Website design trends are widely talked about every December/January as the design community begins looking at the year ahead. Even though many have tried to predict these trends, they typically don’t pan out as well as expected. New technologies continue to improve at a rapid rate and it almost seems to be impossible to tell what’s coming next. With that said, there is always a bit of truth behind the speculation.
In our opinion, here are 8 website design trends that you should know about going into 2022:
1. More Parallax Websites
If you’re not familiar with the term, parallax elements are features that move in a different direction from their background—they appear to be 3D when they’re actually flat. Because of this “depth,” as we like to call it, parallax elements can create a sense of realism and give a website a polished look.
One of the most common ways to implement parallax elements is with images or videos that scroll at a faster pace than the rest of the page. This allows users to take in the information at their own pace and gives them an immediate sense of how the website works.
2. Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is a website development approach in which the layout of the site changes based on the size of the screen that it is being viewed on. Many websites these days are responsive, meaning they will look great no matter what device you’re using to interact with them.
3. More Videos on Websites
It’s a well-known fact that videos on websites are effective. But how effective are they? Very. The Institute for Research on Web Interactivity and Interactive Media just completed a 5 year study that placed video as the most influential part of interaction on websites.
While some may argue that video volume, timing, and length have a significant impact on effectiveness, the study shows that this is not the case. In fact, all of these factors contribute negligibly to the overall quality of the video. The only factor that directly correlates to a highly-digestible video is quality—specifically, how good it looks. So a little bit of video can go a long way.
4. Stunning Typography
You’ve seen them. Whether it’s a custom logo, a cleverly designed header, or a series of engaging social media graphics, these are the types of special touches that really make websites stand out.
The revered art of lettering has been making design history since the early 20th century, when typographers first began exploring ways to optimize the experience of reading on a screen. Today, as screens continue to evolve, so too do their letters—and it’s becoming increasingly clear that what once seemed like a novelty is here to stay.
5. Simple Navigation Bars
As the internet has matured and developed into the platform it is today, so too has its user base. People who used to be satisfied with a simple collection of text links and a search bar now want to be able to click around on a website as easily as they use their phones.
To see where this trend comes from, we need only look at how people use their phones in order to see that they prefer apps over browsers. Although apps do not yet have all the features of browsers, apps are highly optimized for touchscreens which may explain why users prefer them.
The popularity of apps shows no signs of slowing down, and it makes sense that websites would try to emulate apps while they wait for browser technology to catch up.
6. High-Quality Stock Images
Okay, so let’s get this out of the way up top: stock photography isn’t “cheap.” You know what else isn’t cheap? A really good photographer who takes photos of your products in a studio and then retouches them until they’re perfect.
That’s right—high quality stock photography is exactly the same thing as hiring a professional photographer to shoot your product in a professional setting. The only difference is that you’re hiring someone who’s already done all the work for you, so you can focus on doing business instead of modeling products. And it’s WAY more cost-effective than taking your own photos and then hiring an editor to edit them.
If you can find a high quality stock photo that captures the essence of your brand, then you’ll save yourself the time and money of building an in-house team of photographers, retouchers, and editors.
All you have to do is buy the image once, and then use it as many times as you want!
7. More Sliders and Carousels
Sliders and carousels are a great way to break up content and make it easier for someone to consume it without feeling overwhelmed. No one can read everything on your website.
Sometimes, you need to take a step back and figure out which parts of your site really matter to your business, and which parts are there because you just had to fill up the space somehow. Sliders and carousels are interactive elements that help users navigate quickly through an overwhelming amount of content.
8. The Evolution of Motion Design
In the beginning, websites were a static display of content. Then people started to make them fancier with animated GIFs and the like. Then they started using Flash, which was really fancy at the time, but really hard to update and maintain. Now we have HTML5 and CSS3, which are fancy AND easy to update and maintain.
Each year, new technologies are released and we are all the more excited to see the newest bells and whistles that they offer us. With all of this technology at our disposal, it might be easy to think that design trends are random or hard to predict. However, many design trends are a result of what technology is available to designers in a given year. We can predict this by looking at the past. For example, designing by using grids has been something that has never changed since the 1940s when they were first introduced. Many designers continue to use these grids due to how easy they make it for you to create a layout quickly and easily. With that said, if you understand the reasons behind why trends come about, then you will be better equipped in determining whether or not you want to follow them.