In this article, we cast our eye over 10 exciting web design trends that people inside the industry are expecting to take hold in 2020, and beyond!
Change is a funny thing. It’s constant, inexorable – but it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight.
The author C.S. Lewis is often quoted as saying: “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes – but when we look back, everything is different?”
It’s the same with web design. Like a fine wine, our industry continues to mature with each passing day, month and year. That change isn’t always immediately noticeable – but it never stops. And those who fail to adapt are quickly left behind.
It’s little wonder that the million-dollar question in the web design industry is so often: what’s next?
So that’s exactly the question we decided to ask. We asked a diverse group of web designers, agency owners, content managers and marketers which web design trends they believe will be shaping our industry in 2020 – and beyond.
Here’s what they told us…
1. White Space & Simplistic/Minimalist Design
It’s often said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and many in the industry expect a minimalist, stripped-back approach to become ever more popular in the coming months.
“The most exciting web design trends for 2020 are going back to simple more minimalist designs,” argues Sean Pour of Sellmax.
Minimalist design means a hundred things to a hundred different people, but it generally refers to an extensive use of white space, with no single element distracting attention from the visual hierarchy.
This threadbare, stripped-back style means limited color palettes, with content being given lots of room to breathe on a page, like in the example below…
And it’s more than just a cosmetic decision, as Lee Santos of Revive.digital explains: “This is because it can help improve the speed of the site & perform better, especially when it comes to mobile.”
Make sure to speak to your clients about minimalist design, and have plenty of examples at your disposal.
2. AI & Contextual Technology
AI is making its impact felt in a range of different industries, and web design is far from an exception.
There are two layers to this.
Firstly, there’s the idea of what’s sometimes called “artificial design intelligence.” This is technology, essentially, that is able to ‘automate’ aspects of web design. Web design tools like Sitejet are making it easier, and quicker, to create beautiful websites – creating more time and freedom for web designers to innovate and grow. This technology is progressing at a rapid pace and is likely to yield real benefits for the designers who adopt it going forward.
But artificial intelligence and automation also feed into ‘contextual’ technology – which can help your site feel more ‘human’ by interpreting user behavior and circumstances to deliver really personal, tailored experiences.
“(The future of web design) likely includes contextual technology that combines the needs of a user’s environment with modern technology like VR in a seamless way that the user doesn’t even notice,” argues Jake McKenzie, Content Manager at Auto Accessories Garage.
“Using AI in a smart way to make your site feel more human is going to be the key to success.”
Contextual technology can take many forms. But, in essence, it’s about delivering a tailored experience to the visitor based on the particular circumstances of their visit. Content and design may differ based on the date and time, location, user language, operating system, and dozens of other characteristics.
The other way in which AI might make its impact felt is in the form of chatbots, delivering around-the-clock support and assistance for website visitors. Yes, chatbots still lack the emotional intelligence of human support operatives – but they’re becoming increasingly sophisticated.
“Websites will become conversational, with chatbot-like features built-in, to guide visitors through their site, services, and answer questions more intelligently,” argues David Sanchez of Mammoth Web Solutions.
Voice technology is another trend experiencing rapid growth in adoption – its growth was a prediction offered by numerous people we spoke to!
This is partly a result of technology, like smart speakers, that many of us are becoming increasingly accustomed to having in our homes. “We live in the age of Siri and Alexa,” explains Taura Woolfe, of Woolfe Agency. “Audio controllers have become our friends and have dramatically changed our digital experience the past few years. (But) many companies have not yet adopted VUI onto their websites.
“As we continue to move into the future, VUI will enhance the UX by making navigating websites and completing online purchases easier than ever.”
Amine Rahal, of IronMonk, agrees: “I would predict a larger emergence and further integration of voice command within the web interfaces and user experience of web design layouts and apps.”
Stacy Caprio, the founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing, sees voice increasing as a vehicle for audience discovery, with voice search becoming increasingly common. “I think more companies will start optimizing for structured snippets including voice-focused and answer sites to make them more effective for artificial intelligence technologies such as Google Voice search and Alexa to use,” she says.
4. 3D Models and Rendering
Often, ‘new’ trends aren’t new at all. They simply hit the mainstream due to a lowering of their barriers to entry. One such trend, in 2020, might be the rise of 3D modeling and rendering.
“In 2020, we’ll see a lot more 3D rendering as a major web design trend,” says Mark Krenn of Coastal Creative.
“The reason? 3D modeling has historically been very expensive and out of reach for most designers.
“We predict the costs will drop significantly, and we’ll see more design software tools released that make this design available to those without specialized 3D training.
“Usually, when the prices drop for certain methods, the popularity explodes.”
We already see examples of 3D modeling appearing on websites. Take energy drink, Defy, for example…
Sports megabrand Adidas have also dabbled in 3D modeling, with the product site they created about Futurecraft – a 100% recyclable performance running shoe announced in April 2019. The 3D trainer model rotates slowly around the screen, and the user is able to navigate the site by scrolling and interacting with the model itself.
Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind how additions like this will affect loading times, particularly on mobile; but it’s exciting to see how this technology will continue to unfold in 2020.
5. User focus
It goes without saying that the most important person on any website is the user – but many expect the user focus to become even more pronounced in 2020.
“The biggest web design trend you’re going to see take off in 2020 is the focus on the user,” explains Alana Kucharski of Whittington Consulting.
“Thinking through what the client is looking for or trying to solve by coming to your site—instead of a company pushing for what they hope the user will do—will be a much-needed departure from the old way of thinking about a site.”
6. The end of flat design?
That flat design movement – a shift towards minimalist, simple, block-color design – started in the early 2000s. By the early 2010s, it had become the dominant style.
Despite being an industry standard, flat design has not been without its critics.
And, according to some in the industry, its time on the throne may now be running out!
“Flat design, which has proven to have a myriad of issues when user-tested, is going to start the pendulum swing back in the other direction, creating a hybrid of the two extremes,” suggests Alana Kucharski.
“Elegant, simplified elements that still give you context to their action will be the happy medium.
Buttons, for example, won’t just be words with a box around them; nor will they be strictly beveled, with gradients, shadowing and imprinted text.
Better context clues are starting to emerge, allowing the user to interact with the site the way it was intended.”
7. Accessibility for visitors with disabilities
One trend that might not be particularly sexy – but is incredibly important – is accessibility. In other words, making websites that are welcoming to everybody.
And, as Sharon Rosenblatt of Accessibility Partners explains, this is becoming a real priority in the world of web design.
“My clients are web designers, and I’m in the field of technology compliance—so the biggest trend I’m seeing is increased accessible design for consumers with disabilities,” she explains.
“I see this for two reasons: Firstly, unfortunately, a number of website owners and businesses are getting sued for not providing accessible websites for users with disabilities—across industries like retail, food service, hotels, air travel, and more!
Right now, the Americans with Disabilities Act is being used (and has for the past few years) as a driving force to level the tech playing field and increase more access to websites for people of all abilities.
But more important is the second reason. There’s been an uptick in responsible web design and corporate social responsibility. People are seeing a good ROI and marketability of accessibility, and it’s a nice thing to advertise.
So while I don’t feel that accessibility and inclusion are trendy and stylish, I know for a fact that they will be at the forefront of designer and developer’s minds, if my inbox is any indication.”
8. Data collection
For years now, people have been talking about data being ‘the new oil.’ But now, with new ways to actually utilize that data – some of which we’ve discussed in this article, like contextual technology – it’s perhaps more important than ever.
Brianna Brannan at Digital Nomad Designs believes that the collection – and leverage – of that data, will shape the world of web design in 2020. “No matter what industry we’re in, it’s becoming more and more valuable to collect data from users,” she says.
“I think that we’ll start to see more web designs based on user data.
By performing more functionality and interface tests, we can see what users respond best to and mimic that within web designs. Websites will be designed around user behavior.”
It’s certainly an exciting prospect to imagine a world of web design in which decisions are made based on what we know to work, rather than what we think will work.
Microinteractions, sometimes called UI animation, are a relatively new phenomenon. They’re tiny design elements but can play a significant role in creating ‘human’ feeling websites that delight the audience.
And many people, like Nikki Bisel at Seafoam Media, believe the usage and popularity of micro-interactions will soar in the coming months.
“For years now, the focus has been on streamlining and “templatizing” web design,” she says.
“Over the course of the next year, though, one of the big things you’re going to start to see are micro-interactions. At its core, micro-interactions are meant to delight the user.
When you upload a file, hit the submit button, and see an upload status bar go from 0% to 100%, that’s a micro-interaction.
When you hover over a subtle Call To Action and the color saturates and the button gets bigger, that’s a micro-interaction.
When you scroll down an eCommerce category page and focus your cursor over a particular product and a sale icon jumps up and down on the product, that, too, is a micro-interaction.
Microinteractions let the user feel what they’re doing. They bring a site to life! They let the user interact on a level that feels tangible and palpable. The user gets instant feedback, direction, and emotional validation.
So when you’re designing, there’s a new meaning for “What do I want the user to feel?” Now, it’s not just emotions, it’s sensory, too.”
A classic example of a micro-interaction is Facebook’s ‘Like’ functionality. You might not ever have even noticed it but when you hit that little ‘thumbs up’ icon – just look at the tiny animation that happens.
Or how about this awesome login example where we have a yeti character on the page? He watches us enter our email address as we go…blocks his eyes so he can’t see our password…but peeps if we click ‘Show!’ This sort of cool, creative micro-interaction is going to be such a cool point-of-difference for you and your clients going forward… (Try it for yourself here.)
At a surface level, these additions don’t seem all that significant. But across whole websites, they really add up to immersive, engaging experiences, turning mundane, generic functions into something really memorable – and contributing greatly to the overall user experience.
10. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality has been on the radar for some time but has never quite had its ‘breakthrough’ moment.
Could that moment be upon us? Many people believe it is – with its impact particularly likely to be felt in the world of eCommerce.
“AR is essentially the mix of reality and virtual reality,” explains Woolfe Agency’s Taura Woolfe.
Think Pokemon Go – the mobile game where Pokemon characters were ‘overlaid’ into the real world, so we have a sensory combination of reality and virtual reality.
The use cases for this technology could be wide and varied.
“Stores and brands alike are able to implement AR into their websites by allowing customers to virtually “try on” different clothes, jewelry, makeup, and so on, or by allowing users to see how furniture would look in their homes or offices before purchasing,” Taura continues.
“This takes the mystery out of online purchasing and allows consumers to make their purchases with confidence.”
Specsavers’ Virtual Try-on is a good example of this approach. The UK-based opticians recognized that people may feel more comfortable trying on glasses at home – and more likely to buy their frames. And so, they created Virtual Try-on – where customers can quickly and easily ‘scan’ their face into a 3D model, then overlay that model with a variety of different frames to find out what works for them.
The same logic applies to IKEA Place, which allows you to photograph your room and then use augmented reality to try out furniture – to scale – making sure it a) fits, and b) suits!
As web design increasingly goes mobile-first, AR becomes a much more tangible possibility. There are still challenges in this area – and the best is definitely still to come – but that time is getting closer. AR is certainly something to be aware of for the future!
It’s really tough to overstate the importance of staying current in the web design industry. By keeping an eye on the trends we’ve outlined in this article – and no doubt, plenty more! – you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of staying ahead of the curve, delighting your clients and doing awesome work for years to come.
Hard to believe, but 2019 means we’re heading into the final chapter of the decade. The internet has grown and changed a lot in the past ten years: we’ve seen the reign of mobile, the introduction of AR, VR, AI, AMP, and many other acronyms. As exciting as all of this new technology has been, where we really see and feel these changes is in web design trends.
In some years, design trends have pushed towards rampant creativity—abandoning grids and traditional stock photos for vibrant illustrations, bold color schemes, and asymmetrical layouts. Other years, technological advancements have led to websites becoming smarter, with machine learning and subtle interactions, and those shifting paradigms have driven design trends (hamburger menus, anyone?). 2019 web design trends will see these two sides of the coin—aesthetics, and technology—come together like never before.
Gathered here are the dominating web trend predictions for 2019, but this is by no means the last word on creative innovation. Because if there’s one thing we can say for certain about 2019, it is the last call for web designers to make their mark on the decade.
1. Serifs on screen —
We’ve all heard the rule that serifs are for print and sans serifs are for the screen. But what are design trends for if not to give convention a little shaking up?
While sans, with its clean readability, is still the go-to for longer bouts of website copy, more and more brands are turning towards bold serifs in other aspects of their designs such as headers and callouts. There’s a good reason for this: serifs were designed to be decorative, making them perfect for emphasis.
And even though serifs are often associated with the past, they have lots of character and are more adaptable than you might think. Take for example the rounded serifs that play into Mailchimp’s cheerful branding. Or the wedge serifs and bold strokes that create a modern look for Medium.
Color is one of the most important elements in a website. It cultivates a mood, unifies a brand and guides users through an interface by creating visual landmarks. For 2019, we’re seeing daring black-and-white web design making impressive statements.
Color is literally how we see the world by light particles being absorbed. When color is missing, we begin to see the world differently: textures and shapes become clearer, and the world seems noticeably slower.
White by itself is clean and reserved whereas black is strong and assertive. Combine these and you get an altogether striking look.
Ironically, the biggest effect black-and-white designs can have is in their combination with minimal amounts of color. Adding an accent color will not only break up the sea of monochrome but will make points of interest and calls-to-action leap out.
Though web pages are typically set up for systematic grids, designers are turning towards natural shapes and smooth lines. Geometric structures such as squares, rectangles and triangles with their sharp corners do create a sense of stability, but 2019 trends are more concerned with a feeling of accessibility and comfort.
Because organic shapes are naturally imperfect and asymmetrical, they can provide depth to a web design that makes page elements stand out. They are based in nature (think of the curving forms of trees and hills), but free-drawn elements can capture the spontaneity of man-made accidents such as paint splatter. The goal here is for web designs to feel human and alive through the illusion of movement.
No trends list would be complete without some form of retro design making its comeback. In the case of glitch art, it’s retro gone wrong—those moments when crinkled film or a slow dial-up connection led to a distorted if unintentionally striking, image.
Glitches are significant in our modern times when computers are so pervasive. We fear the machines taking over, but we also don’t know what we’d do without them. Hence, the breakdown of technology makes for appealing subject matter both as an idea and in its design execution, where it can draw the viewer’s eye to those parts of the site that are warped, double exposed and glitchy. It’s a strange, futuristic time we live in, and no one is quite sure where it is all heading. Glitch art amplifies this feeling of disorientation by giving websites a distinctly psychedelic look.
Micro-interactions are events with one purpose: to surprise the user and create an event that is inviting and human. Every time you take a small action on a website or app and there is a specific response to it, this is a micro-interaction. When you refresh a Twitter page and hear a beep, this is a micro-interaction. Or when you check Facebook, the red icon displaying your message count is—you guessed it— a micro-interaction.
These have been the most common uses of them, but in 2019, web pages will heavily feature their more interactive incarnations. Hover and scrolling animations, chimes, and much more. All in all, this is a way to involve your audience in your website, to subtly transmit information to the users about their actions and usage, and make web pages feel a little smarter.
Chatbots have been up-and-coming for a while now but will finally move into the spotlight in 2019. This is mostly due to the advancements in AI and machine learning, making them more intelligent and efficient.
The new chatbots will be showing up more and more on web pages with higher levels of customization than we’ve seen in past iterations. Bright colors will make them not only more prominent on the page but more inviting. We can also predict an influx of friendly mascots to represent brands and give these bots a personable face.
You don’t need an explainer video to tell you that video content for the web is nothing new. Video not only diversifies the page but caters to an on-the-go audience who don’t have the time to scan through a lot of text.
What is new is the move Google has made toward mixed search page results, featuring video content above standard web pages. This has led websites to prioritize video production in order to make themselves easily searchable and offer content in the most efficient, shareable way.
Perhaps one of the most classic and timeless web design trends, minimalism is often the go-to aesthetic of choice. The fewer elements and content on a website, the less your audience will have to think. If a website is designed in the right way, it will show the user exactly what she is looking for.
Minimalism will continue to dominate the digital landscape in 2019. Animations and fade-in effects that make scrolling more engaging will give web pages freedom to space out their content and thus result in more whitespace, contrast, and clear typography without too many distracting elements.
With mobile browsing having firmly overtaken desktop, design overall is becoming increasingly thumb-friendly. One of the most important studies in this area was that of Josh Clark with his book Designing for Touch, in which he investigates how users hold their mobile phones and how their movements, particularly those of the thumb, should be processed in the web design process. More and more now, users will encounter navigation tailored to the thumb, such as the hamburger menu moved to the bottom of mobile screens.
Too often, people forget that the web has always been accompanied by a pair of other important W’s: ’World Wide.’ The internet connects billions of people all around the world from various different cultures, abilities, ages, gender identities—people who want to see themselves reflected in their content rather than grinning stock photo models.
Even small considerations of the past (like Apple’s varying skin tones for emojis) have gone a long way in making people of all walks of life feel a little more welcome in a brand’s digital space. 2019 should see web designers make even bigger leaps towards inclusiveness, from improved accessibility standards to socially conscious and diverse imagery. The world still has a long way to go in this arena, but these designers can use their craft to demonstrate that the web is supposed to be about real people making real connections.
There you have it—the final year of the decade in web design all laid out for you. Except for one thing: it hasn’t happened yet! There are still many surprises in store and plenty of time to contribute your own ingenuity to this list of trends. As much as we’d like to imagine that we know what 2019 will bring, it is ultimately up to you.
The end of the year is near, and that could only mean one thing. It’s time to look ahead at what website design could look like in the year to come.
Like every year, I scoured and searched the internet far and wide looking for the new up-and-coming trends that we could start seeing more of on websites launched in 2019. Everything from layout to colors, typography to white space, and everything in between — no design element has been left out of the possible web design trends of 2019.
Below are the ten design trends you might just start seeing more of around the web when our digital calendars flip to 2019.
1. Broken grid and asymmetrical layouts
I added this trend to last year’s design predictions guide, but it seems to be sticking around in 2019, too.
The concept of the grid in design terms is an imaginary plane with horizontal and vertical lines, used to help layout elements on the page or screen. With most websites, the grid is easy to point out — you can look down the left side of the website, for example, and see the logo, title, and content, line up together, for the most part. When you have a broken grid, you have items that are pushed around on this plane in a way that makes the grid feel less rigid, or broken.
Times Talks‘ website showcases a broken grid layout throughout most of its website, especially in the hero area (shown above) and throughout different sections of its site.
This type of design — one that favors the unexpected, pushing boundaries, and experimenting with asymmetry — has been around for a while. It’s been used as a technique to help stand out from the crowd, to draw attention, or to otherwise experiment with design. However, in 2019, I see it making more of a statement and becoming more common on the web.
Studio Revele experiments with an asymmetric and broken grid website design aesthetic with its homepage design (the circles can be moved around the screen to help facilitate this broken grid concept more).
In 2019, I expect to see more use of a broken grid and asymmetrical layouts as we start to pull away from the rigid grid form that we’ve come to embrace pretty heavily in recent years. With experimenting with the grid and being ok with asymmetry in web design, I anticipate this trend becoming more prevalent in the coming year.
2. Fluid/organic design and elements
Slowly more and more we are pulling away from the straight lines that came with flat design and starting to experiment with more fluid shapes and lines. These types of shapes, ones in which aren’t your typical circle, square, rectangle, or any straight-sided shape are often referred to as fluid or organic shapes.
Small part of Wandering Aimfully’s homepage, featuring organic shapes and lines seen behind the circle images and as a subtle background behind the heading below them.
By shedding the very straight and near-clinical lines we’re accustomed to seeing online, and replacing them with elements drawn from nature and life (such as shapes of ponds and lakes, torn pieces of paper), these organic shapes and lines can make designs feel more approachable and in line with human nature.
Mawla’s website uses organic shapes and lines on its homepage, specifically here in their hero area on their site.
Moving into 2019, the typical shapes that have been used in web design for so long (circles and squares, I’m looking at you) will start to be joined or replaced by more organic shapes and lines, bringing a whole new element of design and intrigue to websites design and launched in 2019.
3. Nostalgic / Throwback / Retro design aesthetic
What is old is new again. As we’re moving beyond flat design, where experimentation seems to have no limits, the time seems ripe to also bring back old design elements with a hint of nostalgia.
Statamic’s website design features a retro color scheme reminiscent of the bright colors and imagery of the 1980s.
Experimentation with nostalgia and retro design styles can create a nice juxtaposition between then and now design. What makes this even more interesting, is that we can expect seeing more retro design styles reflecting time periods before websites were easily accessible to the masses; making it feel “new” to many people.
Great Jones’ website features characteristic 1970’s typography and color scheme, a design aesthetic that was common way before ARPANET in 1983.
I anticipate seeing more websites embrace different design styles that lend themselves to times past, both in the design of the websites themselves and in the content. Some of these throwback elements will likely include color schemes reminiscent of design trends of the past and typography that makes us think back to a different time.
4. More enhanced/elevated image treatments
Images have always presented unique design opportunities, especially on the web. Putting images in circles, making them black and white, adding a drop shadow behind them – all of these are techniques that designers have been using to enhance and/or draw attention to images on websites (and just about any other type of design).
KOBU’s website features imagery that has the subjects cut out instead of a standard image, allowing the design to flow between the “cut-outs” of their team members.
Taking image treatment a step further can draw attention to an image, or even draw attention away from an image. Where most websites feature a very large hero-style image that spans the entire width of their website, taking up a great deal of height and not changing the image much at all, changing up the way images are presented is a design trend that I believe will start picking up more traction in 2019.
Drip’s website shows images that have been cut out and have added drawings and shapes to enhance the image even further, which also places more emphasis on the design of the site itself.
Instead of executing one type of image treatment, expect to see websites layer image treatments to push the image as far as it can go to either draw more attention to them or to pull attention away from them. Stacking design treatments like making an image monochromatic, cutting out the subject, or adding a pattern on top to make a brand new image, will likely be more prominent in web design in 2019.
5. Monochromatic and absence of color
Having millions of colors at your fingertips is cool and all, but what if you limited yourself to just one color or no color at all? If done well, that type of design constraint can help enhance a design and make it more memorable.
Digital Bro’s website sticks to a very monochromatic color scheme by using one hue of yellow and very rarely strays from that one variant of yellow (black and white are considered neutrals).
Limiting yourself to one color can help solidify your branding while adding constraints in terms of flexibility of design. With most websites having two-five colors that are used throughout, using just one color could make you stand out and be more memorable to a website viewer.
Climate’s website sticks to a grayscale color scheme, absent of any other color, even making their videos on the site all grayscale.
Pushing it one step further and eliminating color all together is definitely an option if you’re looking to simplify your color palette (in art and in design, black, white, and gray aren’t considered colors so much as they are referred to as neutrals). In 2019, I expect more websites to use less color or no color at all.
6. Overlapping design elements
Falling closely in line with broken grid layouts and asymmetry, having items overlap each other can bring visual interest to specific types of content on a page. This can bring an element of the unexpected as we’ve grown accustomed to elements on a web page having their own space and separate from the elements around them (generally not touching one another).
Mad Studio’s website features overlapping elements as the main design aesthetic throughout the site, enhanced by subtle animations that make the website feel three-dimensional.
When done with careful consideration, the trend of overlapping elements on a page can help enhance the overall aesthetic of the site. This can also be pretty difficult to execute giving the mobile-first world we live in, as overlapping elements if not done well can cause confusion and frustration of users when elements overlap in the wrong ways.
Hers’ website showcases overlapping elements in parts of their website, including their main hero area on the home page.
Using overlapping elements where they share similar space is a trend I see growing more common as we move into 2019 and start experimenting more with a website being three dimensional.
7. Reimagined hero/header areas
As hinted above, most hero areas (formally known as “above the fold”) feature a large image that spans most of the viewport, often with some text on top to focus the attention of the viewer. And over the last couple of years, there hasn’t been much in the way of experimentation with this area of a website (arguably, the most important area).
A unique approach to a hero area used by Zoo Creative (treating the hero area as a billboard, and clever use of animation).
While some websites have started to push the boundaries of what is possible with their hero/header areas on their websites, as we pull away from the typical full-width-image-with-text-overly type heros, I expect to start seeing more and more experimentation by web designers as to what is possible in this area.
Andreas Nymark’s website features a white-space heavy hero area with a simple heading at the bottom of the hero area (notably also hitting on another trend to be mentioned later in this article).
In 2019, I expect various types of experimentation to this all-important area of a website, including minimizing the area, changing up the content present (and using something different than just a full-width image), and treating this area with more importance in grabbing viewer’s attention first hand.
8. Large and experimental navigations
It seems like every year there is a trend to do with navigation on a website. Likely because it’s one of the hardest elements of the page to design for. So essential to how we use the web, but a pain to keep it functional yet aesthetically appealing.
56 Digital’s website showcases rather large navigation — making it the center of their website instead of a smaller part of their site.
With 2019, the trend is likely to continue to see more experimentation with navigations. But instead of just changing a few things such as placement on the page, font size, or even the layout itself, experimentation is likely to push the boundaries of what is possible in 2019, such as making the navigation the main part of the website or making it very large and a focal point.
Gander’s website has rather large navigation in all four corners of its site instead of the typical navigation bar across the top or down the side.
With experimental navigations becoming more of a design trend in 2019, we can expect to see very large navigations, website homepages that is nothing but their navigation, and navigations with sophisticated animations.
9. More than enough white space
Using white space effectively is a design tool used by designers for decades. However, what may not be as common is the amount of white space used or even making the white space the focal point instead of the content itself.
Daniel Boddam’s site uses extra white space in the heading of his site, which is bringing attention to space otherwise often filled with content.
The use of extra white space in this manner contrasts the reason why we typically use white space — add margins or spaces to give our eyes a rest. Adding extra white space now helps move it to be a focal point or a more noticeable part of the design aesthetic. By choosing to add extra white space in areas that don’t necessarily need it, it then becomes an important part of the design and more noticed by visitors.
Maxime Rimbert’s website uses a large area of white space on their website, to help draw more attention to the works below and visually distance the works from the intro.
Moving into 2019, we may start to see websites use lots and lots of white space to make a statement or to make it the focal point of the website. While in the past we may have thought this extra white space was a waste of space, but the trend now may be that it gives the space a little something extra.
10. Pushing the boundaries of typography
While experimenting with typography is always something to be expected from designers, it’s a bit harder to push the boundaries of typography on the web than it is in print. As coding becomes more sophisticated, experimentation with typography on the web has become a bit easier over time.
Kurppa Hosk’s website experiments with typography by adding animation and user interaction. The text explodes and forms a circle around the user’s cursor.
Experimenting and pushing the boundaries of typography could include cutting or purposely subtracting parts of letters and words (relying on negative space to fill in the rest of the letters), photography inside typography, type on a diagonal line or shape, animating typography, etc.
ARCHE68’s website features typography pushed to its two-dimensional limits to make it near three-dimensional. Not only does the typography have a bending effect, but it also auto-scrolls left and right and moves with user scroll up and down (you’re seeing their navigation, which hits on another design trend mentioned above).
For 2019, typography experimentation and pushing what is possible with type on the web will likely become a trend with new website designs in the coming year. Since experimenting with type is much easier in print, expect to see the same way type has been treated in print to move to the web as we learn new ways to code for typography.
Some final takeaways
We’re in a post flat design world, and it looks like web design takes a more experimental approach than we’ve seen in years past. Virtually no element on the web page is safe from experimentation as we move into 2019.
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