For much of the past decade, minimalism was the reigning website design trend. In recent years, simple images, muted two-toned color palettes, and other minimalist design favorites have given way to maximalism. Colorful, vibrant, and complex visuals have stepped in, swinging the design pendulum to the opposite extreme.
Moving into 2022, however, expect a general move toward balance. Clarity, functionality, and accessibility are the new foundations of visual design. Common goals for website design are to create authenticity, engagement, and something people will remember.
For brands, keeping up with website design trends and understanding what’s important for users today is critical to making decisions that support traffic, engagement, and conversions in 2022 and beyond.
Find out more about 10 web design trends for 2022 below, including what cool websites are using these trends now.
But first, some technical web design trends
Before diving into visual trends, it’s important to understand the technical trends behind them. Staying up-to-date on technical trends helps your site perform better in search engine results and with critical behavioral metrics such as time on page.
Here’s a look at a few items that are top factors going into 2022:
- Page speed and page load times. Google considers page speed a factor in overall page quality. Beautiful pages that take forever to load may not perform well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) because of this. Plus, according to Google, bounce rates increase by 32% if a page takes three seconds to load instead of one. It doesn’t matter how great your site design is if people aren’t sticking around to see it.
- Mobile-friendly websites. Mobile devices account for around half of all internet traffic, so sites that aren’t mobile-friendly risk alienating half (or more) of their target audiences. Google’s mobile-first initiative means a site that’s not mobile-friendly might not show up in SERPs at all, reducing chances of organic traffic.
- Accessibility. It’s important for sites to be accessible and operable by anyone, so accessibility can be a ranking factor. Pages that don’t account for accessibility issues may not rise high in the page results. It’s also just good business to ensure your website works for as many potential consumers as possible.
10 website design trends top brands are using in 2022
If you’re looking for some of the best website design tips for this year, these 10 trends are a great place to start.
1. Visible grids
Visible grid designs provide a transparent, retro look that gives the viewer immediate insight into how the designer meant the page to be organized. The benefits include easy-to-navigate sections and control over where the viewer’s attention is directed.
Check out how Acid League uses a visible grid to separate product images and information so users can scroll quickly through to find what they’re looking for.
This type of structure works well if you want to promote your site on social media. You can quickly turn content from each grid into images for social posts, so all your design efforts do double duty.
2. Moving type
Your font and all other visual elements can be moving in an emotional sense. But literally moving type can be powerful too.
Web designers are adding animated elements to text to convey information in a more striking way, and moving text creates a dynamic appearance that captures the eye. Monday Creative’s bold header, for example, immediately grabs and holds the reader’s attention and draws them into the page.
3. Bending grids and overlapping elements
Prim and proper layouts aren’t for everyone anymore. Broken grids, overlapping text and images, and surprising visual elements like vertically placed text flaunt web design as an art. Designers that know how to bend the rules for a lasting first impression and artistic visual appeal can help create powerful branding on websites.
Playing around with text placement is definitely a 2022 web design trend. Consider Melyssa Griffin’s site, which playfully overlaps images, text boxes, text, and other elements to create an inviting scrapbook-like ambiance.
4. The retro resurrection
Whether it’s the bubbly, unhindered design of the 90s or the colorful craziness of the 70s, one web design trend in 2022 is looking to the past for inspiration and steering away from more recent minimalism.
Bright, contrasting colors, presentations that “break the rules,” and vintage fonts and images are all on display. Pursot’s attention-grabbing homepage is one example — the bright brand name stands boldly against a rapidly changing set of background images.
Learn about some color combinations that work so you can “break” the design rules the right way.
5. Interactive design
The right interactive design elements add intrigue to web content while driving up engagement. Meaningful interactions express brand identity while drawing the user further into the site, organically.
Hover effects and interactive clickable and scrollable elements are examples of simple design concepts that can drive deeper engagement.
Van der Pop’s site is rife with fun interactive elements, including color tones that lighten or darken when you hover over images, lots of scrolling opportunities, and plenty of clickable buttons. Visitors may find themselves clicking and scrolling even before they realize it.
6. Bare-bones brutalism with a kick
This web design trend is almost grunge in its simple and non-conforming nature. In a world where cramming in more is the common default, this trend is looking to do less while capitalizing on the same benefits of brand recognition, visitor engagement, and conversions.
The traits of bare-bones brutalism include default fonts, plain colors, asymmetry, and a lack of order and hierarchy. Fewer hamburger menus, more simple lists — you can see the concept on display in the Lauren Manoogian digital shop.
In 2022, this trend is getting a little kick with pops of modern color and typography or overall interactiveness. Couple brutalism with your brand colors or an image that’s synonymous with your company, for example, and you can create a standout, memorable brand identity.
7. Rabbit-hole scroll
The rabbit-hole scroll is an adventure for the visitor. Think Alice falling down the rabbit hole and all the odd and exciting things that happen to her, and you understand this design trend.
Drink Cann makes use of this trend with elements that move up and over the page as you scroll. The 3D-like images draw the eye to each block and make the entire page visually interesting.
Web designers working on branding that’s creative and outside-of-the-box can use this approach, with surprising elements like horizontal scrolling, to create an experience that feels like an exploration.
8. Multimedia as a focus
Almost 70% of people say they prefer watching short videos to interacting with other forms of content, and more than 80% of marketers feel video keeps people on pages longer. So, it’s no surprise that dynamic video or animations in headers is a design trend in 2022.
Dynamic elements let you incorporate brand personality and grab visitor attention. This versatile trend deploys at all types of levels, too, from full-on video to small animated elements such as the text in the circle of the header image on Deciem’s home page.
Create an animated logo or go all-in with short videos incorporated above the fold to test this website trend for your brand.
9. Serif fonts and illustrations take the lead
Sans serif fonts are a traditional go-to for designers due to legibility and flexibility. The minimalist fonts are web-friendly and size up and down on various screens well. But, designers are tired of working with a single font type. In 2022 and beyond, expect serif fonts to stage a major comeback.
Serif fonts add elegance and poise, offer a subtle way to draw attention to headers or content, and enhance the overall design of a page. Check out the Sunday Goods Our Story page to see serif fonts displayed alongside sans serif in a bold design that puts the text at center stage.
Alongside serifs, you may also see a lot of illustrations and patterns. These elements create a more personalized look on pages and add a touch of reality to the digital world. That creates a bridge that helps visitors connect more fully with content.
10. Gaussian blur
The Gaussian blur is a minimalist, slightly psychedelic effect that creates a soothing ambiance. It draws viewer attention and helps bring focus to the right area of your page. This is one of the most popular website design trends because it’s easy to implement, adds an artistic flair, reduces visual noise, and creates more depth on the page.
Check out how Goodbooks blends a number of 2022 web design trends including the Gaussian blur, brutalism, and visible grids to create a stunning and easy-to-navigate website.
Upgrade your website with these 2022 trends!
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