We’re stepping into a fresh new year! Believe it or not (we choose not to!) we’re nearly two decades into the 2000s. We’ve seen some incredible changes in the digital space over these last 20 years. In particular web design has gone through some radical shifts. Let’s clarify that with some 2019 website design trends and examples that will make your designer senses sea-kelp.
Here’s Yahoo’s front page in 2000.
Here’s Apple’s website (actually pretty modern for the times)
Yeah! So, we’ve all grown a little since then. Every year there seems to be a plethora of new trends and technologies that completely redefine web design, UI, and UX. Now that we’re officially past 2018, it’s time to take a look at the trends that will shape 2019 in beyond.
Here are the web design trends that you betta be paying attention to this year.
The floodgates are open, and the dam is breaking — branding is redefining web design. For the past few years, web design has become pretty conformist. Minimalist fonts, negative space, drag-and-drop themes, and hero icons have been splattered on nearly every website on the web.
But, now we’re in the midst of a branding revolution. With Walker predicting that branding will overtake price and product as the biggest differentiator by 2020 (next year!), businesses are leveraging branding as a way to stay ahead of the pack and separate themselves from the competition. But, you can’t really do that if you all have the same website!
We’ve already seen this trend starting to rear its teeth and shake its fin. The web is fracturing. Brands are creating stunning, unique, and powerful websites that defy all of the norms in the best kinds of ways. This identity design is redefining websites. Don’t expect 2019 to give you the same-old-same-old. This is going to be the year of individuality and uniqueness powered by thoughtful, creative branding.
Oops! How did this one get in here? Feeling cute 😉
We’ve actually been blown away by the reaction to this website we built a couple of years back. It was recently featured in a Crowdriff webinar as a top web design trend for 2019 travel sites! How cool is that? (Especially considering we built this site in 2016.)
This is some serious branding. Every part of this website comes together masterfully. It’s stylish, it’s in-your-face, and it’s 100% unique.
We’ve seen a ton of designers use this type of design lately. The quirky nav bars, strange spacing, and imperfect alignment make this a unique and fun experience.
Website Design Trends Alert: Micro-Interactions
Finding a way to keep a website fast while still maintaining a sense of personality and fun is difficult. Well, until the rise of micro-interactions.
What are micro-interactions? They’re little brief moments that are delightfully human.
Let’s say your browsing the latest-and-greatest fashion website. As you’re scrolling looking at the same-old stock photos, you accidentally hover over model #15000. But, to your surprise, the image changes. 😮 Wait, what!? You hover over it again just to be sure. You must be hallucinating. That model suddenly has a party hat on and some retro shades. You jerk your mouse off of the image, and it goes back to normal. You’re sweating now. It has to be a mistake. Fearfully, you hover your mouse over the image again. It changes again! 🤯Is this witchcraft?
No, it’s not black magic; it’s a micro-interaction.
They’re everywhere. Whether it’s a small interaction when you click the download button, or it’s the tiny movements when you hover over a nav bar, micro-interactions make browsing playful, interesting, and unique. Which means that customers stay engaged, stay entertained, and stay on your website!
What a great example! I mean look at all of those whales! Wait… we’re getting off topic. Notice how every button you hover over has an oceanic effect. It’s neat, simple, and fun. That’s a perfect micro-interaction.
Femme & Fierce
Scroll down the page and hover over some images. See! Black magic! Wait, no, sorry; we keep having to remind ourselves. It’s micro-interactions.
Yeah, yeah, we know; typography isn’t new! But, hear us out, we’re not trying to be fishy.
For years now, typography has been a staple in web design — namely overwhelming amounts of Helvetica. But, typography in web design is undergoing a change. A big one. Riding on the backbones of some major players (like Medium) typography has gone from “unique and playful” to “as functional as possible to promote mass consumption of content.”
If you would have told us that sans serif would make a comeback in 2017, we would have been cautious. But, really, functional font has come back en masse.
Here’s why. Content. See, content has become the emperor of the marketing game. SEO, SEM, link building: all of these are fantastic. But, content is king. Brands want consumers to digest as much of their content as possible. By leveraging simple, easy, and minimal fonts, brands are able to keep people reading and keep them engaged.
This goes beyond the blog. Leveraging simple fonts is a great way to get people to read your stuff. Of course, it helps that Medium and other websites have normalized the fonts, which makes them seem more glamorous than they once were.
Credit where credit is due. Medium is a massive part of the new wave of typography, and for a good reason. It’s insanely consumable.
Another great use of fonts. It’s bold, but easy-on-the-eyes.
We’re all equally amazed and fearful of technology. In the last two decades, the world has radically changed due to emerging techs. And, with new stories coming out nearly daily, technology seems to be growing at a light-speed pace. So, it seems natural that all of this passion and energy for new technologies mixed with a good dash of “fear of the unknown” has given rise to a massive underground 2019 website design trend — futurism.
Glitch art, data interfaces, Blade Runner(esk) themes, and intergalactic backdrops make up this year’s “art” web design trend.
Without a doubt, Active Theory’s website is gorgeous. This design firm that specializes in VR tech, seriously knows its stuff. It also perfectly displays glitch art, which makes sense for an agency that lives on the edge of the future.
KIKK is an annual festival that embraces the economic and artistic impact of technology. Well, so does their website!
If there was one defining feature of the last few years of web design, it was minimalism. Well, it’s going to keep being a defining feature of web design.
Minimalism isn’t only a UI revolution; it’s very much a UX one. The purpose of minimalism is ease-of-use and functionality. You want to give your users the best, easier, and most seamless browsing experience possible. If you can make a website attractive with very few elements, you’re doing it right.
Page load time and conversion rates are closely tied together. Minimalism is about control. You need to figure out a way to display your brand in a confined space. But, that doesn’t mean it has to be bland. Just look at the examples!
We think that this is an interesting example. This website screams minimalism, but it’s still filled with tons of interactivity. Notice how fast all of that interactivity loads. That’s the power of minimalism.
This is another great blended example. It’s a fully branded website that’s strange, unique, and awkward, but it’s also very minimalist.
2019 is set to be a spectacular year for web design as a whole. Brands are getting more playful, less systematic, and increasingly engaging with their designs. Branding will play a massive role this year, which will have an impact on the design industry as a whole. For businesses who are looking to stand out, leveraging those things which are unique to your brand is critical. Drag-and-drop WordPress themes are a thing of the past. The future is all about individuality, UX, and an increasingly aesthetic, yet simple, UI.
If you’re looking at all of these websites and thinking “Oh carp! I wish I had one of those websites!”, Contact us. We know that your site is an important part of your digital marketing strategy, let us help you create something magical so you can be on the 2019 website design trends list too!