Thinking about a new website for a new year? Or just getting started? In either case, you might want to be aware of the latest in design trends. According to experts, the trend is definitely toward the big and bold (a continuation of the 2022 trend), with the addition of pseudo-3D and even the Metaverse starting to show signs of influence. Here are the top 10 trends to look out for in the coming year.
1. Depth effects
Background videos, images, gradients and geometric patterns behind text can add a tremendous amount of depth to any web page section. These are especially effective on full-width banner sections, but subtle image backgrounds anywhere help draw the eye, as long as you don’t over do it. Soft shadows, layers and 3D-type effects are replacing the “flat” designs of previous years.
2. Shapely accents
Background circles, balls, and generally irregular shapes using soft curves and lines. These can offer a fun, playful effect. They are most effective as an accent to an image in a contrasting color, but you’ll see them in various configurations.
3. Fast loading times
It’s more imperative than ever that your site be quick on the draw, once your user has landed on it. use a CDN, light images, embedded video, SSL. According to https://theedigital.com, one study indicated that after Pinterest reduced perceived wait times by 40%, their search engine traffic and sign-ups increased by 15%. If you want to see your page load speed and other useful information, try GTMetrix.com’s page speed tool.
These days it’s quite easy to insert some animation into your web page, even if your platform doesn’t it offer it natively. Graphics created in programs like Canva.com provide animations on individual elements of your design. If you are creating an ad or animated graphic, you can embed it in your website as a .gif or .mp4. Other ways to insert animation are slideshows and sliding testimonial banners. On the subject of animations, you might be seeing more of those tiny subtle animations on icons. Hover your mouse over a trash can and watch the lid lift up and do a little dance before landing back on the can.
5. Color scrollbars
Wouldn’t it sometimes be nice to see your scrollbars in a bright color instead of drab gray all the time? You can with a little bit of CSS. Disclaimer: It may not work on all browsers at all resolutions but adds a nice touch or pop of color where it does display. If you want to see it action, try here: https://couponclub.ca
6. White space
This is nothing new, but sometimes as a designer, it’s difficult to resist adding more content where white space should simply be allowed to just “be”. White space around any element helps it stand out and is easier on the eye. It also gives the viewer a rest between sections, avoiding the feeling of a “frantic” web page. Of course, white space isn’t necessarily white. It can refer to any empty space around a smaller amount of text or an image. For an example, see the top banner on this site: https://contributorship.net
Good news for graphic designers! Combining graphics and information is the print equivalent of a video. For the viewer, it’s enjoyable and easy to digest. Just take a glance at the infographic, read the headlines and subheads and you get the picture almost immediately. In today’s fast world, infographics can save time and are much more memorable than text alone.
8. Blurred backgrounds
Blurring an image rather than overlaying it with a color or gradient can sometimes be a better option, especially if the photo is a bit “busy” in terms of composition. A blur effect can mimic the “portrait” effect on your iPhone camera, where foreground aspects stay sharp, while deep background elements are obscured.
9. Bold everything
Bright, bold colors, large text, text backgrounds. This is a trend that started in 2021 and shows no signs of letting up. The trick now is to balance bold with lots of white space, to ensure your beautiful graphics have the space to shine.
As I was researching this blog piece, I kept coming across THAT word: Metaverse. Yes, the idea of a technological advancement that allows users to be interactive with their virtual environment. You may have seen Steven Spielberg’s movie Ready Player One, adapted from Ernest cline’s 2011 novel. In the story, people find escape from mundane lives in a huge simulation game where they can do almost anything they can in the real world, including travel and shop.
Now, how does this translate to a business website in 2023? Well let’s take online learning as an example. According to influencermarketinghub.com, augmented reality (AR) technology is being used to create apps and games that can enhance learning. In the not too distant future, you could be displaying your course or membership content within a virtual reality environment complete with avatars and virtual reality. Imaging giving a course on weight loss, and allowing your students to visually see themselves (as an avatar) at their goal weight at the beginning of the program? Sounds like a great inventive to complete the course.
What do you think? Will AR, AI or the Metaverse influence small businesses in the near future? Leave your thoughts in the comments.