While the pandemic seemed to put the world on pause for the last two years, it hasn’t kept new trends from emerging and developing, especially in web design. If nothing else, the importance of an online presence has been reinforced as a key element to helping your brand thrive. Read on to hear our picks of the top trends to help your website stand out in 2022!
A Picture Isn’t Always Worth 1000 Words
Being greeted by a carefully selected, emotion-inducing image when you first click onto a website is not an unusual occurrence. The use of images is a tried and true way of storytelling, and they help users either feel connected to the central message of the site or give them a better understanding of the product right off the bat.
However, with the start of 2022, designers are looking to decrease the amount of images on a website, especially on the homepage. Instead, custom illustrations, unique designs, and images overlaid with big text are taking their place. There is a much heavier focus on drawing users in with a style and design unique to that website. This gives designers much more freedom with creating pages that have a cohesive flow not broken up by images. It also leaves users with a bit of mystery that will keep them scrolling for more.
Get Creative with Typography
A reduced number of images on a page leaves plenty of space for content to take over, and with that, increased liberties for creative typography. The biggest text-related trend that is going to take over in 2022 is the use of big, bold, oversized text. Instead of a photo, let your actual words and content tell the story, and do it in such a way that’s eye-catching and impossible to miss. Your page titles, headers, and quotes have the biggest impact on a user’s perception of the page, so make it clear to them where to focus and what is important to you.
Interactive fonts are another way to get creative with text. Color changing hover-states, text that scans across the page, or fonts that appear upon scrolling are great options to jazz up your typeface. Additionally, instead of just putting emphasized words in bold or italics, use a gradient with a different color to highlight what’s important.
Inclusive & Accessible Design
Inclusivity and accessibility: while they’ve always been considered during the website development process, 2022 is seeing an increased focus on these two values. As far as accessibility goes, it’s important for designers to consider all five senses so that users who are visually or hearing impaired still have access to material. You should stay away from using text as images and difficult to read fonts and color schemes. If you’re in doubt or struggling to implement this yourself, BuildThis would be happy to help as we have years of experience with following accessibility guidelines, so contact us today!
Web developers are also working to make their sites more inclusive to varying user groups. This can be as simple as using inclusive language such as “they” instead of “he” or “she” in content, or ecommerce sites opting for photos of models of many different races, genders, and body-types. Gender-neutral design is also a promising trend, and one that we don’t see phasing out anytime soon. Gender-neutral design means paying less attention to your potential user’s gender when creating a website. For example, a website for a tree cutting service shouldn’t be geared solely towards men, and a website for beauty products doesn’t need to be overly feminine. Designers should consider how anyone, regardless of gender, would feel on the site and tailor their design towards the actual products and services being advertised, sold, or promoted.
At a time when our interactions with the internet are happening more and more frequently on mobile devices, specifically on mobile apps, it’s easy to see why users are seeking a more app-like experience for websites in 2022. This trend follows nicely with using less images on webpages because apps tend to be more design-heavy and include graphics and illustrations. Creative design elements like glass morphism and complex gradients are also common trends in apps that are quickly making their mark in web page design trends.
With this in mind, responsive design should be an important focus of your web development process. Keep your sites dynamic and interactive in ways that users are familiar with interacting with apps, by using concise ideas and easy to understand navigation. In fact, if you’re looking for a way to really give your site an app-like feel, single page websites have recently become very popular. Not only do they give designers an opportunity to get creative and challenge their ideas of a standard webpage, but single page sites also offer a very clear-cut user experience.
Help Your Users Feel Comfortable
There’s little doubt that the last two years have been full of uncertainty and concern for the future. That’s why, in 2022, users are looking for anything that will give them comfort and a little respite from the uncertainty.
There are multiple ways of doing this on your new website. Aesthetics of nostalgia, including retro fonts and image filters, soft color palettes, and an altogether laid back theme, are becoming more and more popular. Nostalgic themes are less “in-your-face” and more about slowing things down and helping users feel comfortable.
Another trend reminiscent of the past is design throwbacks to the 90s. Just like fashion, design trends seem to be going in cycles, and the 90s are back and bigger than ever. Layered designs and collages in the hero section are making a big impact, and they are a great way to use an image without the entire focus being solely on the image. Resurfacing trends of the past is perfect for keeping your site light hearted and fun. The web doesn’t always need to be a serious place, and throwback designs and aesthetics are a perfect alternative to the minimalist and austere nature of the past few years’ design trends.
Overall, the most successful way to make your users feel comfortable is to give your website a sense of place. Make it clear where you belong and how your users can connect with you, even if it’s just on the web. Helping users feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and still have connections outside of the four walls of their work-from-home space is more important than ever before, so ground your website in whatever message is most important to you and let it flow into your design, content, and user experience.
Keeping up with the trends can be a daunting task, especially if you’re just starting out. However, you are not alone! Here at BuildThis, we specialize in keeping up to date with all the best practices for web design and development. Don’t hesitate to contact a design expert at BuildThis today, we would love to help you create a website with a style and design that is as unique as your brand.