When designing your website, you need to find the perfect balance between staying true to your brand, and not falling behind the curve with web design trends and best practices.
You should never blindly follow the current trends you see without any consideration of how it reflects your business.
But there is definitely some inspiration you can take from trends, some may work for you, and you can even adapt some to be more personalised.
You want to ensure that your website doesn’t look dated and boring, or your user retention can plummet.
So, let’s have a look at some of the current trends in web design, and how they can improve your online presence.
What are some of the main web design trends for 2023?
Bold and colourful designs
A bold and colourful design will catch the eye of your viewers and keep their attention.
If you want to make an impactful first impression, this design style will help you stand out from your competitors.
It can also be good for user engagement and encourage your visitors to spend more time on your website.
When you create an aesthetically pleasing design with a good colour palette, your business can provide a more immersive and enjoyable user experience.
It’s also an effective medium for solidifying your brand’s appearance.
Using your brand’s colour palette will reinforce your recognisability and brand identity to the user.
Hey Tempo is a job-hunting website that uses a bold and colourful design.
The website has a cartoon-style design and features lots of colourful and exciting fonts, buttons, imagery, and illustrations.
The website is eye-catching and fun, overall.
3D elements and graphics
Using 3D elements and graphics on your website helps create a more immersive experience for the user.
When interacting with your site, 3D elements can make the interactions appear more tangible and real.
It enhances the overall visual appeal, making your website stand out and adding an extra layer of interest to the full design.
One great benefit of 3D elements is the effect it has on storytelling, as it brings the narratives to life on the page.
This is also reflected in product visualisation, if you’re selling your products on your web store, 3D graphics help the shopper see the product fully and from all angles, giving them a better understanding of its appearance and features.
Lastly, it’s creative!
There are loads of possibilities you can take when using 3D elements in your design, allowing for unique and memorable user experiences.
Clou provides a large range of services and showcases this using a 3D interactive carousel of everything they do.
This fluid and sleek design reflects their brand perfectly and is fun to use.
Most of us at PageNorth prefer to use dark mode on our devices, whether it’s mobile or the computers we use daily.
Dark mode isn’t a new concept when it comes to websites, the first computers operated on dark mode! (Illuminating the entire screen would burn the screen, but we can pretend it was a creative choice)
Allowing your users to switch between light and dark can improve the experience for them greatly.
It can help the users read your content with ease, as some prefer reading with a certain background, and dark mode can help with eyestrain in general.
As well as individual experience, you can use dark mode to convey a message.
My favourite example of dark mode in web design is Max Joles, who uses his website to showcase the tech services he provides.
Toggling light and dark modes actually show his two ‘different sides’.
Light mode is the more professional work, with a picture fit for LinkedIn, and a headline perfect to attract businesses looking for help.
The dark mode is showing his creative side, with a more fun image, headline, and services that are less corporate and non-code oriented.
Minimalism and whitespace
Minimalism and whitespace can provide the user with a sense of ease.
It gives off a more professional, calm, and refined energy.
It’s also great for bringing attention to what you really want the user to be looking at, minimal clutter means minimal distraction.
It’s easy on the eyes and appeals to specific customer personas.
Many people find it easier to consume the content on your site if it’s presented in a minimalistic style, and it can also make navigation quick and easy.
We’ve all heard that sometimes more is less, so keep your website balanced with minimalism and whitespace.
Of course, Apple almost always gets a shoutout when we write about whitespace.
Their website is uncluttered, with a minimalistic white background and plenty of breathing room around the main attraction; the products.
They do a great job of keeping your attention on the product on the screen, and the site has a modern and straightforward feel to it, while also feeling futuristic and innovative.
Micro-interactions and animations
Have you ever found yourself browsing a website, and repeatedly hovering or clicking on a page animation to see a micro animation?
It’s an incredibly simple way to keep people immersed in your website and improve their experience overall.
Using any form of animation is helpful if you want to show multiple elements in the same area, to avoid taking up too much page room.
But it also can just be fun!
It feels advanced and very current.
Like 3D elements, if you are selling products on your website, animations can give the user a good idea of what it looks like, how it functions, and the general features of what you are selling.
Itek uses its website to show the IT managed service provider services they provide and uses a range of micro-interactions on its site, to passively keep the user engaged while scrolling.
There is movement all over the homepage, without it being overwhelming or disorienting.
Simple messages are conveyed through micro-interactions, such as a sad-looking computer getting a smile when you hover over the contact button.
Of course, there are plenty more trends we’ve seen this year so far, but that’s just some of our favourites.
When updating or building your website from scratch, you can take inspiration from these trends, but you have to remain true to your brand.
You also have to ensure your website is usable and accessible, even when implementing exciting new design aspects.
This can be stressful, which is why working with a web design agency can really help you make sure your website is perfect.
If you need help building your website, we have a team of experts more than happy to help.
Contact our team and see what we can do for you.
When viewing a website, people don’t immediately read all of the content.
Instead, our eyes dart around the screen, looking for something to grab your attention and starting from there.
When designing a webpage, you should consider this and make the design scannable.
Make the page’s purpose clear at first glance
When the user first clicks on a page, you want them to be able to distinguish what they are looking at quickly.
Often this will be a CTA of some sort, but the page content should be clear from above the fold.
This can be done with imagery, icons, or bold text.
If a user doesn’t know what they are looking at, they are less inclined to stay on the page and explore.
Using a search engine is just shouting a question into the void, so when your website is shown as an answer, they expect the answer immediately, or a sign that you do have the answer at all.
A list is a natural way for you to scan through a larger body of content, as the paragraphs can be skipped, and list titles focused on.
This helps the reader find the information they want and are looking for.
It organises the data clearly and keeps it segmented, quick, and easy to consume!
Numbered lists can also help with this, as the numbers show progression through the content.
Implement a visual hierarchy
A visual hierarchy will use things such as font size, boldness, underlining, and other methods to establish importance within text.
It will help with the impact and general readability, as your eyes are drawn to anything that stands out.
Using a visual hierarchy makes it easier for skim readers to work their way through the content.
Use imagery and graphics
Images and any form of graphics can break up a body of text and keep readers invested.
They help set the mood for your content and can carry a message more effectively than a couple of sentences.
Your brain acknowledges images quicker than it will process text, so it makes it easier to skim read.
With good design, any form of illustration can improve the user experience and bring new life to your content.
Isolating something makes it stand out much more, so doing it to important snippets of your content will help create impact.
Negative space can be scary to use in designs, as you don’t want to leave anything looking blank or forgotten about.
If done incorrectly, it can look a little lazy.
But good use of negative space improves the reader’s ability to skim read and can set a calm, minimalist tone.
Let the elements of your design breathe.
Consider eye/reading patterns
When reading a page of content, your eyes will follow certain patterns.
It’s a given that everyone will start at the top left of the screen, which is why it’s a great spot to put your logo.
After you start at the top left, where do you go?
The most popular pattern for skim reading is following a ‘Z’ or an ‘F’ pattern.
The ‘Z’ pattern is a zigzag, where they will dart back and forth while descending down the page.
The ‘F’ is a little bit more human, as they will skim the first couple of lines more deeply, then give up and look down at the beginning of the lines to find what they are looking for.
In terms of text, this is important to keep in mind, but visual design can benefit from this too.
You can also use the ‘golden ratio’ in visual design, opting for an almost spiral-type pattern.
For more advice on web design, contact our team and see how we can help you.
Design is always changing and evolving, and keeping up with all the trends can be a lot.
Recently, design has been all about individuality.
Making a statement, and never blending in.
Fonts can make a world of difference in your design.
Headers need to stand out and grab the reader's attention, so what better way to do it than with bold typography?
Using large, oversized text has become incredibly popular this year.
Bold texts have gone from being a way to get a message across, to an integrated part of graphic design.
The text being included within the design is becoming a common practice, it brings whole new energy to your headers and pages.
When you merge your images/graphics with your text, the main issue is maintaining readability.
A great example of this is Meow, who has combined bold text into their header design while still keeping it readable! (Plus, any cat owner knows that your furry friend resting in inconvenient spots isn't a surprise.)
Brutalism may still be too brutal (we know) for most.
The design concept in itself isn't used commonly, but so many design trends are derived from brutalism.
Brutalism strives to look raw, unprocessed, harsh, and haphazard.
An almost honest form of web design, it goes against the norm of formality, softness, and friendliness you see in common web design.
One aspect of brutalism that has been taken and reformed is minimalism, the lack of imagery, and text-heavy pages especially.
Above is an example of a brutalist website, called Ashley Cook.
Another trend derived from brutalism is breaking out of the grid.
The use of floating images especially takes away a bit of the same-old vibe many websites have, making things a bit unconventional, it all comes down to individuality.
Once you lose the grid and containers, things can get a bit messy, but with the right balance and testing, it can be a really interesting and positive experience for the user.
The website for Repeat uses floating images that are also animated, giving the user a turbulent, but still aesthetically pleasing and interesting viewing experience.
Having interactive aspects on your website isn't a new concept but can sometimes be overwhelming for a user.
If every time you move your mouse, something changes or moves, it can get a bit much for the eyes and negatively affect UX.
On the other hand, having interactive aspects makes a website feel much more fun and fluid, it almost personalises the experience for the user.
So, how have web designers got around this issue?
It's the perfect balance between the two extremes, and you probably see it every day without realising it.
Most commonly, you will see micro-interactions while your cursor hovers over a button of some sort.
It can be a slight change in colour, small movements, icon animation, or anything you want.
At the end of the day, it adds a little bit of fun and life to your web pages, without being too 'in your face'.
Simplicity is sometimes the way to go.
No matter the kind of website you want for your business, PageNorth can help.
Get in touch with our team and see how we can help you.