The digital population swelled to 4.4 billion in January 2019. With numbers like that, a well-designed website is no longer nice-to-have. It’s an essential tool for connecting with your target audience and boosting your reputation. Web design trends come and go but they remain one of the best ways to keep your designs modern, accessible, and engaging.
2020 is well underway, and so are these trends. Here are the top eight website design trends you should know about.
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If your designs aren’t mobile responsive yet, you’re in trouble. Google now indexes based on the content of the mobile version of your site rather than the desktop version. This means your site’s SEO relies on the content and usability of your website as it appears on mobile devices.
This shift to mobile-first ranking isn’t without reasoning. Over 50% of all web traffic is now mobile and that number is only expected to climb.
So if you’ve been dragging your feet on the mobile revolution, now’s the time to pick up your pace.
The web should be accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, accessibility standards often take a back seat in web design and development. Whether through laziness or shoddy coding, many websites aren’t accessible to those with disabilities. We can and should do better.
2020 will be the year of accessible practices. This drive toward inclusive design isn’t only a boon for accessibility either. Inclusive design fuels innovation. It disrupts stagnant design habits, leverages unused resources, and expands your target audience.
Accessible design is also a great way to boost engagement. By definition, accessible design refines the user experience. It doesn’t only benefit those with disabilities. There’s much to say about the curb-cut effect.
For instance, 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. Adding closed captioning doesn’t only make content accessible to hard-of-hearing and deaf people. It also ensures you’re catching those viewers that don’t hit the sound icon.
Big Bold Text
Content is king when it comes to websites because, at the end of the day, publishing for the web is still publishing. Well, now copy is getting its time in the spotlight with big, bold type choices.
Serifs are no longer relegated to print design. Instead, they’re getting a chance to shine as header text and banner copy. The choice of type isn’t the only thing getting an upgrade. Huge, screen-dominating titles are everywhere from e-commerce giants to HuffPost.
People love a good story and websites aren’t immune to the human tendency to storify our content. Copywriters and designers are often at odds (“it can’t wrap there!”) but 2020 will see a parlay of sorts.
Designers and copywriters will come together to become storytellers. After all, a great brand tells a story and a great website reflects that brand. This is the natural evolution of the web.
The trend toward minimalist design and bulky, bold type will also inform this shift. As our copy becomes more prominent and targeted, the gap between design and copywriting shrinks.
Here’s to the year of the story!
To scroll or not to scroll, that is the question. Or rather, it was. 2020 will be the year that scrolling becomes cool again and it’s down to two things:
- Scrolling denotes the passage of time, making for more engaging stories
- Dynamic scrolling is coming up in the world
What is dynamic scrolling?
Essentially, it’s designing a site in a way that makes it clear that there is more for the audience to see if they keep scrolling. It can be as subtle as the use of diagonal graphics – shapes that draw the eye downward. Or as in-your-face as scrolling animation.
Dynamic scrolling is bringing scrolling back in a big way. Which isn’t to say we should ditch the fold altogether. Rather, designers will no longer let “above the fold” dictate their every design decision.
The digital format is the perfect canvas for bright, bold color schemes and 2020 is going to take full advantage of the fact.
First impressions count and color is one of the key deciders in what people pay attention to. Studies have found that people judge a product within 90 seconds of initial interaction and that almost 90% of that judgment happens on color alone.
The right colors can also improve readership by up to 40%.
2020 is the year of color. We’ll see increasingly bold color choices that drive engagement and reflect brand ethos.
As color and type get bigger and bolder, our layouts are going to offer up some balance to our designs. Yep, bring on the white space!
Careful use of white space is a design staple for a reason. Minimalist designs are easier to read and direct focus more effectively than cluttered layouts. They also lend your brand a professional feel. Think of clothing boutiques with open layouts vs. cluttered fast fashion outlets.
Minimalist design is also a great way to let your color and type choices shine.
2020 is the year we break out of the box, literally.
The grid system is a designer’s go-to for a reason. It helps us maintain consistency, achieve balance, and align our designs. But as with all rules, sometimes you need to break the grid.
Asymmetrical layouts are a great way to add interest, depth, and a dynamic flair to your designs. It’s also a fantastic way to design for dynamic scrolling – asymmetrical layouts allow us to better guide the focus of our users.
Remember, even the hottest website design trends don’t make up for bad UX. You should asymmetrical design elements with care. If in doubt, fall back on consistency. Establish your page’s hierarchy and use repetition to guide your users through the design.
Stay on Top of These Web Design Trends
Staying on trend isn’t only for fashionistas. Web design trends can inform the user experience and ensure your site stays as fresh as your brand. So this year, prioritize accessibility, mobile first design practices, and great storytelling. And don’t be afraid to go bold with colors, type, and layouts.
Looking to refresh your website design? Get in touch today and see how I can help you.