designs flash to mind as a good example.
Towards the end of 2017, a new tide blew in that seeks to redefine the traditional web design layout. The incoming results highlight a branch from good old static-print-design-like websites with organized, conformist layouts. The aim is to inspire originality and blatant individuality to foster a sense of belonging among target audiences.
From a mix of horizontal and vertical text to color clashing. You’ll recognize it when you see it because a website stunning the new look will have distinct asymmetrical visuals that are in open defiance to conservative website layouts.
Some of our top picks are already growing concepts such as web animation while others such as CSS grids will become some of the hottest web design developments over the next couple of months—at least.