The design of your website is key to engaging and retaining visitors, making a seamless, easy experience. The look and feel of your site is often something that was thought about in-depth when you first developed it but then left to its own devices over time.
If you’re looking to review the upcoming trends and make some changes, here’s our round-up of the seven latest website design trends you’ll want to capitalise on this year.
Hottest website design trends right now
1. Dark mode
Dark mode has been around for a while, but websites are finally getting on board with it. Most applications and screens are based on the idea of looking like paper, white background with dark text. But that can put a strain on your eyes, making them painful and dry and can also interfere with your sleep hormones. Dark mode, in theory, overcomes that.
Along with the health benefits, there’s something about dark mode that just pops. It’s easier to feature certain parts of your site, and it offers a sleek, modern look. Dark mode doesn’t work all the time, for instance, if you’re in direct sunlight, so you need to consider whether a permanent switch to dark mode will work or if you’re able to toggle it on and off.
We all know the benefits of using video on a website. They add some personality and energy to an otherwise static page, but this trend is about taking that to the next level. This year is all about video being embedded in the design rather than in place of an image.
Think of a hero video instead of a hero image.
Think of multiple videos chopped up and placed into a gallery setting.
Think of videos that seamlessly blend into the rest of the page.
It’s about the user not being aware that there’s a video because it’s simply part of the website design; it’s not an add-on later.
3. Parallax animations
Parallax animation is a way of adding depth and movement to your site. The technique relies on background images moving at a different speed to an image in the foreground. It’s been around since 2011, and its popularity comes and goes, but parallax animation has established itself as a core design asset.
Consumers are so savvy and overexposed to websites that they need something that’s going to pique their interest, and parallax animation does that. It’s a visual storytelling method that is simple but, when done right, really effective. When you don’t have a video or an image simply won’t do, a parallax animation is the perfect solution.
4. Retro typography
Why start from scratch when you can go retro? Retro fonts are having a moment again. Not necessarily in their original form; instead, they’re being polished, tweaked and stylised. The combination of old and new creates something familiar that’s still bold and modern.
We underestimate the power of fonts. The right font for your business can make or break a design, so it’s an important aspect to consider. If you’re looking for a statement, stand-out yet fresh font for your website, think vintage!
Chatbots have increased in popularity, and it’s a trend that’s here to stay for a while longer. AI technology has improved their performance and helps give a human feel to responses. They also act as an extra navigation tool for visitors to your site.
With Google’s shift in focus to customer experience, chatbots can also help boost your SEO. A customer interacting with a chatbot will spend longer on that page, and the chatbot can also help them find what they’re looking for, making their experience a positive one. All helping to give your website extra SEO points.
They can also be a great analytical tool for understanding what the visitors to your site are looking for, their frustrations and what information they’re struggling to find. You can take this data and use it to tweak your site, improving your customer’s experience even more. Creating not just a tool to help your user but an excellent insight for you into your visitor’s mind.
6. Mobile-first design
Creating a mobile-optimised website is just par for the course these days. But what do you think about building your site with a mobile-first design?
Google added mobile friendliness to its ranking factors back in 2018, and with an increase in mobile visitors, your site needs to be as swish on a small screen as it is on a desktop. There are more restrictions when building a site for a mobile device. There’s less space to play with, and your site needs to be even quicker and engaging. That’s why flipping the design process on its head and designing mobile-first before adding features for tablets or desktops is a trend that’s likely to stay.
This design approach looks at placing the navigation menu and buttons, usually in the centre, so it’s thumb accessible. It can also help with accessibility for those with limited vision as you’re focusing on small screen readability.
Prioritising your mobile design first might feel strange, but you could end up with a more dynamic, streamlined site that your visitors adore.
7. Super minimal or super maximal
Maybe these are two trends, but website design for this year is going either super minimal or super maximal. Designers are looking to the extremes for inspiration; on some sites, you might think there’s not enough with only a smattering of images and a few paragraphs of text, but other sites are crowded, bordering on chaotic.
The beauty of this trend is there’s so much room for experimentation. Think about how many websites you visit each day and whether any stick out in your mind. The super minimal/maximal trend creates sites that look different and that don’t stick to the traditional rules and stand out.
That can only be a great thing for web design!
Design trends come and go. Some trends will work for you; others might not, so do your research and get creative. That’s why it’s essential to think about your audience and what they might be looking for.