Top 12 Web Design Trends to Expect in 2019
The only thing that seems to stay the same throughout the years in the wonderful world of web design is the dynamics of change. Things continually transform to fit consumer trends and customer buying behaviors, providing both insight and anxiety for web designers around the world. While you don’t need to strictly adhere to each and every change, understanding what they are will give you a competitive edge in keeping your website up to date. This year is no different, which is why we’ve put together the top 12 web design trends you can expect to see in 2019.
One of the biggest distinctions in web design trends for 2019 is the move away from over powering flat design. Instead, companies are opting for more fluidity in their web elements. Fluidity is best described as migrating away from strict geometric shapes and instead, using more shapes and lines found in nature. The organic feel of these elements appeals more strongly to people as they give off a more approachable feel.
2. Retro and Nostalgic Aesthetics
We see “throwbacks” being used all over social media and the design teams have started to take notice. With the use of CSS grids companies, technology, and web designers are able to travel back in time and intentionally implement broken layouts and print-style aesthetics. Following in line with fluidity, nostalgic aesthetics help to create a welcoming juxtaposition on the Internet and people love it. These retro feels are best complimented with old-school color palettes and typography.
In addition to the retro feels of the Internet, there’s a stronger sense of brutalism being used in branding and design than ever before. Using bold, gritty, and sometimes brash concepts, companies are embracing their inner rebellious side. However, it’s important to note that while brutalism is making a rise in web design trends, you need to avoid creating a space that leaves your users feeling angry or insulted. Incorporating brutal design concepts is best achieved using subtle coding—unless you’re looking to target a very specific type of audience.
Anyone who’s in the web design industry understands the importance of speed. Specifically, that if your website takes longer than three seconds to load you’ll immediately lose a high percentage of potential visitors. People’s impatience continues to grow, which is why speed is of utmost importance in 2019. The problem arises when you have a website filled with heavy content and large-scale images. Should you make a trade-off?
Analysts suggest that speed is more important than the overall beauty of a site, as slow loading speeds will quickly lose massive amounts of revenue. Plus, Google released a “Speed Update” in July 2018 that puts heavier importance on loading speed in the algorithm for search engine results rankings. To avoid falling behind, web developers need to prioritize speed during their initial design and make sure that sites are well tested before going live.
5. Motion Design
We’ve had motion-incorporated design for years and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Motion design is projected to continue to grow in 2019 with more animated illustrations and interactive web pages. Incorporating motion into your web design is a delicate process that, when done in excess, can leave your visitors disoriented and confused—and in some cases in an epileptic fit. To avoid causing unnecessary distractions (or health problems), use your motion with purpose and avoid strobe-like features. Using motion design responsibly and with a purpose will help create a natural flow, stress important focal points, and help your visitors understand your overall storyline.
6. Asymmetrical Designs
One year, symmetry was everything… now, not so much. Asymmetrical design is on the rise and is pushing the traditional boundaries of web design. Companies are straying away from rigidity to better express themselves and increase their visitor’s overall experience across their site.
Included in this asymmetrical design is an increase in overlapping elements. The overlap creates a sense of interest for visitors and encourages continued navigation across different pages. One thing to note is that when working with asymmetrical design elements is to make sure that they produce effective results rather than a feeling of overall chaos. Test pages out prior to launching them for the best results.
7. In Depth Image Treatments
Half of what makes up a good webpage involves the type of images that are used to further convey a company’s message or brand. Until now, graphically generated images have been flat, 2-D representations. In 2019, that’s all going to change.
We’re seeing a major shift into using more depth to create elaborate, yet stylish illustrations. Graphic designers are starting to implement more 3-D elements including drop shadows, highlights, gradients, multiple tints, and varying hues of color to make images look more complex, while still maintaining a flat design. Some go as far as upping the realism of their illustrations to blur the digital line into our physical world. This type of design creates a stronger user experience, helps products and services stand out, and often leads to more conversions than the flat image styles we’ve seen before.
8. Bold Typography
We aren’t talking about bolded text. Instead, bold typography focuses on pushing the boundaries of traditional typography across web pages. Coding is evolving and with that evolution comes experimentation. In 2019, web designers will start playing with outlined type, white space, animated typography, photography infused typography, and screen-dominating text.
On the contrary… in regards to logos, we’ve seen an unexpected shift in the opposite direction. More and more companies are throwing out their unique, often eccentric logo typography for a more uniform and professional image. While their website may still have some bold typography in use, they boast a simple, yet approachable company image. We’re not quite sure what prompted this shift, but we suspect it’s a psychological trigger to help people feel comfortable doing business with new, or old, companies—a phenomenon known as cognitive fluency.
9. Mobile-First Design
More often than not, websites are designed with the understanding that someone will be browsing them on a desktop. But times are changing. With more and more sites being accessed primarily via mobile devices, web designers are focusing on mobile-first animation and layouts. They’re designing a number of timed animations that target, first and foremost, the mobile user. This makes scroll-based animations, calls to action, and focal points easier to follow on a phone or tablet.
10. Better Content
While strong content has always been encouraged, this year people are putting more of a priority on genuinely well-written websites. In previous years, you could easily attract visitors and convert them into loyal customers using visual design and appealing calls to action. However, since design has started stabilizing, your interaction with each user needs to go deeper. Work on improving your storytelling skills by incorporating real emotion, relatable experiences, and easily digestible concepts. Develop content that people would still read if your website was a blank page on the Internet. Write as if you are communicating with your reader in a way that will make them understand why they should care about your company and what you’re doing. Don’t stress about intricate vocabulary or guidelines. Instead, try writing with passion and see what the results bring.
11. Cursor Manipulation
Gone are the days of the simple arrow cursor design. Change is coming fast. Since the cursor is an integral navigational aspect on any website, companies have been nervous and reluctant to make any changes. In 2019, people are coming out of their corporate boxes and making bold cursor decisions. Play around with your company’s cursor design to see if there are any practical changes that you could implement without sacrificing the functionality of your site.
The cursor manipulation is a form of experimental navigation, which we expect to continue to grow in popularity during upcoming years.
12. A More Uniform Hero
Many websites boast uniqueness, but as the times continue to evolve, we’re seeing a move toward a more uniform style. Mainly, this uniformity becomes apparent when looking at a website’s hero—or the large banner image that’s prominently displayed on a main web page. In 2019, most companies will switch to a hero design where the headline and call to action is centered on the left and the image is shrunken down and centered on the right. The reason for this change correlates with stronger click-through-rates and higher conversions.
As the years pass, web design trends continue to evolve and adapt to our changing world. Fortunately, this helps companies stay in-tune with consumer buying behaviors and preferences. Unfortunately, it can lead to a lot of work that is difficult to keep up with. To stay relevant, it’s important to be informed and take action. You don’t have to make big, brash changes all at once, but you will need to do a little housekeeping. Focus on the changes that speak to your company and use analytics to measure their success or failure.