As we hurtle towards the 2020’s already, we have taken a good look at what we think is going to rule website design in 2019 and it’s all about pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules (of design, that is).
1. Voice User Interfaces (VUI)
Typing? That’s sooo… 2017. The year 2018 saw voice controlled searching devices really start to reach the mass markets and it looks set to continue to rocket in popularity. For most, it’s so much quicker, easier and more natural to speak a question than to type it. As the technology advances, more web designers will be looking to incorporate VUI’s into their websites to improve the user experience.
2. Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is about enhancing the real world for the user, as opposed to VR which is a virtual environment.The possibilities of AR have been steadily advancing for years now, especially in the gaming sector – you only have to look at the premise and popularity of Pokemon Go to understand its appeal. 2019 will see developers apply this technology to augment user’s experiences in more everyday functions, not just gaming.
3. User Experience (UX)
We already know the number one rule to work with in website design is the UX and that’s not going to change. What is changing is what users expect from the internet. With ever shortening attention spans, loading speed is of the essence. But that’s not enough on it’s own, in a world where they are exposed to an overwhelming amount of information vying for their attention, consumers look for great user experiences from the websites they visit. If you don’t give it to them, someone else will.
2019 trends in improving user experience will include personalising user’s experiences, providing more interactive features and continued growth in the use of Chatbots to answer user questions immediately, regardless of time and day. Do not forget quality is more important than quantity, at least when it involves your content.
4. Broken Grids
The straight-line rule book has been torn up and thrown out. We’re no longer completely restricted to the traditional grid layout with horizontal and vertical blocks, this is already showing as designers play around with asymmetrical layouts, diagonal gradients, overlapping key elements and more fluid scrolling options, with many fast becoming popular with webmasters and users alike. If you have not paid attention to these design trends so far, try playing ‘spot the diagonal’ on home pages next time you browse the web.
The perennial go-to look of high-end and luxury goods retailers, a minimalist approach has never really been out of fashion but looks set to be big in 2019 as the perfect antidote to the brash, bold and in-your-face design going on elsewhere. Deconstructed web pages, minimal wording, lots of space deliberately left blank and neutral, monochrome or single colour palettes all help to project a sharp, uncluttered and focussed effect.
6. Bold & Brash
The complete opposite to minimalism, this look is all about making a big statement. With very bright and vivid colourways, high contrast, strong patterns and a whole lot of visual play going on. Some websites are already intentionally pushing this look to the extremes with brutalist, fragmented and clashing typography, imagery and videos. It can be really effective at grabbing attention but make sure the target market for the website is researched first. Not every user will appreciate flashing images and jarring composition.
7. Retro Looks
Retro, vintage, nostalgia, while these words have been buzzing around home and fashion retail like flies for ages now, trends started elsewhere will always filter into web design. Since the internet has only really been widely used since the noughties, that means any time period before and including the noughties is fair game to revive, according to your brand style and personal tastes. 70’s, 80’s or 90’s inspired fonts, imagery and layouts? Up to you, but beware you may be showing your age!
8. Experimental Typography
Not really a ‘new’ thing as designers are always creatively experimenting but typography has always been limited online by coding and resolution capabilities. Until now. Watch web designers move away from ‘safe’ sans-serif fonts and limited presentation options to start bending the rules. Expect the unexpected; type to be arranged into forms, directions and shapes not previously possible, combined with animations, illusions, imagery and unexpected twists. Not to mention a whole lot of serif fonts appearing on a screen near you.
9. BIG Titles
Nope, not a euphemism. Expect to see lots of bold shortened titles and intros in very large lettering to grab the attention of the time poor consumer. Usually paired with a minimalist page design to ensure the words really do jump out.
10. Fluid Shapes
Computer technology has restricted designers to linear and flat design for so long, now that on-screen graphics capabilities have improved, designers are relishing the freedom. Intriguing natural, fluid, organic and curvy shapes stand out against the standard geometrical shapes we’re all familiar with on our screens.