Top 10 website design trends to look out for in 2018

December 21, 2017 4:39 pm

Here at Concept Advertising & PR we are always trying to keep ahead of the game by keeping up to date with latest industry news and developments.

We have collated together a list of website design and development trends to keep an eye out for in 2018 from the subtle to completely different.

1. Rounded corners are back!

In 2017, website design seemed to be taking a new wave of look and feel with most websites incorporating ‘cards’ with flat looking visuals and material design, led by Google’s Material design guidelines.

2018 is already shaping up to be taking a different design approach already. With Facebook, Twitter and Google rolling back the clock on designs (last seen in 2014) and reintroducing rounded corners in designs and interfaces.

Google's new rounded corners on their mobile ui

Source: google.com

Although still incorporating the idea of ‘cards’ and material design in their websites, the curved edges are quickly picking up pace and it’s only a matter of time before the curves take over and we’re staring at websites made up of circles and ovals – we hope it doesn’t come to that!

2. Bold & Bright Colours

Websites over the course of 2017 began to look very samey, with web designers and developers taking the lead from popular websites such as Google or Facebook, utilising plenty of ‘white space’ around content and images.

Spotify's use of bold colours

Source: spotify.com

Companies have now started to break the mould and are moving away from boring backgrounds and turning that ‘white space’ into big, bold and bright colours. Although still considered as ‘white space’ – the area around content elements – these new colours really are making businesses stand out amongst the crowds.

3. Background Videos

The days of large sliding banners are slowly phasing out, with a new breed of eye catching media at the top of webpages… Video!

From subtle background animations, just to catch the user’s attention, to full blown video epics that pan around cityscapes or show off a product – video is playing a vital part in pushing services!

Visit Wales use an impressive background video to show off their country

Source: visitwales.com

By allowing companies to show off their product visually, rather than presenting a customer with pages of text about how a product works, user time on site should be increasing as well as conversions.

4. Typography

Fonts used to, and still very much do, play a big part in print and advertising. This trend has been coming through in recent years on the web with designers using big, bold fonts across sites.

Seven Hills Whole Foods show off some good uses of typography

Source: sevenhillswholefoods.com

Not only is typography being used in headers and banners, the large copy is also being brought through page content with large headings in a multitude of font styles and designs.

5. Mobile Design

It seems a bit strange to mention mobile design at this late stage in the whole scheme of things, but mobile design is still as prominent as ever.

With mobile leads (visitors numbers & conversions) increasing monthly, there’s no better time to make sure your website is up to date and responding, not only to user requirements, but to mobile devices too.

6. Illustrations

Stock photos on websites seem to be a thing of the past these days, with companies favouring their own ‘genuine’ marketing photography. Combining with or replacing this completely comes our next prediction, custom illustrations on websites.

Dropbox utilise quirky illustrations to make online cloud storage more inviting

Source: dropbox.com

From hand drawn buttons and icons to full blown illustrated banners and artwork – illustrations give a new, personal feel to a website design and can introduce a subtle humour in places that maybe seemed boring at first. Take Dropbox for example, a place to share folders and files with friends and colleagues – throw in a couple of hand drawn boxes and characters and it makes it a more fun and friendly place to be!

7. Animation

Right up next, and tying in with illustration – animation!

Microinterations are a great way of providing feedback to a user

Source: elegantthemes.com

Animation on websites has really taken off online in the last few years, from ‘microinteractions’ (providing feedback to a user after an action is carried out) to fully animated works of art. Animation is not only used for user interfaces but as we mentioned with video earlier, to tell the story of a service or product.

8. Asymmetric layouts

Websites have used grid systems for years, some layouts looking structured and others being more regimented with a stark contrast between columns.

Now comes a time where grids are going to be broken, with content spreading over various columns, not caring about what grid element it overlaps.

Dada-Dada's website really throws all sorts of grid breaking elements onto the page

Source: dada-data.net

Although not to everyone’s taste, it can cause a user to notice some content over others, emphasising a point that is trying to be made. An interesting way to make a website look different from its competitors and to stand out from the crowd.

9. Sticky navigation

Assist with a user’s journey by making sure that navigation elements are accessible, is key to good web design. A way of completing this task is by utilising ‘sticky’ navigation elements.

The National Trust's holiday search area encourages users to search their website

Source: nationaltrust.org.uk

Whether it be the header navigation from the initial load of a page or a menu that sticks to the top of the screen as you scroll (take a look at the National Trust ‘Holidays’ website for example), we will see an increase in sites using this functionality as web pages continue to get longer and longer.

10. GDPR

And finally, it wouldn’t be a 2018 trends list without the mention of the forthcoming data protection changes.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect from 25th May 2018, and we expect a huge roll out of information grabbing, intensive forms across websites in the EU. Chances are if you have a form on your website to collect user details, then you’re probably doing it wrong at the moment!

Some companies have already made a valiant attempt to combat these changes early and only time will tell if anyone is affected financially, as a hefty fine is put against not adhering to these new rules.

Age UK, showing how to do GDPR. Although not perfect, it's better than most!

Source: ageuk.org.uk

That just about sums up our overview for trends that will be continuing through to 2018. We can’t wait to see what projects await us and what the web design industry is going to think of next!

If you’d like any further information on the above predictions, then contact us at Concept Advertising to find out what we could do for you!

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