Website design has trends: 2022 will be no different. We’ve written before about how important it is for web designers – and design agencies more widely – to “scan the horizon”, to understand what users are expecting in web design and how to meet those needs.
Following every fad or fashion is a bad idea. Dressing your website like it’s still 2008 is no better a plan, either. Trends matter – choosing which you follow wisely ensures that you keep your website, and your brand, looking fresh.
So what do we expect for the coming twelve months? Now is certainly the time to figure out what the hottest sites of 2022 will be wearing. Spotting new developments now means your site will be leading the pack rather than following in its wake. Don’t play catch-up – blaze a trail.
To be ahead of the design curve in 2022, start thinking now about the following fresh directions for your designs. Incorporate a few here or there – and wait for the admiring glances.
You might associate mindfulness with bullet journals or meditation. However, it can be about a lot more than colouring-in mandalas. At its best, mindfulness encourages a sense of calm and peacefulness – a sort of serenity. Users will be looking for this in their websites this year.
Why? The web can be a stressful and shouty place; a site that eschews all that and evokes a deep breath will be a place people want to visit. We’re all a bit overwhelmed these days: white space and clean lines on a website just makes life a little easier. Not only that, but this will help your sites load faster – and everyone, including Google’s search algorithm, likes to see that.
Peacefulness isn’t the only mood your site should be seeking to inspire in 2022. After the couple of years the world has had – most notably experiencing the pandemic – a few sunny vibes won’t go amiss. The clean design that characterises mindful websites doesn’t mean that they can’t also be fun and colourful.
Fun features like amusing animation, and bold design elements like exciting font faces, can feel like a much-needed injection of energy. Be a bit light-hearted, send some positive messages to your users – they, and probably you, could do with the fillip.
That said, don’t go for acid yellow when you’re trying to excite everyone. Instead, look to align the optimism with the mindfulness, and go for soothing but attractive hues of green, ochre and blue. Think the great outdoors filtered through a slightly bleached Instagram filter.
This also has the benefit of nodding towards the salience of environmental issues these days. We are all thinking more about the natural world, and there’s no reason that web design should make a nod to our beautiful (but endangered) planet. Keep things simple by making your colours softer.
Amid all of this, start moving away from the “flat” trend of recent years, which saw designers abandon so-called “skeuomorphic” design – which sought to emulate objects in the real world – towards a cool minimalism. Don’t return to the bevels and gradients of yesteryear, though – move forwards.
A lot of screens graduating in quality from HD to 4K, and AR and VR more and more a part of our everyday technological experience. Web designs should experiment with 3D elements: animation, backgrounds, polygons. But don’t overdo it, and keep things subtle – plenty of people still don’t have the hardware for this, so leave 3D as a hint in your designs, not the basis of them.
Finally, enhance your interactivity: make your website customisable. One-page designs are veterans of this trend by now, giving users the chance to explore their own route through a site. But now technology allows designers to empower users to move content items wherever they like, choose their own backgrounds and colour schemes, and in general make a space their own. This is a lot of fun – and allows users to make themselves at home within your brand.
In other words, be both fun and soothing. Those are the website design trends for 2022. Check out our previous design trends blog to see what has changed – Design Trends for 2021
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