We’re in the final year of the decade and traditionally this is when we see the most innovation. Over the past decade, the internet and how we use it has changed massively, mobile has become massively important to our daily lives and many acronyms have been introduced – AR, VR, AI and AMP. Of course, a lot of these will mean nothing to you if you don’t come across them in your daily life. However, you will experience them with almost every website you visit as trends evolve.
Over the years, the advancements have tended to flip between creativity and technology, so we have seen incremental changes in both. However, for the first time, 2019 will see these two sides of web design collide as aesthetics and the technology we use will see innovation from developer and designers alike. It’s going to be a very exciting year for the world of website design.
5 Web Design Trends for Innovation in 2019
Below, we have the top 5 trends that will develop in 2019, thanks to Lennart de Ridder at 99designs.co.uk. He has compiled what he predicts will have a major impact throughout the year as he urges web designers to make their mark on web design before the decade is over.
Serif Fonts Over Sans Serif Fonts
For a long time now, there has been the unspoken rule that serif fonts belong in print and sans serif fonts belong on your screen, but this paradigm is about to be shaken up and we are already seeing it in action.
Sans serif fonts are known for their clean aesthetic and readability and remain the choice of web designers when it comes to long-form content. However, we are seeing more brands choosing bold serif fonts for the headers and callouts for their website. This is done in good reason though as serif fonts are created to be decorative and this makes them perfect when you want to place emphasis on something.
A couple of examples of this can be found on two popular sites for marketers – Mailchimp and Medium. The Mailchimp website features rounded serifs to match its cheerful branding, while Medium’s features wedge serifs and bold strokes that create a modern look.
Black and White Colour Palettes
Colour is a very important part of a company’s branding and especially how it is used within their website’s design. It’s what sets the mood and unifies the brand to guide users through their content with visual landmarks. 2019 is set to flip this tradition on its head with bold and daring black and white websites setting the tone for impressive statements.
We make sense of the world around us through the colours of the objects we see, but when colour is missing it forces us to change our perspective. The textures and shapes we see become more clear and the world feels like it slows done a bit. White creates a clean and reserved look while black is strong and assertive. When they are combined, the results can be quite striking.
Natural, Organic Shapes
You probably know by now that websites are usually built on systematic grids but web designers are moving away from these rigid structures and towards natural shapes with smooth lines. In the past, we wanted a sense of stability on the websites we visited and geometric shapes with sharp corners certainly created this, but we are now more concerned with accessibility and comfort for our user experience.
Organic shapes contain natural imperfections and an asymmetry that isn’t present in geometric shapes. These imperfections establish a sense of depth in a web design which allows elements to stand out as we wish. Often, these shapes are rooted in the shapes of natural objects like trees and hills, but free-hand elements can be used to invoke the spontaneity of accidents like paint splatter. This helps websites to feel more human and alive with the illusion of movement being created by organic shapes.
Of course, you can’t have a list of trends without some throwbacks as we know that trends come and go in cycles. This year, it will be glitch art – the world where retro goes wrong and creates unintentionally striking results. Whether it is crinkled film or a slow dial-up connection, the distorted artefacts that are left behind are very much in demand again in 2019.
In the modern world, we are surrounded by machinery and we live in mortal fear that something will break or the machines will take over, making glitches significant to our lives. This breakdown of technology suddenly becomes very appealing to web designers and its execution can make the world of difference. They draw the viewer’s eyes to the parts of your website that are warped, double exposed or glitchy. As technology continues to advance, we’re never sure what is coming next and glitch art amplifies that unsettling feeling by creating a distinctly psychedelic look.
The events on websites that are made to surprise you and create an inviting and human touch are called micro-interactions. These occur on websites or apps when you take a small action where there is a specific response. You will experience micro-interactions every day without realising they’re even happening – think the beep when you refresh Twitter or the red message counter in the top corner of the Facebook app.
Up until this year, these have been the most common use for micro-interactions but as 2019 progresses more websites will heavily feature interactions in more creative incarnations. We are likely to see hover and scrolling animations, chimes and much more. The implementation of these creates a sense of interaction between the audience and the website they are viewing. They also subtly transmit information to users about their actions and usage, as well as making the website feel smarter.
Looking Ahead and Where to Read More
These are just half of the predictions that Lennart de Ridder has come up with for the year ahead and you can read about the rest over at 99designs. With them all laid out, what are you most excited to see in 2019? This isn’t a definitive list and there are bound to be plenty of surprises along the way as the year progresses and maybe you will contribute to them yourself! After all, what catches on and becomes a trend is defined by one person… YOU.