It’s that time of the year again. What’s going to be hot in web design next year?
Previously I covered web design trends to watch in 2016and 2017. This year, I reached out to seven experts from various fields and asked what they feel is going to dominate web design in 2018.
I can tell you that 2018 is going to be an exciting and innovative year.
Let’s see what web design trends you can expect to see next year.
1. Bright and bold minimalism and engaging photographic content
Paul Jarvis has been a designer who writes since the 90s and worked with brands like Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft and Warner Music. His work and weekly dispatch can be found at pjrvs.com.
Paul Jarvis: Bright and bold minimalism. Simple will never go out style, but with advances in monitors, color saturation and brightness, minimalism doesn’t have to be boring. Large fonts, vibrant colors, 2018 will be a fun year for easy to use yet interesting online interfaces.
Engaging photographic content. Gone are the days of boring whitewashed dudes in cheesy corporate stock photography. 2018 will see a huge uptick in photography featuring people of color and women, and the photos will be brand matching-ly customized, not just generic and boring.
2. Polished web applications
Jane Portman is an independent UI/UX consultant specializing in web application design. She’s an active conference speaker and author of four books, including The UI Audit. She publishes actionable design content under UI Breakfast brand, including UI Breakfast Podcast. Jane’s currently focused on growing her SaaS products: Tiny Reminder (as a founder) and Userlist.io (as a co-founder).
Jane Portman: Since I work primarily with web applications, my forecast relates to them. I hope that 2018 will bring better answers to the same old questions! How do we figure out if the user is truly getting value beyond simple “activation”? What is the real-life formula for success metrics? How do we build an app for multiple use cases? The tools keep improving, and affordable technology — from basic personalization to advanced analytics and AI — should help us find the right answers.
In terms of visual design, we’ve already polished the popular apps to the moon and back! Maybe too much, if you remember Skype and Dropbox redesigns in 2017. Now it’s time to make high-end aesthetics more affordable for SaaS founders around the world. As SaaS craftsmanship becomes more refined each year, we should expect another wave of frameworks and ready-made UI solutions.
It’s a wonderful time to live in. Let’s keep the wheels turning!
3. Interactive content
Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact Quiz Builder, a tool used by more than 30,000 businesses including The American Red Cross, Home Depot, and Forbes. He’s probably seen more quizzes than any other human on earth right now.
Josh Haynam: 2018 will be the year of interactivity. Consumers crave a more personalized and entertaining experience when it comes to how they connect with brands, and content such as polls, quizzes, and games can deliver exactly this experience. For example, this winter storm experience quiz from The American Red Cross uses trivia format to test people on their knowledge of storms, and this one from Forbes itself helps potential college students find the right school just for them.
This type of content draws people in by asking them personal and challenging questions and then delivers exactly the right resource or product based on how someone answers the questions, just the type of experience that people are craving in 2018 when everything is getting busier and crazier online.
4. Asymmetry and brutalism inspired free-form
Vytautas Alech is a user experience designer and product developer who helps his clients to solve big problems and delight their users. With over a decade of digital craftsmanship experience Vytautas believes in simple, high impact solutions.
Vytautas Alech: Asymmetry and brutalism inspired free-form. This has been developing over the past few years. But only recently with a rise of such design expressions as brutalism and bolder visual fragments it became useful. There are a few great examples of asymmetry in web design, but all of them intentionally disrupt otherwise static design, and direct user attention point-to-point much more effectively.
5. Illustrations and animations
Alexey Galyzin, Product and Lead Designer at Crello. Alexey is a dedicated product designer striving for perfection with over 10 years of work on education, e-commerce, and entertainment projects.
Alexey Galyzin: I see that more and more media, companies and brands hire illustrators to create a unique visual style. Illustrations set a tone for a brand and add playfulness to their content. The best part of using illustrations is practical – illustrations can be of any size, style, color and can be incorporated into any design seamlessly.
Animation is a new norm in web design, as Depositphotos stated in their trends for 2018. Animations allow one to translate more information in an efficient way, driving attention and helping to tell a story in a few seconds. Logos, backgrounds, and menus become animated, which means better engagement.
6. Consistency and focus on understanding the end users
Paula Borowska is a freelance designer who focuses on helping businesses grow through strategic design thinking. Her clients come to her to improve their lead conversions or increase brand awareness and loyalty to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Paula Borowska: expect to see two things next year.
First, there will be a lot more focus on understanding the end users aka business’ target audience. As designers, we’ve always known this but not every business puts the same amount of effort in doing user research or interviews to fully understand who their target audience is. I’ve been seeing a lot more of this going on this past year so next year I expect to see it even more. There is a lot we can learn from talking to the target audience, including how to speak to them on our websites or Twitter, what pain points they are facing, what delights them and so on.
Second, anticipate designers and organizations putting a lot more effort into consistency such as consistency of the message the company is sending across the channels it’s using. For example, consistency between the mobile app and its social media. You don’t usually think of these as the same thing but, in a way, they are because they are both customers facing. The tone, the company message, the language used, the visuals and so on need to stay the same. Businesses who want to increase customer loyalty tend to start thinking about this consistency whereas designers help because they are usually in charge of the branding. There was a small wave of companies focusing their efforts on this in 2017, so I can’t wait to see this trends evolve even further in 2018.
7. More video, fluid shapes and use of gradients
Sunil Joshi is Co-Founder and Lead Designer at WrapPixel. Having Hands on experience in developing innovative designs, he does offer design solutions which harness the new possibilities of web based communications, internet presence and current technology trends.
Sunil Joshi: Videos are no longer just something to watch, they are now becoming part of a brands presentation and communication. Expect to see video content in multiple areas of a website instead of the typical main page video alone. Videos can deliver a great deal of information quickly and visually, expect to see videos used throughout websites in 2018.
Fluid shapes, use of gradients, animated CSS and typography. While material kinds of shapes and shadows were famous in 2017, people are now shifting towards having more fluid shapes with gradients and lots of white space with huge but mild shadows. Ready made Bootstrap UI kits have also started using latest trends to attract customers.