Websites have rapidly started to transition from being solely information-based online directories, to creations of art, interactive projects, and experimental fun.
Visually, web design is now harkening back to the beginning of website development when designers looked for ways to show off new, creative techniques just for the sake of it. Web designers are thinking outside of the box with contemporary styling, elevated typography, advanced interactions, and visual effects.
More and more designers are also becoming conscious of website functionality that’s centered on usability and accessibility. User-centric focus has grown considerably in importance so that website visitors can enjoy an experience that’s easy to navigate and flows smoothly.
In a highly competitive digital landscape, there’s more freedom for website designers to express themselves through unique visual elements that also center on inclusivity.
Here are some of the web design trends that were popular in 2022.
1. Animated typography
Interactive fonts are an innovative way to truly elevate the text that you use in web design. Designers have been making text move in creative ways through a user’s mouse movement. Certain websites use fonts that change weight or size when a curser hovers over the text offering a truly unique and engaging function for users to play around with.
2. Inclusive copy and design
Inclusivity has become a more consciously considered concept that a growing number of websites are moving towards embracing. Making an effort to be more inclusive in visual design, content, and language has become a developing priority. Ideally, this will become a permanent shift. More inclusive copy and design is necessary so that all users can feel comfortable when using websites.
This includes strategic decision making about a website’s target audience and ensuring that it’s accessible in terms of your brand’s tone of voice, and language that’s accommodating to all genders, viewpoints, and diverse experiences. It’s also important to be intentional with how you say things. Using alt text (descriptions for images to visitors who aren’t able to see them), text that’s legible in terms of font, size, and colour, and ensuring that users will be able to clearly read everything you post without difficulty.
3. Horizontal scrolling
Horizontal scrolling is a surprisingly engaging balance between text and images. Sideways navigation can add a great deal of visual appeal to a website, making it fun and appealing to navigate.
4. Multilayered imagery
Multilayered imagery focuses on more visually complex designs. Combining multiple layers of images challenge the conventional visual components that people are used to seeing. This style makes aspects like photo galleries more engaging and unique.
5. Oversized typography
Oversized typography is a bold design trend that’s been a fresh font take this year. Once they reach a certain size, words become their own form of graphic design, and can be used in minimalist or maximalist visuals.
6. Contrast colours
Contrast colours distinctly pop and stand out against any website that chooses to boast them. Colour is a basic tool to draw a user’s interest and stimulate emotion. A vibrant website aesthetic is anything but boring and is distinctly unique.
7. Going off grid
Veering off-center is an effective way to emphasize a segment and make your website truly stand out. Experiment with bold text that ventures off the page in a non-traditional format.
8. Abstract illustrations
Abstract illustrations have endless potential in terms of complexity, shape, colour, and scale. They can be tailored to suit any subject matter or mood and have the ability to be incredibly distinct to a website’s overall brand design.
9. Page speed prioritization
When looking at the technical functionality of a website, a front-of-mind consideration for web developers has been page speed. Even taking precedent over SEO, the desire for increased page speed reflects users and their high expectations for this website feature. No longer are the days where people expect to wait for loading screens, and the majority will abandon a site if a page takes longer than three seconds to load.
Page speed optimization is essential in ensuring users stay on your website and can appreciate all the functions and features your site has to offer.
10. Split-screen websites
Split-screen websites are an interesting visual technique to break up a design. This dual layout offers eye-catching contrast, natural separation of content, and an opportunistic excuse to experiment with colour.
Linework has the ability at times to look modern but distinctly retro. Linework illustrations can range from simple to detailed and abstract. The line weight will hold the largest impact on the effect of the style and can be an engaging method to make the graphic design on your website memorable.
12. Collage illustrations
Collage illustrations offer a tactile feel with varying levels of texture and colour. These kinds of graphics open up more white space on a website and allow you to incorporate a variety of elements without making a singular image the entire focus.
Many trends lean on nostalgia, and web design is no exception. People love to reminisce about the past, which can be translated into a website’s visual elements. This style calls for a more analog feel with typography and images, vintage filters, retro fonts, blurred effects, grain, textures, softer lighting, and pastel colour palettes. These elements create a sense of familiarity and closeness that people like, which work well to capture and hold users’ attention.
14. Brutalist typography
Brutalist typography lives up to its namesake. It’s bolder, brasher, and dominant. A simple way to make a website pop while relying on a limited array of elements.
15. One-page websites
Often the most effective websites are ones that are simple. There has been increasing popularity seen with the one-page website design. This style forgoes the typical menus and multiple buttons in favour of simple scroll navigation. When the subject matter is narrower, one-page websites work better.
There isn’t always a need to clutter up a page with unnecessary details and images. Remove unneeded distractions and instead shift towards a visually pleasing poster that doesn’t require needless scrolling or searching.
Scrollytelling is a great way to leverage a digital interface and intricately present a visual story. Scrollytelling refers to an engaging technique where visual elements are sequenced together and organized together chronologically to convey a message to users. This method can include close-ups, large-scale typography, smooth transitions, and different animations.
17. Gender-neutral design
Another approach that goes along with inclusive web trends is gender-neutral design, which is already being adopted by an increasing number of websites. To embrace this option more fully, you can begin by opting out of visual assets and details that are excessively and stereotypically gendered.
It has become more standard practice for websites to allow users to choose from a list of multiple genders and pronouns in drop-down menus. To take it one step further, websites can take those options away completely when there isn’t a pressing need for them, like Snapchat has chosen to do.
18. Less neumorphism
Neumorphism is a minimalist design style that gained popularity in 2020 and used low-contrast monochrome elements, no sharp lines, and borders, with subtle shadows. It’s different from most used website designs, but the style is awful for accessibility. Lack of contrast makes sites with this design difficult to navigate for users with vision impairments, and overly shadowed elements pose a challenge for visitors being able to tell which buttons they are pressing.
19. Grainy gradients
Gradients with added grain have a very distinct look that grounds a design by giving it texture and a more natural feel.
20. Subtle motion design
Although interactivity can be a wonderful feature for websites to have, it’s important not to go overboard on motion design. Subtle movement can do a lot to enhance the visual appeal and dynamics of a site, but you don’t want to cause potential harm to users by making them motion sick. Animation such as parallax effects, mouse-triggered scaling, and plane-shifted scrolling should be avoided if possible. Instead, use motion selectively, not excessively.
These are 20 examples of the hottest trends in web design in 2022. Try integrating and experimenting with some of the suggestions above to see what would work best for your website and make it stand out.
REM’s in-house graphic designers are very talented and experienced in designing modern, trendy business websites. Speak to your REM Sales Rep today to get started on your new site.