Much like fashion and decor trends, website design trends are continuously evolving. There are always ways to meet new aesthetic preferences, customer expectations, and SEO guidelines. Some trends will appear and fade quickly, but others will stick around for years to come.
Today, we want to talk about 10 of the biggest web design trends to pay attention to this year. These are trends that have been sparked by real societal or digital changes, and we believe they’re important for small business owners and designers to know about.
1. Micro Animations and Interactions
It comes as no surprise to hear that people’s attention spans have shortened dramatically in the past decade, and even more so in the past few years. Thanks to fast-paced, short-form media on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms, the average attention span is now estimated to be a mere 12 seconds.
Professional web designers need to take this evolution into account. Consumers are obsessed with quick animations, short guides, and eye-catching graphics. If you want to snag their attention, you need to play on these.
One of the best ways to do this is through website animation. Incorporating small designs that move throughout your website can draw people’s attention and keep them interested, without consuming too much of their time.
Many 2022 websites are now using colorful, contrasted animations to foster micro-interactions with their visitors. Perhaps the logo does a little dance when a mouse hovers over it, or maybe a header bounces up and down a few times upon loading.
A word of caution: over-animating can detract from the user’s experience, so be picky about where you add your animated and interactive elements.
2. Natural Minimalism
You’re likely thinking, “Duh, minimalism has been a trend for years now.” We’re not talking about the harsh minimalism of 2018, though. We’re talking about striking but subtle minimalism that allows websites to showcase products/services quickly and effectively.
Minimalism doesn’t always mean black and white or neutral colors. It can also be soothing and peaceful – feelings we all know people need more of in today’s hectic society.
If your business works in the health, beauty, or outdoors industries, there’s something powerful about minimalist designs that are simple but comforting. The use of greens and other warm, earthy tones can give people a feeling of nature, but the minimalist design keeps things neat and orderly.
Up to 84.6% of web designers believe crowded web design is the most common mistake made by small businesses. In 2022, it’s a good idea to keep things simple, but to also incorporate blending colors and organic feels that the modern (busy) user can enjoy.
3. Bold, Eye-Catching Colors
This likely sounds like the complete contrast to what we just talked about with natural minimalism, and it is. While some businesses in certain fields are going the more minimalist but natural route, many other brands (such as those in tech, design, or news) are going with colors that really pop.
Neutrals were having a moment in the spotlight for the past few years, but now, many websites are transitioning to more exciting trends. Considering that up to 39% of consumers appreciate color more than any other component of a website’s designs, it’s crucial that you pick the right colors for your particular brand and its image.
Bold, bright, or saturated colors can really help your brand stand out – especially if most of your competitors are still using black and white or soft neutrals. Specifically, we’ve been seeing a lot of red, blue, yellow, and orange already used in 2022.
4. Retro Themes from the 90s
After the cards that 2020 and 2021 dealt us, it’s not all that surprising to see that many brands and consumers are feeling nostalgic for simpler days. Perhaps that’s why we’re seeing web design trends from the 1990s reappear.
Bright background colors, robotic typefaces, outlined typography… we’ve seen pretty much of all of it make a comeback in fun, flashy settings. It’s a form of escapism, and some companies seem to be latching onto the nostalgia of it all. We’ll be interested to see how long this trend lasts and where it goes in the coming years.
5. Interactive Options
We touched on this briefly in our first point, but we can’t understate the popularity of interactive web design features in 2022. Customers want to be able to do more than just scroll and click.
Experiment with new, interesting ways for customers to engage with your website. Some of our favorite methods are:
- Providing ways to rate or review products right on the site
- Adding fun or informative surveys, quizzes, or forms
- Implementing methods to drag or swipe items, rather than just click
- Offering ways to “like” or “heart” comments, blog posts, etc.
The bottom line is that if your design trends can maximize user interaction, people will likely spend more time on your website and enjoy their experiences more.
6. Handmade Graphics
Many web designers are returning to the more personal feel of imperfect, handmade artwork, rather than run-of-the-mill digital graphics. Although there’s nothing wrong with digital graphic design, there’s something a bit more creative and intimate about the use of handmade media.
Don’t let your reliance on digital tools allow you to miss out on opportunities for personalization and custom, imperfect artwork. We’ve seen many brands incorporating everything from scribbles to messy cutouts, as well as professional but hand-drawn art.
This is a way in which some websites are bridging the gap between the real world and the digital world – and we’re totally here for it.
7. More Visible Section Borders
Minimalism isn’t the only way to make your website look neat and organized. Many 2022 website designers are updating their site borders to be more visible and purposefully arranged.
Some minimalist websites in the past utilized “free-floating” text to give their website a simple but natural feel. Now, that’s a pretty outdated way to include information on a web page. People like organization and clear section boards are an easy way to distinguish one block of text from another.
8. Human-Like Chatbots
Chatbots are one of the fastest-growing brand communication channels out there. We’d wager a pretty hefty bet that almost everyone reading this post has used a chatbot service at some point during their online browsing experience – and most of us appreciate the fast, easy service.
Chatbots are even more popular in 2022, but there’s an emphasis on realistic or “human-like” chatbot services. Web users want to feel like they’re talking to a real person, not a machine. As artificial intelligence has become more sophisticated, we’re seeing high numbers of websites convert to more personalized chatbot services.
9. Personalized Content
A recent study revealed that about a third of the marketers in the United States and the UK spent over half of their online marketing funds on personalization efforts. They’re not the only ones focusing on that, though. Web designers are stepping up their personalization strategies.
The internet has made everything more accessible and customizable. So, why wouldn’t your website do the same?
2022 websites are using everything from geolocation information to people’s browsing history to personalize their features and messages. You’ll see this most commonly on popular eCommerce sites, but we’d wager personalized web content will become more apparent across most kinds of websites in the future.
10. An Emphasis on Accessibility
Lastly, modern websites are moving toward more accessible and inclusive designs. Small businesses want to appeal to every type of user, including those who maybe have special needs or desires while browsing the web.
We expect to see most websites in 2022 move toward setups that work well with assistive technology. This could mean adding alt-text to images, including more purposeful link anchor text, or simply updating complicated navigation.
Remember that your website content is as important as your visual designs. If you want to emphasize accessibility, you’ll need to ensure your website is easily viewable and understandable for people with disabilities, as well as the average user.
Want to Make Some Web Design Updates? Talk to Us
At Inbound Studio, we specialize in crafting beautiful websites that play on the latest trends and marketing tactics. It’s our job to stay at the forefront of popular changes so that we can help our clients create truly amazing websites.