Good web designers make sure they remain up to date with the latest trends because this field continues to evolve rapidly. For instance, some 2017 web design trends may well become obsolete in the next two to three years. As the year comes to a close, it is only natural for the best in the business to determine what 2018 holds.
One of the most significant changes that happened in 2017 was the noticeable shift toward adapting a more systematic approach, given that this year witnessed a surge in the focus on user experience design (UX). As Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks suggests, “We’re not building pages, we’re building systems.” One of the UX design trends of 2017 was providing digital products that worked on building immersive experiences.
User interface (UI) kits, guidelines for signature designs, style manuals, and pattern libraries fall under the immersive experience that web designers now hope to deliver. So, what are the latest web design trends in 2018?
Using Negative Space to Better Effect
White space within websites is as old as the Internet itself. However, website trends for 2018 indicate that designers are working around this aspect and finding better use of negative space than before. Quick to load lightweight pages are particularly important given the widespread use of smartphones. Designers no longer focus on flashy designs and the primary focus is now on increasing conversion. Visuals that make their way into existing negative space are not there just to improve aesthetics; they provide valuable insight into products and services on offer.
Until not so long ago, designers looked at symmetry as the most suitable way of designing websites. They use grid systems that focused primarily on preset alignments, and different elements usually followed a particular hierarchy. The evolution of grid systems brought to the fore an inclination toward asymmetry. While the idea of a scattered layout is not new, not many designers have given it a go yet. The reason this is among the top website trends of 2018 is it offers designers the creative freedom to play around with their vision, content distribution, and typography integration. With designers getting increasingly proficient, expect more websites with asymmetric layouts to arrive soon.
Asymmetric layouts have had an effect on the realm of typography too. Previously commonly used sans serif fonts are making way for unusual typefaces that include big, bold, and even hand-crafted lettering. While large fonts are effective in conveying information, they may also serve as visual cues. One can expect the best website designs in 2018 to use contrasting typefaces and different font families, and this has become possible because of compatibility between web-based fonts.
Including imagery in the form of photos or graphics is a crucial aspect of modern day website designing. New website trends for 2018 indicate that designers need to pay special attention in using unique imagery. Images become especially important for ecommerce sites. Data suggests that more than 65% consumers say the quality of product images aids in deciding whether or not they should make a purchase.
The use of stock photography is on its way out, and designers are now striving to create authentic experiences through custom photography and graphics that may also include sketch art. Line art icons are finding their way into a number of websites, mainly because they score over stock alternatives in creating complex images.
Scalable Vector Graphics
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) are set to overtake traditional file formats such as JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Unlike the traditional formats that rely on pixels, SVGs are essentially a combination of lines. SVGs are scalable, which makes them perfect for responsive websites that are accessed using devices with different screen sizes. There is no distortion when users zoom in on vector images. Designers who want images to remain resolution independent will move toward SVGs, no doubt. Besides, SVGs are required for newer experiences such as 3D images, cinemagraphs, and 360 degree-views.
Among the top web design trends for 2018 is the use of cinemagraphs. A cinemagraph is basically a combination of static images and full-blown videos, but it takes considerably lesser time to load than a conventional video. Look at a cinemagraph as a snippet that creates dynamic images without affecting how quickly a website loads. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that several animated movies you’ve seen are nothing more than pictures in motion.
Website design in 2018 will see an increased use of animation, be it in logos, applications, icons, or transitions. A website becomes more attractive and dramatic when animation is used in the right manner. It may help attract more customers and increase the time users spend on a website.
Minimalism makes it to the list of top web design trends for 2018 because it deals with an important aspect – users’ patience. Ideally, a website should take no more than two seconds to load. If it takes longer, prepare to lose a fair share of customers. In the coming year designers need to make a conscious effort to reduce the number of HTTP requests and on-page elements.
The main UX factors previously considered limited to elements surrounding visual interface and graphics, and textual content was looked upon as secondary. UI design trends for 2018 take into account that while visual elements aid in comprehension on the surface level, getting in-depth understanding requires a shift in paradigm. Words design, or UX writing, will be an important factor in the coming times, and it will not be long before chatbots start doing the needful.
Designers should start gearing up for the road ahead, given that the 2018 website design trends will require some learning. However, it is important that you do not follow trends blindly, because not all websites come with the same requirements. Interacting with clients and getting to know what changes they have in mind serves as a good starting point. Designers may also use this opportunity to get a better understanding of the how their clients’ businesses operate.