The practices in web design are constantly changing. In 2020, the technological possibilities seem infinite and we see designers playing with extremes, reinventing past designs and experimenting with new techniques. At the same time, there are some common trends that just will never change, like the ever-present minimalism and vibrant, flat illustrations that we've seen for some time now.
So, what will the trends in web design be in 2020 and beyond? We asked our top designers at Simple Digital what trends they see in web design by 2020. Here's what they came up with.
Here are 5 web design trends for 2020 and beyond:
1. Dark Mode
Not only do dark web designs look ultra modern, but they are easy on the eyes and make colors and elements pop. Always remember that the most visually stunning trends in web design sometimes have realistic, real-world roots. Apart from health benefits, dark themes are better at power-saving and increasing device lifespans for viewers.
"Dark mode is so hot right now. Every app and website we've built in 2020 - so far - has adaptable light/dark modes" says Joshua, a lead designer at Simple Digital. "As it becomes more popular, an increasing number of users are expecting dark mode on the sites they visit, which creates this demand for website owners and publishers to quickly adapt."
Coincidentally, the dark mode design aesthetically fits with other prevalent design trends that include dark and moody schemes combined with neons as well as futuristic and dark cyberpunk styles.
2. Imperfections add personality
Imperfect, hand-drawn design elements inject emotion and empathy into websites that consumers seem to be looking for after years of seeing polished and impersonal graphics dominate web design. Adding some hand-drawn realism in 2020 gives web designs that the tourists to the heart and soul find appealing.
"People tend to think you need perfection when it comes to lines and blocks, but consumers today are looking for a human-touch." says Lana, our senior graphic designer. "Bots and AI-designed websites and elements are becoming too-alike, and seperating yourself from that sends a message to your users that your company isn't a machine, but a personalized experience."
Indeed. with the same web designs you see everday, we could all use a bit of extra personality. Unique and stylized, hand-drawn icons and other elements show off the personality of your brand and makes you stand out from your competitors. For 2020, try to stay away from pixel-perfect, flat designs - flaunt those scratchy edges and open shapes!
3. Softer shadows, layers, and floating elements
This trend is about creating that soft depth to give your website a slight 3D-effect. These soft shadows and floating elements add interest, but it’s not just for graphics - you can use this effect with text and photos as well. These effects give the design a lightweight feel, as if the elements are floating over each other — a very sharp contrast from classic, impenetrable flat web design where the layers seem, well, flat.
4. Solid white frames
"The 'white space around websites' design is something I personally love," says our Junior Web Designer, Alex. "It really seperates you from the full-bleed and paralax designs we've seen over the past decade and 'frames' your site for users to easily comprehend your message."
For the past few years, Simple Digital has been using this design layout for it's website leasing clients, and going further into 2020, you expect us to recommend this layout as it's easy to build, read, and optimize.
5. Ultra-minimalist navigation
With the increase of mobile-users, web design is thinking smaller and simplier. The navigation button and menu is the most affected by this, as it's the glue that hold your website togther. Over the last few years, navigation has been getting simpler and simpler to accommodate extremely small devices and even smaller attention spans.
"The less a user has to think about moving around, the more time they spend immersed in the site," says our CEO, William. Although we started implementing this back in 2017 with some of the first websites we've built, I definitely see this trend picking up more steam as we go into the new decade, he continues, because users have convince themselves they don't have the time anymore and want to find exactly what they're looking for within the few glances and clicks."
And we've seen this trend work many times: remove the difficulty of navigation and users will increase their time spent on the site.
There you have it, 5 web design trends for 2020 and beyond! With a decade of old trends having come to a close and a decade ahead open to attention-grabbing visuals, you can expect the minimalistic movement and user time-span epidemic to make 2020 and beyond very interesting for web designers.