Keep an eye out for any of the following web design trends—all of which are reflective of a design culture increasingly in-tune with its audience.
1. More Video
Videos are flooding the content space, featuring more full-screen media as well as snippets focused on educating, sharing, and enticing. In fact, Google predicts that up to 74% of all web traffic in 2017 will come from video. This means companies that haven’t adopted video as part of their ongoing marketing and branding efforts are likely struggling to create shareable content.
2. Full-Width/Hero Images
Along with video, full-width imagery is trending these days. Studies have shown that large images make people stop and take notice—exactly the kind of “interruption” that contributes to higher levels of conversion.
3. Magazine-Worthy Typography
The focus of beautiful type is no longer limited to print—it’s finally reached the mainstream online community. We’re seeing an increase in websites featuring bold text with dramatic headers and impactful blocks of content. In these cases, punchy copy in a mix of big and daring fonts is front and center, with graphics used only as support to grab the reader’s attention.
4. Google Fonts
Google fonts are versatile and adaptive, easy to use, work well together, and are universal across multiple platforms. Best of all, most of them are free to use. It’s no wonder web developers are taking full advantage of them nowadays.
5. Increased Negative Space
Long, sweeping scrolls have been taking over the internet thanks in large part to our mobile browsing habits. We’re accustomed to giving a big sweep of the thumb in order to find content. Though once reserved for images, more sites are giving ample room to let beautiful typography breathe as well.
6. More Animation
As browsers and languages become more advanced, websites are moving away from the use of static imagery and finding new ways to engage viewers. Animation is playing a bigger role in storytelling and in expressing emotion and personality when text alone won’t do the trick. We’re seeing animations in all shapes, sizes, and styles, from GIFs and tiny loaders to interesting hover-states and scroll-triggered animations designed to create meaningful micro-interactions with users.
7. Authentic Photography
As the amount of content created each year continues to increase, the need for quality images has increased as well. More and more companies are opting for original, authentic photos over generic, widely used stock images when it comes to product photos to represent their brand—effectively adding back in the human element.
8. Louder & More Vibrant Color
Together with big typography, bold colors are popping up and demanding attention, shifting the trend away from muted and neutral colors like whites, grays, and black. However, a full-color revolution isn’t necessary—even a few bold color accents make all the difference for brands looking to refresh their look without straying from their minimalist, neutral roots.
9. Hand-Drawn Graphics & Icons
Brands are embracing illustrations as they look to add a personal touch back into their design and make their products more accessible. We’re seeing custom graphics working more and more as visual indexes, which guide the user’s eye to the areas that are of the biggest importance as CTAs.
10. Faster Load Times
As internet speeds continue to increase, we’re pushing the bandwidth with increasingly heavy content. The reality is that many sites—in all their glorious efforts—have become bloated with elements like preloaders, multiple background videos, full-width images parallax scrolling, etc. The elements are wonderful individually, but when combined often lead to a poor user experience. Fast load times are still as important as ever, so less is definitely more.