As anyone who is involved in the world of design can attest, design trends change over time. What was once cutting edge gradually becomes passe and gives way to something new and bright which also in turn fades away with time. Such is the way of design trends, and this is especially true in website design. In fact web design trends often seem to come and go even more quickly than conventional areas of design. Perhaps its the fast paced nature of the internet, or maybe it’s just because the web designers themselves like to keep things extra fresh, either way it can be tough to keep track of the newest and best design trends. That is why we composed this brief article of 7 popular trends in website design that we want to showcase.
BIG Fonts and Other Elements
Perhaps it’s a response to the often heard complaint about text on computer screens being too small or difficult to read in general, but today’s web design heavily favors very large fonts. However, there has been a mini-renaissance of sorts with typography recently, so it’s also possible that designers are simply eager to showcase their newest creations. Either way these BIG fonts are making a BIG statement, and they’re not doing it by themselves either. Many designers are giving an oversize flair to other design elements as well such as super large buttons, icons, banners, and other graphics. The bottom line is that now isn’t a bad time to be nearsighted on the internet.
Another great visual effect that we are seeing more often on newly designed websites is a healthy dose of 3D graphics. These images often display a great deal of shadowing and texture and it’s not usual for them to feel like they are jumping right off the screen and into your living room. This hip style feels more interactive and we wouldn’t be surprised if it did result in site visitors clicking and engaging to a greater extent. People have always been fond of the 3D effect on traditionally 2D canvases like computer screens, movie screens, projectors, photographs, and good old fashioned paper. This trend was bound to see a resurgence.
More and more sites are using designs that actively interact with site visitors. For instance a user may scroll over a certain part of the page only to have it change colors, become brighter and more visible, or morph into something else entirely. It can feel overwhelming at first to some visitors, but most quickly get excited by new technology and enjoy playing around with. This looks like another new and excellent strategy to get more enthusiasm and activity from people who drop by a site.
To some extent “going retro” in a pretty safe bet to make about current design trends in all areas and across all time periods. There’s just something inherently appealing to people that makes them want to take an old design element and put a brand new, fresh spin on it. Of course the trends, and time period being reflected upon varies as does the way designers freshen it up. In this case we are seeing quite a few black and white designs, old school fonts, and images of people and other objects that seem pulled right out of the 1800s.
Simplicity is almost always lauded as elegant and classic. That is why it is certainly no surprise that many contemporary web designers are eschewing the frills of some of the other trends we’ve discussed above and instead going for a much more stripped down, back to basics approach. That’s why we’re seeing more and more websites with simple, common colors, and clean, uncluttered pages. These pages also have the added benefit of being very user friendly and ensuring that site visitors won’t be swamped with options or bogged down by too many distractions.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design isn’t a trend, so much as a new requirement. Nevertheless it is a design feature that is sweeping the internet at a phenomenal pace and we felt that the list would have been incomplete without mentioning it. Responsive Web Design enables sites to automatically change the way they are displayed based on the screen size of the user. In other words the design responds to the needs of the person viewing the page. In an age when more and more people are using everything from tiny smartphones, tablets, and good old desktop computers, this has never been more important.
Social Media Widgets
This is another design element which is not so much a trend as it is a new, all but essential utility. You would have had to have been living in a hole for the last decade to have missed the explosion of social media. While many users may have accounts with two or three of the biggest social media sites, there are also quite a few “smaller” but still very important social media networks that users may want to utilize while on an independent site. That means that web designers are having to figure out functional, but attractive ways of including a host of social media widgets on their pages. The good news is that they’re doing an amazing job and for the most part these widgets are unobtrusive and highly useful.
We hope that this list of 7 popular trends in website design has given you some new things to think about and hopefully also helped call your attention to aspects of sites you visit on a daily basis without having necessarily noticed these trends consciously. However, this list is by no means comprehensive. Every designer puts their own spin on their websites and many trends come and go so spontaneously and quickly that it’s impossible to keep up. We would love to hear what some of your favorite web design trends are.