Once again it is time for us to dust off the crystal ball and provide some insightful predictions about the future of our industry. The focus this time will be the Top 10 Web Design Trends for 2018 that we expect to see. As a web design firm, we make it our business to stay side by side of all the new concepts and ideas within our industry and today we want to share what we feel will have the biggest impact on the web.
The design industry is a business that looks to constantly change and evolve, searching for things that are exciting, fresh and new. Why is that? The answer is engagement. Engagement is a key to success for many businesses which is why each year we like to showcase innovative trends we see on the horizon that can help ensure your website is engaging customers at a high level.
Top Web Design Trends for 2018
- Video utterly dominates – We talked about video and the year before and here it is again topping our list! Amazingly enough video has been a growing trend each and every year and it doesn’t look like it will stop. While some people might consider a distraction in the overall aspect of design, it is also one of the best options for creating engagement and higher on-page time. When used properly it is a powerful and effective element that can greatly add to sites effectiveness.
- Flat Design passes away – Flat design had a very nice run within the industry but the time has come to say goodbye. Flat design is based on the minimalist use of elements, typography and flat colors. When it first became popular it was fresh and engaging but over time as more businesses have used it we have discovered that it also slows down the navigation process for most users, which is counterproductive for your conversion rates. For the sake of the User Experience, people should move on from flat design.
- Impactful Typography is on the rise – Web designers have made the case this year that typography can and should be used to make certain elements have a greater visual impact and this is something we fully expect to see embraced by online businesses this coming year. Rather than using a unique typography for an entire site, when we say impactful typography we mean using a unique style for specific elements which then helps define them and make them stand out on a page in a very simple yet effective manner.
- Subtle Scrolling makes an appearance – Last year parallax scrolling made the list because it was an interesting way to make use of scrolling, however due to slow load times that concept is not as useful as once thought for many types of sites. Subtle scrolling effects, such as an attached background image that doesn’t scroll with the page, can offer a nice alternative without affecting load times. We expect to see more use of subtle scrolling by designers who want pages to stand out from the crowd and visually engage users without interrupting the journey of the user.
- Fixed Navigation grows in popularity – Fixed navigation is where the navigation bar remains fixed in place on the screen such as a header menu that follows you as you scroll down the page. This is not a new concept, but it is a concept that has grown in popularity recently especially in the ecommerce niche where customers will scroll through a lot of product information. The fixed navigation offers a great way to let users scroll at will without losing track of navigation options.
- Softer Edges become the norm – For the longest time outline boxes have adhered to a sharp, square or rectangular shape but thanks to Twitter and Google that trend has shifted towards softer edges. Rather than keeping everything at a sharp 90 degrees some designers have began softening edges on outline boxes, search boxes, and in card designs to round them out for a softer visual appearance.
- Single Page Websites become more common – Single page websites became a minor trend in 2017 and that should continue into 2018 primarily because of simplicity. A single-page design is simply one long webpage that is navigated via scrolling or links that move you up and down the page to specific sections. As there is only a single page to contend with the design aspect is basic and easy to create which is perfect for many fledgling businesses who want a site that works well on mobile devices and is inexpensive to develop and host.
- Motion User Interface aids transitions – Interface has been and continues to be a driving concern behind web design. Even the best looking design is rendered virtually ineffective if people can’t find what they want or get where they need to be. Mobile user interface was created originally to help mobile users navigate by using animations and transitions to help alert users to actions and important on-page components. Some examples of motion would be easing in, overlay, cloning, obscuration, parallax, parenting, dimensionality and offset-delay. We expect to see an increase in the use of MUI as people create effective and functional sites that are stunning to view.
- Flash bids adieu – Adobe announced this year that the Flash Player will no longer be updated or distributed after 2020. So long, farewell, we hope to not see you again. While it was an exciting component for years allowing motion and animation, it has passed its usefulness. For those not aware, Flash is it is incompatible with most types of mobile devices. Rather than losing out on web traffic, especially on the mobile side, you should replace any Flash with HTML5, a more common format for the web.
- Static Websites see resurgence – Much like the interest in a single-page website, static websites should be an increasing trend thanks to their simplicity. Each page is coded simply using HTML and provides the same fixed or static content to every user. While this might be considered going backwards compared to what we can do within the web design world, for those looking for a cheap yet effective site that loads quickly and can be crafted fast the static option is very appealing. Static websites will become popular for cost-conscious projects as they are far ahead of the original static websites from the web’s early days, but not nearly as dull.
The bottom line is that trends will come and go as not only styles and tastes change but also as technology evolves. What those trends do provide are options and different ways to engage not only new customers but also existing customers. Our top 10 web design trends for 2018 aren’t just a prediction of things to come this year, but are also a list of ideas that can be applied to your own business to help increase engagement and conversions.