The web industry evolves every year to stay engaging and inspiring. While some of the last year’s trends will continue to shape and influence the designs, the new elements like broken grid layout, emergence of maximalism, more pervasive interactions and animations have already started to appear. Let’s explore a few trends and ideas that can take your website to a whole new level in 2018.
18. Internet of Things Connectivity
Connecting web services to Internet of Things (IoT) will continue this year. IoT devices include almost all electronic objects from as simple as refrigerator to as complex as tidal turbine. They use sensor arrays and server side processing to receive signals and act on their surroundings. APIs for these devices are currently being created, leading to greater extend of interconnectivity for the next several years.
17. Top Sticky Elements
Fixed navigation has become a common thing these days. It’s a nice way to simplify the user experience on a website keeping navigational control constantly at his/her’s fingertips.
Designers have now started to tweak top menu in desktop webpages by visually detaching the nav from the top and moving it a bit below. Also, a few developers are beginning to make sticky menu items scroll from the bottom of the site (for mobile version), instead of the top of the site’s pages.
16. More Organic and Oblique Shapes
For several years, mobile and web design have been dominated by card-based UIs, which were mostly sharp-edged. That’s changed in a big way last year. Most of the webs and apps (including Google, Facebook, Twitter) rounded corners on their cards, profile avatars and input boxes.
Not only this, even backgrounds now abound with dramatic diagonals and unique colors. So you can say that right angles are going to go the way of the dinosaur. More and more sites are now mixing straight lines effectively with more spherical and organic shapes.
15. The Emergence of Maximalism
Bigger is better. It seems that nowadays, designers are following this trend a lot. Making the element big is not something new, but mixing it with unique texture, brave color and images, gives it a whole new exciting look. Also, the aim is to let users’ see couple of things that are more important, instead of just putting an unnecessary elements on the screen. After all, good design is as little design as possible.
14. Variable fonts
Today, the web abounds with a wide range of stunning typefaces, leading to astonishing levels of interests in typography and typeface design. And it is only going to get better with the release on new fonts.
OpenType (developed by Microsoft and Adobe Systems) is a variable font project that enables a new form of typeface design and allows designers to interpolate a font’s entire glyph set or separate glyphs along 64,000 axes of variation (width, weight, etc.). Even a single font file can behave like multiple fonts.
13. 3D Elements
Using 3D elements is a great way to visually show your story, product and service. Displaying product at different angles makes it look even more attractive. You will be sure to captivate your visitors right from the beginning.
One more thing, place the 3D element above the fold to make sure your brand’s message gets conveyed easily.
12. No More Ghost Button
Although they look pretty good on a dark background, they do not offer sufficient contrast when placed over busy imagery or text. Also, if button text color is similar to the background image color, there could be a contrast issue. A few testings show that it can decrease the number of clicks up to 20%.
11. Better Scrolling
Scrolling is a crucial element of any website design that goes beyond a single landing page. Anyone who believes the scroll is dead needs to jump out of 2010!
Parallax scrolling animations is getting popular these days. There are also many other ways to use scroll feature in order to encourage visitors’ engagement. You can mix horizontal or vertical parallax too, while dictating your story.
10. Voice and Natural Language Search
The future of web is not 100% visual, some of it will be audible. Last year, we told you that big websites like Amazon, Flipkart, LinkedIn are using machine learning and deep neural networks to show users what they are interested in.
This year, websites will incorporate interfaces that can hear and understand voice commands. And while this might not be even more popular at the end of 2018, natural language search is only going to grow in usage and popularity. So if you are a web designer, better start planning for it now.
9. Gradients Are Coming Back
via Elje Group
Over the last few couple of years, flat design has been preferred over dimensional color schemes. Not anymore, gradients are coming back in 2018.
What’s new, you asked? Well, you have mainly seen gradients in the form of subtle shading. This time, they are bigger, louder and full of colors. The gradient background could be used if you don’t have any other picture to work with, or they can make a mediocre picture look more beautiful on the screen.
8. Integrated Animations
More and more websites are switching from static images to animation, to attract users’ attention. Unlike particle background (mentioned below, which are big sized backgrounds), lighter animations are helpful to engage users throughout their entire experience on the webpage.
For instance, many brands prefer to display animated graphics (or an interesting thought) instead of boring page-load icon. The animation can be integrated to work with navigation or scroll. It is exceptionally useful in storytelling websites, where animation allows users to see themselves in the characters.
7. Page Transitions
When you switch from one page to another, things go blank for a few seconds. Nothing fancy here. However, we are starting to see more websites that use something beautiful to behold. The page transition keeps the user experience cohesive. You don’t actually navigate to another page as you access another view of a stack. It’s a beautiful polished layer to round out the presentation.
6. Particle Background Instead of Video
These types of backgrounds immediately attract users’ attention, leaving a brand impression when they leave the website. Furthermore, motion graphics are becoming more popular these days on social media, offering eye-popping leads back to landing pages.
5. Animated Logos and Scroll-Triggered Animations
Gone are the days when animations used to be flashy and distracting. This year will usher in a new era of subtle and useful animation. Expect to see scroll-triggered animation logos and content.
If designed cleverly, animations can provide delightful experience, especially for those with cognitive disability or sensitivity to motion. It can direct user’s attention to the right content at the right time. Most importantly, it can pull visitors to conversion points by incentivizing them to scroll to lead generating elements on the webpage.
4. Custom illustrations
By illustration, we mean versatile media and elements for creating friendly and playful pictures. They are very useful for businesses that are fun and energetic. It can help brands to explain complex things in a simple way and effectively broadcast things to their customers. Doesn’t matter what kind of brand it is, there is likely an illustration style to match it.
3. Drop Shadows and Depth
Using shadows in webpages is not something new; it has been out there for quite a while. However, we now see some exciting variations, thanks to the advancement of web browsers. Designers are playing with shadows and depth more than ever to build the illusion of a world beyond the screen.
For instance, using soft and subtle shadows as hover states in a hyperlink is not a new idea, but integrating this with vibrant color gradients enhances the 3D effects of the old shadows.
2. Vibrant Color Scheme and Shades
Landing page designed by Adam Bagus
For the past few years, many designers and brands have stuck with web-safe colors, while some of them are now becoming courageous to experiment and adapt vibrant shades combined with headers that are no longer just horizontal but redesigned with tilted angles and slashes.
You can say, 2018 will be the year of more compelling colors and this has been made possible by advances in screens and monitors that can produce richer colors.
1. Asymmetry and Broken Grid Layouts
The introduction of asymmetrical and unconventional “broken” layouts in 2017 has impressed a lot of people. No doubt, this trend will continue and more brand will adapt this design in the coming days.
Broken grid layouts ditch the concept of the grid altogether – instead they allow text element and pictures drift into unique asymmetrical layout, creating beautifully unexpected structures.
Overall, It will be interesting to see what designers and developers are going to come up with, and how they are going to push the limits in 2018.