There are some exciting & current web design trends in 2020 that all business owners and web designers should be aware of. While you don’t want to overdo it and fill your entire site with trendy elements, adding a few current looks will show site visitors that your site is current and that you understand modern business. Looking ahead at the coming year, you’ll find that it’s an exciting time for developing websites because of the amazing responsive web design trends in 2020.
We can learn a lot by looking back at some of the current web design trends, as well as the most interesting web design trends of 2019, such as voice interfaces, image-based search and how smart speakers such as Alexa are changing the way people interact with the internet. Some trends are just plain fun, and others help serve a purpose or tie into current technology in some way.
While it’s a good idea to know the current web design trends and use the ones that make sense for your brand, keep in mind that you should look for opportunities to stand out from your competitors. That may mean forging the path for a new design or going back to a feature that worked particularly well for you in the past. Here are some predictions of web design trends for 2020 and why you should consider implementing them on your own site. Its also a good idea to understand current SEO trends and techniques, as this will help you optimize your web design for better conversions.
1. Oversize Letters
One area where you can quickly see web design trends in 2020 is in typography. Expect to see huge, oversize lettering that grabs the user’s attention and makes the entire experience whimsical and fun. Single words will take up the entire page. Use this method sparingly, however, and make sure it responds to smaller screens such as smartphones. Otherwise, you’ll risk losing some of your site visitors.
Granyon uses this style to invite people to an event they’re having to celebrate summer even though summer will be over by the time the event occurs. They use the word summer in huge letters split into two lines to grab user attention. Using the oversize letters for an online invitation is a smart way to tap into a current trend without changing the basic look of the site. Consider using big letters for a landing page, for example.
2. Broken Grids
In 2019, we saw the start of asymmetrical designs where everything doesn’t have to line up on a grid. Expect this trend to continue into 2020 not only for web design but across different mediums. The broken grid will become more popular where boxes overlap one another and create layers of elements that are aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. The approach gives websites a more artistic, high-end look. No longer is a grid a necessity, and it may even make your site seem a bit dated.
3. Better Mobile Designs
In the last few years, designers have realized how many people access their sites via smartphones. A recent report indicates that by the year 2025, about 3.7 billion internet users will be mobile-only. If you aren’t already designing for smaller screens, this year is definitely the time to jump onto this trend before the market saturation increases further.
If your site isn’t already based on mobile-first design, now is the time to look at how you serve content to your readers and where they’re actually accessing your site from, such as a phone or desktop computer.
Some sites simply scream for simplicity. Take your target demographic into consideration. If most of your users are baby boomers, you may want to keep things traditional and simple so that they can easily find the elements they need. On the other hand, if your audience is Gen Z, you need trendier design elements and don’t have to worry about them figuring out how to use your site — this generation is extremely tech-savvy. They’ve likely already thought of the importance of a design trend for 2020 before you’ve even heard of it.
5. 3D Elements
Three-dimensional additions to designs have been around for a while, but expect to see even more of them in the coming year. People want a firsthand experience without having to leave the comfort of their living room sofa. Add videos, 360-degree looks at products and letters that pop with three-dimensional designs.
Keystone Shooting Center offers a three-dimensional video showing the interior of their retail location. You can browse their store, walk through the various displays, use a dollhouse view to see the entire building and even get up close to the display cases to see what’s inside. It’s the next best thing to actually visiting the store.
6. Custom Sketches
You’ve likely noticed the trend toward illustrations on various websites. They add a certain whimsical element. Expect to see them become more and more customized so that they perfectly match the tone and purpose of sites. To tap into this web design trend for 2020, figure out what makes your brand unique from your competitors and come up with a story to match it. Work with an illustrator to create drawings that perfectly match the purpose and personality of your site.
7. Split Content
Does your business have dual purposes? Split content design is on track to become another web design trend for 2020, already showing up on artist websites and some e-commerce sites. With split content, you’ll simply split the page down the middle and show the two sides of a company’s personality, such as having one side light and one side dark.
You can layer transparent colors over a single background to achieve this look or make the split harsher and the two sides completely different. There should be some element that ties the two sides together, such as a centered log.
Animation is a trend that never really goes out of style, but with faster and faster internet speeds, expect to see more and more animation appear in web design trends in 2020. The speeds of 5G connectivity will make streaming easier and quicker than ever before. Providers expect about a 20-fold increase in speeds with the introduction of 5G over LTE.
Hello Monday introduces their services by showing the types of animations they can create. They show a man and a woman going through various tasks, such as jumping into a swimming pool dancing or morphing into different shapes and outfits.
9. Hidden Navigation
Some of the web design trends in 2020 spiral off other trends from 2019. Minimalism has been growing in popularity, for instance, and hidden navigation tags onto that trend by placing fewer elements on a page initially. Once heralded as going out, the hamburger menu has made a reappearance as a way to show where the navigation is without taking up precious space until the user needs a nav bar. Some sites also just use the word “menu” to signal how the user can navigate the site when needed.
10. Bold Colors
The use of bold colors is a not-so-new player in web design trends for 2020. Bold colors have been in use for the last several years, and they continue on into the coming year with vivid blues, deep pinks and bright purples. They’re used as accent colors, but they appear as complete backgrounds or transparent overlays on images. The colors are jarring at first, but they definitely grab the user’s attention. The key to using bold colors is paring them with neutrals such as white or black.
Another design trend that seems to be growing in popularity is morphing images. As the user mouses over elements on a page, they shift, morph and turn into something else, which makes the entire site more interactive and keeps users engaged long after they land on the page. Morphing may help reduce your bounce rates and keep site visitors on your landing page longer, at which point they’ll look at more of what you have to offer.
Fila Explore offers a variety of products meant for hiking and the great outdoors, such as shoes, jackets and backpacks. When you first land on their homepage, you get four choices of the types of terrains you might explore — woods, mountain, canyon and elements. As you mouse over each word placed vertically in the four corners of the page, you see images of those settings. The images shift, meld together and then change to whatever you move over. This style is entertaining and keeps the user looking for a few minutes so that they want to scroll on down and check out the products.
12. Parallax Scrolling
If you’ve ever played a video game such as Super Mario Bros., you’ve experienced parallax scrolling. This design technique has become more popular throughout 2019 and is set to be one of the major web design trends in 2020 as well. Parallax scrolling will allow you to place emphasis on a specific element of your page as it slowly disappears as the user scrolls, keeping it in their line of vision longer than other elements.
Scalable vector graphics (SVGs) aren’t anything new. They’ve been around for many years as a design option because they scale up and down easily for print. However, expect to see these graphics used more and more often in web design in the coming years due to the variety of devices people now use to access the internet. Designers are tired of having to create two separate websites to handle mobile and desktop traffic. With SVGs, the images size up or down easily without the need for a second design.
14. Voice User Interface
Voice user interface (VUI) allows users to interact with a website with voice commands via Siri, Alexa or Cortana. This type of design is also beneficial for individuals who are vision-impaired and may need to issue commands verbally rather than via text. It’s about time web design trends of 2020 caught up to basic accessibility standards, and VUI allows for that while also offering convenience to the person doing another task with their hands but wanting to travel to a different page on your site at the same time.
15. Landing Pages
Facebook has pointed to how artificial intelligence (AI) will change social media as we know it in the coming years. For now, one trend popping up thanks to AI is more personalized website experiences.
When it comes to web design trends in 2020, losing the traditional homepage is one of the biggest changes out there. To create a truly personalized experience for site visitors, designers must create landing pages that match the interests of that person. It is impossible to predict all the advances of AI, but one can certainly look at previous changes and see that we’re headed into a more personalized, intuitive world that meets our needs almost before we know we have them.
Brutalism is a bit hard to define, but you’ll know the look when you see it. Sharp edges, lack of symmetry, boldly contrasting colors and clashing designs all make up this new trend. A range of colors safe for the internet and blocks of color with no white space set this style apart. The look is unique from anything else out there and really grabs consumer attention.
The Juice Box removes any hint of white space and uses harsh blocks of color. Even the letters on the page are high contrast and blocky. The site screams simpler times, which is maybe what one thinks of when wanting juice.
If you’ve ever visited a website and submitted a form, you may have seen a bar showing the form loading from zero to 100%. This process is a microinteraction and shows the user that their action has a result. With more simplified designs becoming popular, these small actions still keep the site engaging for people. Think in terms of a very narrow response to a small trigger, and you’ll understand the concept a bit better. You can have multiple microinteractions on the same page.
18. Augmented Reality
Almost everywhere you look these days, augmented reality (AR) is at the forefront. Go to any movie theater, and you can plug into mobile apps that let you play a game on your phone while engaging with the big screen. Open a magazine, and the page turns into an experience with the help of your smart device. Expect one of the big web design trends of 2020 to be AR, especially for e-commerce sites.
Some sites already use this technology, by allowing you to upload a photo and see how a pair of eyeglasses looks on your face before you order. You can try on clothes, plug a new rug into an image of your actual living room or try on a new piece of jewelry. As the technology becomes more commonplace and advanced, expect to see it on more and more websites.
We interviewed several industry experts on this topic.
Here are their responses;
Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls writes;
Voice user interface which is not strictly related to design but it allows users to interact with websites through voice commands so it adds usability and functionality to your site making it accessible to all users including those with limitations and disabilities. It is not just about complying with the ADA, responsible web design and corporate social responsibility goals but it is also good for the bottom line by reaching a broader audience. Inclusion is the right thing to do and it is good for business. Smart speakers are only getting more popular going forward so voice is here to stay.
Better use of bold colors and white space to stand out from the competition. The trend toward simplicity and minimalist design means less is more in the new year. Web sites should focus on simplicity & convenience as the world becomes crazier and technology gets smaller, faster and more complicated, people are finding new ways to simplify their lives more than ever. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication after all..
In a mobile first world, you have less time to grab people, attention spans are shorter than ever so video will be used even more, show don’t tell for maximum impact, rich content drives engagement, traction and growth. The world is moving to mobile first or mobile only, fewer people accessing web on big screens so everyone is tailoring their site, message and content accordingly.
Tim Mehta, Senior CRO Expert at Portent, Inc, writes;
With awareness growing for accessibility on our sites combined with the consequences of building a site that excludes a large volume of internet users (most importantly, a group of human beings), designers will be paying closer attention to making sure they’re designs meet accessibility standards.
2. Bye bye drop-downs.
Many articles and usability studies are coming out exposing the poor UX of drop-down fields (especially on mobile) and highlighting more usable alternatives.
3. Higher frequency of forms in hero region.
With so many AB tests proving the potential increase in form fill rates by moving the form to the landing view of the page, expect to see more of this across the web.
Anastasia Dyachenko, CEO at Cadabra Studio, design & development company, writes;
1. Microinteractions (UI animations)
The small motions on the site that make it look “alive” and help users to feel their own actions on the site. The button growing slightly bigger, when you point on it, the upload success bar, the price tag jumping on a product as you scroll down the webpage, the animated logo or small animated elements on the hero page – all these things are the examples of microinteractions. The design element has already been in trend in 2019, but it’s still evolving and even more companies will start using it next year. I think UI animations make digital products more humane, they help users feel like they’re interacting not with a bunch of ones and zeroes, but with something that lives, understands and responds when you do something to it. That’s why people tend to have warmer feelings about the sites that have such microinteractions and spend more time there.
2. Voice technology (VUI)
Voice command systems have already proven to be very effective, convenient and easy to use. Starting from Siri and ending with smart speakers many of us are having at home now. So, web designers are starting to implement voice technologies and AI to the websites as well. The VUI helps to make designs more simple and straightforward.
Minimalistic design has been a trend for several years now and it’s not going to vanish in 2020. However, I expect the trend to have a change in the color palette. Next year web designers will be using deep, bold colors. The colors do a great job in grabbing users’ attention and help brands to stand out.
Go Traditional Too
The top web design trends of 2020 will blaze onto the scene with excitement. Some will fizzle out as the majority of trends do. With that fact in mind, figure out the traditional features that work best for your target audience, and use trends only when it makes sense for function or to show you’re up on the latest news. Finally, don’t be afraid to leave your site as is if your conversions are strong and the overall elements work well for you.
Lexie is a graphic designer and UX strategist. Her work is featured on Manta, Marketo, Website Magazine, Creative Bloq, and Sunlight Media.
Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.