2019 Website Design Trends [Expert Predictions & Stunning Examples]

Nov 29, 2018 // Philip Westfall

With continuously evolving trends and tech, there has never been a more exciting time to be a designer.

If 2018 showed us anything, it’s that designers are not afraid to explore the unknown. We witnessed an array of new experiences that pushed the limits of what is possible on the web: grid-breaking layouts, colorful gradients, captivating motion, and unique illustrations.

One thing we know for sure is that brands aren’t looking to fit in, but looking to stand out.

So what’s next?

Our team of expert designers looked to answer that question when they sat down to discuss the most likely trends for 2019.

 

Website Design Trends 2019

Bright and vibrant colours

bright-vibrant-colors

(examples: Sikkema, Whimsical, and Lyft)

For a while, soft tones and monotone had taken over design. However, it seems like this trend is fading away.

This year, users will be craving high contrast and vibrant colors.

Take a look at the latest collections in fashion design: bright neons, metallics and angular shapes have made a comeback.

Now more than ever, companies are using bold bright colors to better represent the company brand.

 

Pro tip: Warmer tones such as purple, blue, golden yellow, and green can help evoke emotion.

 

 

Video

 (examples: MaxxHatOand3, and WestelMHotels)

 

Although there was quite the buzz around cinemagraphs in 2018, we think that trend is slowing down.

As with colors, 2019 videos will be bolder and more eye-catching than ever. The key is finding the right balance so your written copy and videos don’t compete for user attention.

Functionally, videos will be more product-focused to help your website visitors understand how your product works and how it will benefit them.

 

Pro tip: The best videos hook the user in the first few seconds and don’t require sound to be efficient. Use time-lapse videos or sequencing techniques to make your product appear easy to use.

 

 

Minimalistic asymmetrical layouts

minimalist - asymmetrical(examples: Hash, Vanderlanth, and Muli)

 

Because of outside influence, we are often asked to add more than we’d like to a design, and our instincts tend to guide our layout into symmetrical grids.

In design though, less is often more and asymmetry can be powerful and eye-catching.

This is precisely why minimalistic asymmetrical layouts are among the most difficult design styles to execute.

Although challenging, the process of eliminating non-essential elements results in a cleaner, more focused design. A firm understanding of layering, proportion, and whitespace is key to this technique.

 

Pro tip: Achieving this look will require you to work with an experienced developer or use a WYSIWYG website builder like PageCloud. This technique works best for landing pages or smaller websites under 25 pages.

 

 

Transitions

 (examples: Monograno, Giuseppe–Deluca, and Steven Mengin)

 

Even simple transitions can serve to elevate your design.

Designers are exploring a variety of section-based transitions that can be vertical or horizontal. Plus, with advanced parallax effects, it’s becoming easier for designers to make specific elements or copy stand out on the page.

 

Pro tip: Regardless of the transition technique, the website must remain intuitive and the user should always feel in control. Your transitions should never distract from the core content.

 

 

Micro interactions

 (examples: Femme & Fierce, Affinity, We Make, and Louis Ansa)

 

User experience experts agree that micro interactions play an important role in user engagement and useability. Taking the time to understand and fine tune very specific interactions can make your website feel alive.

Typically, micro interactions are used on clickable elements like buttons and navigation. However, experienced designers can go far beyond that as shown in the examples below.

The key is to not over-design these effects. Your intention should be augmenting the user experience, not making it more complex.

 

Pro tip: Make a list of the most common interactions on your website and think about how an animation could improve the experience (e.g. Filling out a form)

 

 

New ways of displaying website copy

less copy

(examples: Quiver, Dinner for five, and Almanac)

 

Designers know that a wall of text won’t help visitor engagement.

For years, designers have been using whitespace, line spacing, and contrasting fonts to help users digest the message displayed on a website.

In 2019, designers will play an even bigger role when it comes to communicating online by:

  • Working with copywriters and marketers to reduce the amount of text;
  • Adding visuals to help support fewer words;
  • Using fonts, layout, style, formatting, and animations to help legibility.

The biggest challenge is getting multiple stakeholders to agree on copy. The easiest way to get to concise and powerful copy is by writing more and then reducing down to the essentials, instead of trying to come up with something perfect right away.

 

Pro tip: When building a template or mockup, we’d recommend adding actual copy to your headlines. If you’re using Lorem Ipsum, the design could fall flat.

 

 

Authentic tones and textures

authentic-tonesjpg

(examples: VIQ, Miel d'Anicet, and Openhouse)

 

Consumers want to stand behind authentic brands. Period.

In a 2017 study: “86 percent of consumers said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support”.

Although this isn’t a new trend per se, its pervasiveness in web design is definitely increasing. Incorporating this trend into your designs might be easier than you think.

Here are a few tips:

  • Use images of real lifestyle occurrences, natural textures, and colours that we find in our everyday lives.
  • Use the flatlay technique to help visitors see things through your perspective.
  • Take your own photographs - avoid generic stock images.

 

 

Curated visuals

crafted visuals

(examples: GILK, Avocode, and Clubhouse)

 

A powerful illustration can communicate volumes and is more versatile than a photograph. Often when teams debate the choice of an image, certain members might favor lifestyle shots while other favor product shots. Illustrations can be a happy medium.

Here are a few additional benefits of curated visuals:

  • Unique and authentic;
  • Make abstract concepts easier to understand (like software);
  • Help reduce the prominence of gender and race when illustrating people;
  • Avoid showcasing unrelated brands (cars, computers, buildings);
  • Can quickly portray powerful emotions.

 

Pro tip: The more you know about your audience and the message you’re trying to convey, the easier it is for your team to curate the proper visual.

 

 

Retro / Outline type

outline-type

(examples: Van Holtz Co, OROS, and Tympanus)

 

Retro vibes seem to be slowly creeping back around.

We believe that outline typography will be one of the most dominant web design trends of 2019. When well-executed, the outlines act as shapes, meaning the type plays a role in boosting your visual composition.

Often times, you will see the outlines interact with other elements of the page such as the background, images, or a simple hover effect.

 

Pro tip: Although it might be harder from a technical point of view, avoid adding any copy as an image as this will affect your SEO. Use CSS and Javascript to create your styling and effects.

 

 

Geometric and organic shapes

shapes

(examples: theArtCenter, Paper Tiger, and One Shared House)

 

Expect to see a growing number of colorful shapes on websites in 2019.

With continued improvements in web design technology, it’s become easier for designers to step outside the grid to express brand identity. Many designers are using circles, triangles, and rotated squares to draw users’ attention and communicate subtle messages about the brand.

 

Pro tip: Make sure to use shapes that represent your brand. For example, at PageCloud, we use circles for two reasons:
1. We don’t believe in being locked into a grid, typically represented by “squares”.
2. Circles represent the collaboration between designers, developers, and business owners.

 

 

Final thoughts

In the end, trends come and go. Some last for decades, while others are simply a flash in the pan. What matters is that you stay true to the brand that you design for.

Choose the trends that best align with company values. If something is said to be “on-trend” it doesn’t mean that you have to adopt it. As the designer, you need to choose the trends that are useful for making your designs more effective and impactful.

This upcoming year will be interesting as designers will be on the lookout for new ways to capture your attention. As designers ourselves, we can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

Feeling inspired? Design your new website today!

PUBLISHED:Nov 29, 2018

Web Design, Trending

 

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