New year, how about a new website design? As we enter the final chapter of the decade, it’s amazing to see just how far we’ve come on the internet: augmented reality, virtual reality, even artificial intelligence.
In previous years, web design trends have focused heavily on creativity—abandoning grids and traditional stock photos for vibrant and bold colour schemes, custom illustrations and asymmetrical layouts.
2019 web design trends are expected to see aesthetics and technology come together like never before. The highlights that range from on-screen serifs, as seen on Mailchimp’s revamped website, to the evolution of chatbots and thumb-friendly navigations. Browse through the list below and read about the various styles in greater detail.
While serifs are generally best used in print and sans serifs on screens, expect to see a few more serif fonts making their way into web designs.
Since serif fonts were designed to be decorative, they’re perfect for emphasizing certain aspects of designs such as headers and callouts.
A trend that started last year, asymmetry will stick around in 2019. Creating a “broken” experience for the viewer is now at its peak. Designers layer content modules, colours and textures to achieve a unique depth effect. This dynamism helps to engage viewers and emphasize the most conversion-oriented sections of the website.
Fluid and organic shapes
In another push away from the symmetrical, this 2019 web design trend looks to give a feeling of accessibility and comfort. While geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles with their sharp corners create a sense of stability, designers are turning towards natural shapes and smooth lines. The goal is for web designs to feel human and alive through the illusion of movement.
Since organic shapes are naturally imperfect and asymmetrical, they can also provide depth to a web design that allows page elements stand out.
Less colour, more contrast
Colour is one of the most important elements in any website. It sets the mood, expresses a brand and guides users through by creating visual landmarks for them to follow. 2019, however, is expected to see daring black-and-white web design make an impressive statement.
White on its own is clean and reserved whereas black is strong and assertive. Combine these and you get an altogether striking look. Ironically, the biggest effect black-and-white designs can have is when they are combined with minimal amounts of colour. By adding an accent colour, it’ll not only break up the sea of monochrome but make calls-to-action stand out.
Mobile browsing has firmly overtaken desktop in the last few year and overall design is becoming increasingly thumb-friendly. And according to research by Comscore, mobile users spend more than double the minutes online than desktop users.
When it comes to designing for thumbs, sometimes that means taking a different approach for mobile users. Design tap targets to at least 44px² so there’s less chance of clicking on something the user didn’t want to. And expect to encounter navigation more tailored to the thumb, such as the hamburger menu moved to the bottom of mobile screens.
Google also has a concise list of do’s and don’ts for designing mobile websites that you can check out for more information.
No web design trends list would be complete without some form of retro design making a comeback. In this case, it’s retro gone wrong; think of those moments when a piece of film gets crinkled or when a slow dial-up connection led to an image distortion—if you’re old enough to remember.
The breakdown of technology makes for appealing subject matter both as an idea and in its design execution. Those parts of the site that are warped, double exposed and glitchy work well to draw the viewer’s eye. Glitch art amplifies the feeling of disorientation by giving websites a distinctly psychedelic or futuristic look.
Chatbots finally move into the spotlight in 2019, mostly due to the advancements in AI and machine learning. Now more intelligent and efficient, the new chatbots will be showing up on web pages with higher levels of customization than in past iterations.
Bright colours will not only make them more prominent on the page, but more inviting. And along with chatbots, expect an influx of friendly mascots to represent brands and give these bots a personable face.
While this is by no means the last word on creative innovation, it is the last chance for designers to make their mark on the decade.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.