With 2019 halfway through, if you haven’t already assessed your company’s website design and development, this is the perfect time to do so. Outdated, dull designs and clunky user experiences are a fast track to lowered conversion rates and stalled sales funnels.
New design trends have made their mark over the past year. In this post, we’re identifying 19 design & development trends that we think are sticking around in 2019 and beyond.
Black & White
It’s a bold look that never really goes out of style. Once reserved only for high end or classic websites, black and white designs are popping up everywhere, from cryptocurrency to bodybuilding. Expect to see more brands taking advantage of this classic, eye-catching approach.
On the flip side, more indie sites are letting their colors show with bold, vintage looks reminiscent of the '90s. Expect to see bright colors and unusual color combinations popping up everywhere.
Along with vintage colors, retro design elements are making a return. Whether it’s pixelated games or an old-school newspaper feel, brands are finding a way to incorporate the design of yesteryear and make it feel fresh.
Over the past few years, gradient design made the transition from standard PowerPoint background to a key website design element. Gradients allow designers to play with new color combinations that catch the eye and communicate subtle ideas about the brand’s identity. Expect to see more use of gradients in combination with vintage colors and retro design.
Organic & Fluid Shapes
As technology and design improves, so does the ability to create unique shapes. Expect to see standard shapes like circles and squares replaced with fluid graphics that mimic the perfectly imperfect shapes found in nature and art.
Advanced design software is also helping web creators play around with lines. Instead of plain horizontal and vertical lines, designers are shifting - and even breaking - the grid to highlight content and draw the eye to key areas on a webpage.
Adding 3D elements to sites is a natural progression of the onslaught of technological advancements we’ve seen in recent years. We already have the ability to print in 3D, and now users want to experience a brand’s website in depth, too. This design element can be incorporated as art and video, or may simply be used to give users a 3D look at products before ordering.
Typography is front and center this year, and that means designers are making bold choices - like outlined text. Over the past few years, outline typography has been making a comeback, and it will be sticking around this year as more brands embrace this design element.
Drawing on the functional and utilitarian architectural style of the 20th century, brutalist web design relies on a rugged, almost raw feel. Unusual color combinations, offbeat layouts, and an unpolished look are all key elements to this design style. But don’t be fooled by the look - it takes a skilled designer to make brutalism look like an intentional experiment in chaos theory rather than amateur design hour using outdated CSS.
Old School Type
Serifs are back in a big way. After years of being told that sans-serif fonts were the only option for web content, designers are bucking the rules and incorporating serif fonts in logos, headlines, and menu text.
Speaking of text… you’ll be seeing a lot more of it this year. Text has become a design element in and of itself. Many companies are replacing the classic photo header with attention-grabbing text elements. Expect to see a variety of fonts and sizes as websites grab hold of the power of words.
All this text-heavy design has a bright side: writing will improve. Rather than homogenized copywriting, brands will focus on carefully crafted content that tells their story and shows what makes them stand out from the crowd. Good writing will play an increasingly important role in design as companies expect the web designer to fit the design to the text, rather than the writer to fill pre-designed spaces with a set word count.
Everything old is new again, and that included animation. Expect to see more animated elements, from looping GIFs to short videos explaining a company’s process and story.
Micro-interactions are a way to bring an element of humanity to the sterile technical experience of web browsing. These moments of engagement aim to keep users on your site longer and invoke an emotional response.
Graphics and Data
While text is taking center stage this year, expect to see it paired with graphics and data more often this year to satisfy users’ desire to access more information. This information will be crafted to be visually stunning while also providing opportunities for micro-interactions and in-depth research for users wanting to dive below the surface and access deeper info.
Most users have had interaction static chatbots; this year we’ll see chatbot technology take a more human feel thanks to advances in AI. More sites will rely on chatbots for FAQs and introductory website interaction, and users will find chatbots to be more intuitive than ever.
Intentionally Glitchy Graphics
No, that’s not a design flaw you’re seeing; more sites are using looping or glitchy graphics as a way to gain attention, make a bold statement, or incorporate more artistic elements into their design. This disruptive design needs to be intentional and should fit the brand; otherwise, it feels out of place and can drive users away from your site.
Next-Level Mobile Friendly
With more and more users flocking to web browsing on a mobile device, brands are rethinking the mobile user experience. Expect to see two key incorporations this year: first, design that centers on thumb-friendly, one-handed scrolling; and second, UX development that pairs with voice commands from Siri, Alexa, and Google.
Something for Everyone
While some of these design elements may seem “out there,” the beauty of the ever-expanding world of web design is that everyone can find something that suits them online. Instead of creating a homogenized site that tries - and fails - to reach everyone, brands are honing in on their followers’ needs, likes, and style preferences, and customizing design to create a welcoming experience tailored to their target audience.
Are you inspired by this list of design and development trends? Need a new designer for your website or mobile app? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Check out the best design firms today to take your business to the next level.