With the average small business set to spend $75,000 this year on digital marketing alone, it’s essential to make sure you’re spending in the right place. With poorly planned spending or with an investment in outdated design trends, you could risk looking out of touch with modern web design. Following web design trends in 2018 requires knowing what’s hot and what’s no longer interesting.
Here are 6 trends to follow for your design in 2018.
With the help of drop shadows and depth, designers are starting to take text off of the page a little bit more. Drop shadows have been around for decades in digital design but they’ve come back as more subtle than ever.
As web browser technology has improved, we can see more subtlety than ever before.
The purpose of the internet has long been to show a world beyond the screen and it’s never been easier than with modern browsers. Since flat design had its day, taking over the design space and moving complexity to the margins, drop shadows and depth are back and better than ever.
Styles move in cycles and with flat design reaching its minimalist endpoint, physicality has returned in a big way. Since shadows can create versatile effects, you can divide up space between objects or even highlight a link in a more subtle way than a color change.
2. Bolder Colors Than Ever
Again, due to changes in browser technology, colors brighter, bolder, and more subtle than ever online. It seems like every type of brand is trying out colors that would have been riskier in previous eras.
Designers are showing off their color courage, including intense saturation and vibrancy that comes through in angles and sharp angles.
Without having to worry about which colors are “web-safe”, designers can rest assured that the colors they choose can be reproduced on screens. Even clashing colors can be used to attract the attention of users who want to set themselves apart.
3. Going Mobile First
As mobile browsing has surpassed desktop browsing by leaps and bounds, it’s essential to have a design that’s ready for mobile and tablets. Regardless of whether or not the majority of your clients are on mobile devices now, they will be soon.
Rather than trying to retrofit your site for mobile devices, you should create a site that’s tailor-made for mobile. If you’re designing your site for the first time, start with a mobile design and then fit it to desktop devices. It’s much easier to start with a mobile-optimized design and adapt it for desktops than to go in the other direction.
As mobile design matures, there are new ways to create engaging menus, allowing you to show off your products with gorgeous images. Your icons can be smooth and intricate. UX issues have never been simpler to diagnose and figure out without having to up-end your entire site.
Start with a strong design and allow your users some space to breathe. Users would rather interact with a white page with two links on it than a single menu that overwhelms them with options.
4. Customized Illustrations
Illustrations are a unique way to be playful, friendly, and engaging. No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a way to use simple pictograms or illustrated characters to communicate a concept to your customers.
Illustrations can show off your brand’s tone and show what kind of personality you have. They give you the chance to stand out from a crowded field or an unforgiving market.
If your brand is more typically seen as being overly serious, you can make yourself approachable with something illustrated. No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a way to make yourself seem friendly and modern with an illustration.
5. Bold Typography
Since the advent of the printed word, typography has been a powerful tool for attracting attention and communicating ideas. It’s both a visual and a practical element that can show off personality and emotion. You can also use typography to create a hierarchy of information to show what’s important versus what might be a less useful detail.
Since resolutions have gotten sharper and easier to read, you can use a broader range of types than ever. The rise of the custom font is upon us and with most modern browsers able to support hand-made typeface, they’ve never been easier to code into your site.
When web pages use custom typography, they can break out of the traditional serif and sans serif binary to explore dynamic combinations.
Since headers make a difference in your SEO, you need to take typography seriously when conveying information to your audience. Search engines see a dynamic use of headers as indicative that you understand how to communicate in a digital interface.
There’s nothing more dynamic right now that designs featuring a broken grid. Broken layouts appeal to the eye because of their very asymmetry. An experimental design will appear distinctive, unique, and bold.
While most major brands still rely on traditional grid-based structure, unconventional layouts are starting to create new experiences. While big companies will be less likely to take risks with asymmetrical layouts, smaller brands that do will be able to stand out from the crowd.
Web Design Trends in 2018 Follow Previous Years
If you’ve been watching web design trends in 2018, you probably notice that what was happening in 2017 seems to continue into 2018.
This year’s trends take all the concepts and elements that broke ground in 2017 and push them to the next level. Following trends allows you to see which ones might not have staying power and which have been bubbling for a while.
To make sure your design is a huge hit, follow our guide on what to steer clear of in bad design trends.