It was the famous writer, Julia Cameron that said, “Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage”. The first part of this quote couldn’t ring any more true for web designers and other creative professionals in the digital age. With each technological advancement, the revisiting of traditional marketing principles and innovative additions to the field, there’s no room for stagnation.
Now, the second part of the quote references working from a clean slate, if you will. Perhaps at face value, this is true for starting any web design project from scratch. However, in the greater scheme of things, there’s no such thing as a blank canvas. The best ideas aren’t born from thin air – they borrow from what’s already there to create a vision of what can be.
When it comes to creativity in web design, it’s important to look around you and take note of what your peers are doing. This helps you fine tune your original ideas in comparison and lets you build a solid foundation to work from. If you can take something that already exists and find exciting ways to present it, then you’re on the right path. In this article, we highlight some of the top web design trends to look out for as the new year gets underway in earnest.
1. Not-So-Centred Is The New Centred
For the longest time, it’s been a rule of thumb for web designers to centre-align headlines and other text. This is supposed to place the message in focus for the website user. It also creates a homogenous look for thousands, perhaps even millions of websites on the net. However, a relatively new trend is on the rise. More designers are opting to left-align all text, including the CTA, which is then complemented by an illustration or visual to the right. It puts all relevant messaging in one place and makes it easy to heed the CTA without having to scroll down.
Symmetry isn’t the be all and end all of design anymore. An asymmetrical layout can a make a website more memorable to the users who visit it.
2. Brand Logos Are Maturing
There was once a time when playing around on Microsoft WordArt was considered fun. If you look around, you’ll see that many web designers seemed to have derived their logo ideas from this once-popular platform. Gone are these days! Brand logos for huge companies like Uber have put on their grown-up clothes in the form of more sophisticated fonts. It’s good to refine your client’s logo, as it makes their potential clients take them more seriously.
3. Everybody’s Accommodated With More Accessible Design
It’s important to remember that all kinds of people use the Internet. Accessible design opens up the lines of communications between websites and visitors with varying degrees of disability. For example, you could post a video with a full-text description to accommodate deaf visitors. This way, your client’s message reaches more people and makes the visitors more inclined to trust the product or service provider.
4. Retro Outlines On Text
There are only so many fonts that you can use. How can you repurpose them for impactful web design? One way to get creative is to turn the text inside out with outline typography. Essentially, the text is “empty”, but this highlights the wording even more. This type of text is eye-catching and unique.
5. Get On The Grid With CSS Layouts
If you’re all about 2D design optics, the process of creating what’s in your mind can be a little complex. Luckily for you, with CSS grid layouts you have more control over how the web design space is used. Because space is simultaneously partitioned into vertical and horizontal sections at the same time ( think equally sized columns and rows), web designers have the freedom to position items wherever they please. This means no more limitations on creative expression and more opportunities to try out-of-the-box design ideas.
6. Tell A Better Story – A Nod To The Modern Scribe
As the years go by, it’s becoming clearer that good storytelling is a key component of successful digital marketing. Users are responding better to websites with compelling written content. Historically, designers have placed lots of focus on the visual aspect of web design. However, the most beloved brands are the ones that tell the best stories. This challenges web designers to develop their writing skills more so that they can speak to potential clients more effectively.
7. Less Continues To Be More
Quite often, clients will approach you with ideas about what they want their website to look like. While your clients’ input is crucial, the onus is on you to use your expertise to shave off any unnecessary elements. The point is to create an effective product in the end. Minimalist design isn’t just some vague art history concept – it can make the difference between a design that’s all over the place and presenting a crisp, focused design that will sustain your client’s online business dealings. If you understand the power of understated design and simplicity, then you’re good to go. The fewer distractions, the better. Neutral colours, clean text and simple images are the future.
8. More Focus On The Mobile
Desktop-centric animation, such as hover features and timed animations have been doing the rounds for a while, and rightfully so. They boost usability, interaction and help to guide website visitors down each page. More and more people are accessing the Web from their phones, so what does this mean for them? You can’t hover if you’re using a touch-screen smartphone. This means is that there’s a lot of opportunities for web designers to try out innovative interaction features that speak to the modern person in a way that’s portable and on-the-go.
9. Remember How You Hated Geometry Class? You Finally Get to Use It
Let’s face it; basic shapes are so … basic. How many times have you seen buttons on a web page contained in a circle? Other shapes can easily add dimension to how a website is presented. 2019 is the year of interesting geometric designs with pops of colour. While basic shapes have cemented a spot as web design staples, there’s space for diversity, and you shouldn’ be afraid to use it.
10. Go All The Way ‘Out There’ With Bold Typography
Remember when we mentioned that simpler is better earlier? Don’t confuse simplicity with blandness. Bold and oversized text are some of the ways that designers are capitalising on space. Play around with fonts, colours and size to get the message across from the word ‘go’.
11. Play Around With Cursor Design & Other Interactive Aspects
While the world has gone mobile, it’s no reason to neglect desktop design. Don’t be shy to try new things with the features that nobody seems to touch – especially the cursor. A simple micro logo or alternative shape that can be associated with the brand is a good place to go. Nothing too complex. Some say “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken”, but this trend is focused on finding better ways to do what we already know.
It’s unlikely that every single trend listed above will apply to your business, but we’re confident that more than a few do. If you need help with implementation, SEO Lab is always available to help.