Website design trends are a little like fashion in that there are fresh new styles that surface each year. The popularity of color schemes come and go, as do fonts, and other visual elements. They have seasons of fashionableness. Anyone remember the early days when twirling globes, hit counters, and splash pages dominated our online view?
But website development does not change with the season. Instead, it more often changes with technological innovation. As technology advances arise (think mobile devices and touch screens), they are systematically followed by creative implementation initiated by avant-garde designers and programmers.
These adaptations to technology proliferate through the web-building community as they transform from trend-setting ideas to staple features. Many ultimately become essential ingredients to good website production—think about the little stacked navigation icon on mobile devices affectionately known as the “hamburger.”
Why does this evolution take place? Developers construct techniques that make easier work of implementing the elements. Features that offer extended functionality may be only available from highly skilled custom developers at first. And often those features are so popular that developers create ways to efficiently incorporate them into sites so that they can be used by those with minimal knowledge of coding.
For the past several years, Jemully has put together a list of trends in web design and development for the coming year. This year, we will look at the past four years of progress to see what changes remain fresh in design for 2018, and what elements are now essential.
Fresh Looks Carry Into 2018
- Bright colors
- Graphic illustrations
- Photography – Use as many authentic images images as possible in place of stock photos.
- Animation – Make your website move with purpose, such as highlighting what’s important, telling your brand’s story, or drawing attention to a key feature of your site. This includes:
- Video background
- Scroll Triggered Animations
- SVG format – Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) – SVGs are vector images, not pixels, which gives them many advantages. They are incredibly scalable (while maintaining their quality), meaning they won’t affect page speed when animated because they don’t’ require any HTTP requests. SVGs are essential to providing quality multimedia experiences for users in 2018 [examples?]
- Increased use of whitespace – Read this post from Team Tree House about how using whitespace effectively can impact your site.
- Bolder Typography – Read this post from Hongkiat about how bold fonts make for bold websites.
- Sticky menus – “Sticky menus” stick, fixed right beneath your browser search bar, so readers do not have to scroll all the way to the top of a long webpage.
- Hidden/Hamburger navigation – This style hides the navigation behind a button, which allows site visitor to focus on the call to action with fewer distractions.
- Custom icons & graphics give your site a unique visual style that may make it a more appealing destination for readers.
Recent Website Trends
Take a look back at our past few years of trend reporting and predictions. How did we fare? By our count, most of these trends remain best practices today, though a few a subject to taste (looking at you, “retro fonts”).
Click the headings for each year below to read the full article.
- Wix / Squarespace / WordPress
- Non-stock imagery
- Video – backgrounds, dividers, short explainers
- Retro fonts
- Mobile responsive
- Divide between Custom and DIY
- Card layout
- Flat Design (long-scrolling homepages)
- Flat Design
- Responsive sites replacing mobile sites
For more ways to dominate in 2018, don’t forget these other recent posts: