At this point in history, it’s really a given: your web presence matters.
For a quarter century, businesses, non-profits, even freelancers have been told they need to establish themselves online for a competitive edge. They’ve listened. The advantage no longer lies with merely being online, your website has to keep up when it comes to design and functionality to draw and impress users.
Web design, like so many other things, is subject to changing trends and tastes. With that in mind, let’s take a look into the near future at some design elements we believe you’ll be seeing more of starting this year.
Bright Color Blocks to Make Navigation Pop
Color can be a double-edged sword. The right amount adds a vibrant touch to your website, but too much or the wrong combination can overload viewers.
Using small blocks of color are a great way to bring different parts of your site to life while maintaining enough contrast to avoid drowning out everything around it.
As for the colors themselves, certain schemes look to be very popular in the next 12 months: bright earthy tones which give things a vintage feel, jewel tones and iridescent colors that can add an eye-catching metallic shine, or duo-tone—the mixture of two contrasting colors to bring out striking colors and highlights in an image.
Hip to be Square
Most websites are laid out using a system of blocks, a grid which helps make sure the page’s content stays organized. Typically, the viewer won’t actually see this grid. But that’s changing. More and more, websites are incorporating blocky panels which highlight the elemental structure of the site.
Organizing website elements in rectangular blocks has two benefits: it allows designers to incorporate more white space into the site (more on that below), and it’s a stylish way to make navigating your site clear and simple.
White (or Grey, or Black, or Blue) Space
A big theme running through a lot of these trends is the resurgence of a back-to-basics approach to design. Nothing speaks to this more than the increasing emphasis on a page’s white space.
Incorporating white space—the areas of the screen left empty—allows the viewer a chance to breathe. It draws the viewer’s attention to the actual content of the site by not overloading them with extra, unnecessary design elements.
Of course, white space doesn’t have to be white. If you have a smartphone, chances are you’ve played around with night mode, or different color schemes which use a dark background and light text. Expect dark backgrounds to come to the fore as this trend both looks sharp and, as a bonus, reduces eye strain.
So Many Fonts
As web design has matured over the last 25 years, designers’ access to different typefaces has grown exponentially. This year, look for this to continue accelerating, especially as a lot of brands invest in custom fonts to help give them a distinctive edge.
Classic fonts will remain classic and fairly popular, but it will be increasingly rare to see two brands sharing out-of-the-box fonts in logos, headers, and navigation panels.
Make it Yours
As always, following trends does nothing for your company if your website has no identity. All the fancy design elements in the world don’t mean anything if they don’t help you tell your story. You want your company’s website to stand out because of who you are, not just how it looks.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that whoever is doing your design cares about you and your story. Finding people who are engaged with what you do and have the skills to carefully design a website around that matters. It makes the difference between being online, and your online presence making a difference.
Telling your story is what we do at Kokopelli. It’s the only way to do web design right.