As we move through 2022, it is imperative to stay on top of the latest web design trends to help make your website engaging and adaptive to the changing needs of your audience. Take a look through our curated list and see what trends you can incorporate on your website today!
While some web design rules transcend time and act more like staples that every good site should implement, it is important for designers to remain on top of current web design trends and predictions to ensure they are effectively capturing the ever-evolving attention of online users.
Since the majority of us are spending more time online, especially over the last couple of years, there continues to be breakthroughs in web design, which is opening up space for even more creative opportunities that are helping evolve the way websites look and operate.
In 2022, everything from typography to animation to layouts is subject to major alterations, which may leave you wondering if your website still meets the mark. Below we have listed several trends that you will likely see increase in popularity as we move through the year.
Living through a global pandemic has brought along many changes, including what users want from the technology and content they consume.
Especially now, users are looking for an escape from their reality and want to have fun, positive experiences online. Web designers should not be afraid to implement entertaining and optimistic designs featuring eye-catching shapes and colours that exude positive energy. Producing these uplifting emotions is not only much needed during these difficult times, but it can help create an overall positive user experience on your website.
The imagery on your website plays an important role alongside the content and can play a major role in how a user perceives your website. Now more than ever, there is a greater push for representation and inclusivity in content. Users want to see images of real people that reflect themselves and the community around them.
Websites in 2022 and beyond should focus on including images that represent a diverse audience and stray away from anything that seems overly-staged, edited, or unrelatable – it’s about building a connection and generating a positive mindset among users so that they can see themselves represented in your brand and better envision them using your products or services.
Less is More
Minimalism, also known as flat design, is not new to the web design world. However, the idea that a minimalist website is confined to significant amounts of white space is changing for 2022. Experimenting with colourful minimalism is something you will likely see more of, as it slightly alters the monotony that some may expect with a simplified design. Nonetheless, this trend still utilizes a “less is more” attitude, such as using plain backgrounds.
Typography also takes center stage with this trend. Strong, bold, and oversized fonts are becoming more commonly used to grab users’ attention, and act more like a graphic element rather than part of the copy. Without being overwhelming, oversized fonts can help promote a minimalist design, especially with a neutral background or when correctly contrasted against an image. Meanwhile, big, bold fonts stand out from the page and help get your message across to the user more quickly.
Speaking further to the minimalism trend, more web designers are opting for less imagery in heroes. For those not familiar, the hero section of a website is what the user views first; it is what instantly appears under elements like the logo or menu section. The trend for this year is to rely more on design and typography within the hero section, rather than displaying possibly distracting images. This also helps keep the user scrolling to find out more, as it adds a bit of intrigue to a website.
Black and white colour schemes are also appearing more this year, which puts more of an onus on a clean, well-thought-out design that looks both modern and simplistic. With the right technique, such as implementing large, simple fonts, the results can look outstanding.
Responsible Motion Design
Movement on websites has become a major trend, as it can add some visually appealing elements to an otherwise stagnant website. However, it is important to remain cognizant of when movement becomes too much. Many users can feel motion sickness on a website that has too many moving elements, which can lead to a poor user experience. Although motion doesn’t need to be scrapped all together, there are responsible ways to design moving components.
The type of movement that is particularly on trend for this year is moving type, which can be an unexpected feature that adds a bit of fun to a website. While this type of animation has been primarily associated with graphics, the addition of moving text can be a great design choice, as long as it doesn’t come across as overwhelming or overly promotional. Interactive fonts are also included in this trend, and an example of this is a font that changes (such as in colour or design) when the user hovers their cursor over it.
Next on the list of trends for motion design are micro-interactions and micro-animation:
- Micro-interactions: These are the smaller animations that you may find on things like icons, and it offers subtle feedback to a user. For example, if a user hovers over the “Share” icon for a blog article on your website, and the icon moves in as a result, this tells the user they are hovering over the button.
- Micro-animation: Similarly, micro-animations are small movements, but this time within an animation. Not only can they add a bit of fun to a website, but they can also provide a better user experience. For instance, an e-commerce website that sells clothes can use micro-animations to showcase a model in motion wearing the clothes.
Creative Scrolling Experiences
While you may have many goals for your website, at least one of them should be to keep users engaged. On trend in 2022 is “scrollytelling” also known as “narrative visualization”. Essentially, as a user scrolls, the website tells a story. In other words, a series of illustrations and copy are arranged chronologically and appear as the user keeps scrolling through the website.
An example that showcases this nicely is the AirPods Pro website. Scrollytelling is a way to keep users intrigued as it provides something different compared to a conventional website. The goal of this trend is to surprise the user with an experience as they scroll.
Keeping with the sense of novelty that this trend emulates, engaging interactives are also appearing more. This can look like large-scale animations that a user can interact with via clicking or dragging. What’s great about this trend is how engaged a user can be by uncovering information/content on your website through the animation.
Creating depth means creating an element of dimension within a design. An on-trend component that demonstrates this, which has increased in popularity since last year, is glassmorphism. Just as you might think by the name, glassmorphism involves using elements that look like glass, or transparency, frostiness, and blur.
Gradients are also on-trend for this year that add depth and dimension, and there are several types you can incorporate in web design:
- Fluid gradients: This type of gradient includes the blending of various colours from edge to edge of the design which makes it look very natural and, therefore, fluid.
- Gradients with grain: This adds texture to a design and can make it appear as if it were taken
Going “off grid” is another interesting way that a website can display this trend. In web design, grids are there to keep things in alignment and in order, but slightly moving graphics or copy off-centre can be a visually appealing way to get the attention of users.
Bright, colourful backgrounds and robotic typefaces – retro design is back and is making users feel nostalgic in the best way. Reminiscent of the 90’s, this design trend can incorporate:
- Table layouts
- Visible borders
- Classic image filters (i.e., grain, textures, soft lighting)
- Retro fonts
- Pastel colour pallets
Visible borders in particular are appearing more in web design, and can help enforce a more prominent layout on a webpage. Incorporating more frames and a visible grid helps separate ideas, making it easier to scan, and fits in well with this retro trend.
DIY seems to be the popular buzzword, particularly in the last couple of years because of the pandemic. In a general sense, many of us have spent more time at home creating more things ourselves. This has translated over to web design as well – linework like scribbles and doodles, as well as cutouts that look handmade, are increasing in popularity. This trend adds a personal touch to the digital world, and makes it much more approachable for users.
Optimizing Digital Presence and User Experience
Creating an optimal user experience is essential, especially now. With more users online, expectations are high. Factors like page speed prioritization, website load time, and accessibility are key.
A component that is appearing more and more on websites are human-like chatbots or “AI chatbots.” If a user requires assistance while on your website, a chatbot can be a great way to assist them. However, it is even better when the chatbot is extremely personable, as it can make the entire process personalized to the user, just as if a real human were assisting.
Modifying your website to fit any device (i.e., mobile, desktop, tablet, etc.) is important, but have you thought of foldable devices? This is not something that many web designers have likely thought about before last year, but foldable devices are increasing in popularity thanks to the new Samsung “Z Fold” phone. These types of devices will likely appear more and more from other corporations, and considering how your website functions with this type of device is definitely something to start thinking about as we move through 2022.
Web accessibility is not only necessary, but it is required. To meet the requirements and allow for a greater experience for all users, many websites are allowing for customizations that the user can control. This includes features like changing the font, switching to dark mode, and adjusting the contrast. These considerations allow for your website to be more open and widely used, which is essential.
Voice user interface and touchless interactions are trends that have been especially popular since the start of the pandemic (key word: touchless). Voice-activated interfaces are not particularly common on websites, but with this trend likely to stick around, determining how to include voice-activated features can be something to consider.
As we progress through 2022, web design will continue to adapt based on the way users digitally engage. Incorporating these trends can significantly help keep your website approachable and engaging, and can help improve the user experience.