What Will Be The Biggest Web Design Trends This Year?

October 1, 2021

What Will Be The Biggest Web Design Trends This Year? | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

Wondering about the top web design trend for 2020? Web design trends come and go, so over the years, there can be quite a bit of variation. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what’s trending in web design. Read on to ensure you’re updated on the latest website design trends, and that you can adapt to these trends and update your website accordingly.

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Dark Mode For Mobile & Desktop Websites

“Dark modes” use a dark background with contrasting white or light text to reduce eye strain when users are using a website or web page in a dim room. This is also often called “night mode.”

MacOS, iOS, and Android devices have native night mode settings, and some web browsers like Google Chrome also have implemented night mode. This top web design trend began taking hold in a major way in 2019 – and is continuing to affect web page design in 2020.

Many designers are choosing to make a toggleable switch that allows light backgrounds to be switched with dark backgrounds. Adding a dark web mode is quite a bit of work, but can distinguish a particular website from its competitors.

Eye-Catching, Text-Only Heroes

“Hero” images are the large images that you see when you open up a particular website or page, and they are still very common. But a new design aesthetic has appeared, too – the use of bold, eye-catching, text-only heroes.

Using unique fonts or hand-drawn script as well as bold colours – or black and white design schemes – website designers can build visual appeal without large, distracting images.

This has the added benefit of reducing the overall loading time of the page, compared to high-quality and high-resolution hero images, leading to a better overall user experience.

Hand-Drawn Design Icons, Illustrations & More

Many website design trends in previous years focused on clean, crisp lines, sans-serif fonts like Helvetica and Roboto, and streamlined, minimalist website designs. And while these trends are continuing in 2020, we see some changes on the way, too.

Hand-drawn design elements – such as script, hand drawings and sketches, and other obviously human-drawn elements – are becoming more and more popular. These elements provide a bit more warmth and emotion to websites that otherwise may look a bit sparse.

Using these hand-drawn elements provides a bit more heart for the website design – think of the charm of a hand-lettered sign outside a cafe, compared to a mass-produced menu. A little charm goes a long way, and can help build brand loyalty and ensure your website sticks in the mind of visitors – particularly when paired with a bright and bold colour palette.

Immersive 3D Elements

In the past, 3D design was rarely used to help create website designs, images, or media. 3D programs were primarily used by industrial designers, animators, and others who had to create three-dimensional schematics and objects.

But today, many graphic designers are beginning to experiment more with 3D modeling tools and are incorporating 3D elements into websites to provide an added layer of depth and enhanced visual interest.

3D programs have become easier to use, and computers have also become more powerful over time, so many website designers are more easily able to play around with immersive 3D elements, and incorporate them into their designs. Whether as a small element on a page, or as a large hero image, we’re sure to see an enhanced emphasis on these elements in the coming years.

Floating Elements With Layers & Soft Shadows

“Floating” a particular image in front of other layers of colour and shadows helps create a faux-3D effect without needing to use a platform that supports 3D images. This design element is often paired with bold colour and a white background to enhance the effect of “layering.”

This is particularly common on website home pages, where hero images tend to be emphasized by using shadows and layers, adding visual interest and encouraging visitors to focus their attention on a specific element of the page.

Collage-Style Mixing Of Photography With Illustrations & Graphic Elements

Web Design Sydney

Going along with some of the above trends – such as hand-drawn illustrations and floating elements – more website designers are beginning to mix photography with illustrations and other graphic elements like custom script or typography.

This creates a unique, appealing “collage” effect, where multiple layers are balanced against one another, playing off of each other and combining to create a unique and visually-appealing design.

Balance is key for this trend, though. It’s important to make sure that the website doesn’t look too busy – and that it still provides a great user experience, communicating the purpose of each page to the viewer. Focusing too much on a unique, artistic style can lead to issues with usability if designers aren’t careful.

Frames Of White Space For Additional “Pop”

In the past, web designers were trending toward using “full-bleed” layouts – meaning that images and other elements tended to extend to the very edges of the screen to maximize the use of on-screen resources.

But this is changing in 2020. It’s becoming more common for designers to add lots of white space around individual elements such as icons, buttons, illustrations, and photographs. Using white space in this way helps emphasize each individual element of the webpage – and keeping the “frame” of white space consistent throughout the website also helps build brand identity.

An Emphasis On Motion & Interactivity

Video and animations have been used on websites in the past – but often felt clunky and out-of-place. Today, though, faster phones, tablets, and computers (along with better broadband internet) have made integrated video, animations, and interactive elements more common in web design.

The biggest benefit of video is that it catches the attention of viewers immediately – we’re drawn to motion more than static images, so building animations and interactive elements into your website and using in-line video can really help set your website apart from the crowd.

However, usability and page loading times should still be a top concern. Overly-complex pages that take too long to load will lead to the opposite outcome that designers want – users will simply “bounce” and navigate away from the page. Bounce rates for pages that load under 2 seconds are around 9.6%, but for a page that loads in 7 seconds, this surges to about 32.3%.

Futuristic, Bold Colour Schemes With Neon Pinks, Purples & Blues

Minimalist colour schemes have their advantages, but since they’ve become so widespread, many web designers are looking for new ways to make their websites “pop” and look distinct from the competition.

That’s why we think that dramatic neon colours, such as hot pink, bright blue, and deep purple are making a comeback – especially when combined with the trend toward darker “night mode” websites.

Highly-saturated colours and stark contrasts between individual colours are becoming more commonplace, especially as many web designers move away from websites that use bright white backgrounds and pastel colour schemes – a trend that was very common in the mid-to-late 2010s.

Using a dark background with splashes and pops of futuristic neon is a sure way to make your products stick in the mind of your customers, particularly when combined with duotone photographs and illustrations.

Streamlined Social Media Integration

It’s important for users to be able to navigate to social media pages from your main website – and most websites already have social media links in their footers, near product descriptions, and in other areas.

In addition, a common trend in 2020 is to integrate some social media posts directly into your website – such as having a gallery of posts tagged with your brand’s name that scrolls past on your homepage.

Or, if you sell a product such as shoes, you could have a gallery of users who have posted pictures with the shoes, and have tagged your brand. These inline social media elements help build social proof, help you show off your products or your brand in a unique way, and also boost customer engagement – so that’s a win-win-win.

Know How To Adapt To These Web Design Trends In 2020 & Beyond!

Only time will tell how long these web design trends persist, but they’re already becoming very influential, and are likely to continue affecting the industry for a few years to come.

Not sure that your website is ready to adapt to these trends? Australian Internet Advertising can help. With our expert web design services, we can help you build a new website or adjust your existing website, and make changes to provide your users with a more streamlined, modern user experience. Contact us today to get a quote and get started.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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