It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – trends change quick. But in the ever-evolving world of web design trends, things are changing more quickly than ever. It can be hard to keep up! Luckily for you, here at our Leeds full-service marketing agency, Punch Creative, we have a team of industry experts who are always at the top of their game. We’ve brought together some of the biggest design trends for the next year that you definitely need to know.
Have you ever gone to visit a site and just gotten the ick? You search it up, click on, and click off almost instantly? The majority of feedback from customers who leave websites quickly or who say they don’t trust a webpage comes from the design of the website – not the content. The initial impression is always going to be a visual one, rather than one based on the content and readability of the text. You see first, then you read. If a website looks unprofessional, how can you trust that they’re the experts in their field?
Website design is also your very first chance to sell your product or your brand. It’s like choosing an outfit for an interview. You’d never pick your scuffed shoes or the dress that went out of style in 2016. So you can see, it’s important to set yourself up for success by promoting your imagery in the right way.
One way to do this is to stay up to date with the current design trends: graphic design and web design included. If you’re working on your digital marketing strategy, then you cannot forget the design and look of your website! It’s crucial.
Looking back on trends
2021 design trends
In 2021 web design was heavily influenced by post-pandemic behaviours. More people had become aware of the need for digital accessibility and there was increased demand for web development, meaning that websites had to be functional and easy to operate. Therefore, we saw more unique interfaces and personalised UI, as well as a return to minimalist concepts. Oftentimes, designs were black and white in their colour scheme and pages offered a dark mode. Of course these features made the sites look sleek and elegant, but they also reduced blue light exposure, making it a healthier and more accessible choice for a newly engaged and vulnerable market who were looking to make websites work for them.
2022 design trends
Going into 2022, the retro revolution was all the craze. It played on nostalgia, becoming a very emotive choice and super effective for engaging the viewer. The multiple subcultures of the trend allowed companies to pick specific aesthetics and features that helped express the brand’s identity while embracing the wider trends of ’90s nostalgia. Using retro designs also let designers blend other trends like maximalism, vibrant colour schemes, and bold visuals. Take a more in depth look at the revival trend here.
2023 design trends
2023 saw the rise of much more futuristic aesthetics. The key design trends of this year were skeuomorphism, Y2K aesthetics, and clay morphism. The Y2K looks were a continuation of the nostalgia from the year before, but also embraced the early 2000s online look of cybercore and glitch aesthetics with harsh contrast colouring and 3D illustrations. You’ve seen Y2K outfits on Gen Z, it’s the same vibe.
Looking into the future
A new digital world
Going forward we’re seeing the peak of a few of these trends, as well as a venture into territory as yet uncharted. New technology means new developments and so we’re starting to see design trends that we could never have thought of a decade ago. The use of AI and AR continues to become more popular. We’re going to see a fusion of the tangible and the digital (especially in terms of retailing) as web design uses combinations of 2D and 3D imagery. With better tools on hand, there are more ways to integrate a more futuristic UI/UX.
‘Clean girl’ web design
Neomorphism is gaining popularity again. In the last few years, skeuomorphism has become fairly popular when it comes to web design. However, neomorphism utilises soft shadows to create the illusion of depth and suggest realism and familiarity. It’s the next step of of skeuomorphism that plays into the trend of minimalism we’re seeing across all designs and trends at the minute (think even in fashion with the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic). However, you have to be careful when utilising this trend across your platforms as you don’t want to compromise readability.
Another trend for 2024 to think about is the changes we’re seeing to typography. This year we’ll be embracing more oversized and dynamic typography. This bold design is regularly utilised on a home page to make a statement. When dynamic or kinetic typography is used as part of a movement or an engaging interactive it can reduce bounce rates on your website and attract attention quickly without using pictures or videos.
I love how creative web development is. I like bringing a design to life, and seeing everything come together.
Liam, Junior Web Developer
The best way to make sure you’re leading your industry in terms of keeping ahead of trends and presenting the best design possible is to keep up with reputable sources. Follow design accounts, subscribe to newsletters and emails, and follow blogs that showcase new trends. Many experts are part of online communities so feel free to utilise Reddit and other great resources. Don’t be afraid to keep an eye on competitors and what they’re doing. It’ll mean you’re in line with the rest of your industry and not being left behind. There are plenty of tools online to analyse what’s working with both your website and your competitors so don’t ignore the resources at your disposal.
When you’re exploring the ways in which to use new design trends, it’s important to remember that you can take parts of the trend, you don’t have to switch up your entire website once a year as tastes change. Don’t force yourself to move with the fashion. Take some time to think about why it’s a trend – are we moving to make websites more interactive, how can you contribute to that?
Focus on your content
It’s easy to be swept up with the joy of design and the excitement of trends but it’s important to keep accessibility in mind, and don’t forget about the readability of your text or contrast (perhaps add in options like colour overlays). While visuals are important to retain users and keep them hooked, what will really sell your product or services is your copy. Say it with me: Content is king! Your SEO will also help you get ranked highly, allowing you to hook in viewers.
Therefore, investing time into optimising your content shouldn’t be forgotten. Ideally, you’d invest in both the design, functionality, and content together with one another – which is something a full service marketing agency like Punch creative can do for you. If your website design is strong but the functionality is poor, you’ll continue to lose potential customers to your business – don’t scare them away before you’ve had the chance to win them over! Ignoring the accessibility will drive away potential customers. Take a holistic approach. You really can do it all.
We hope you feel updated on the biggest design trends of 2024. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest web design trends and make sure to look out for other thought pieces from our Leeds marketing agency that could improve your digital marketing strategy today.