Web design trends from 2018 to 2020 vs. Web Design Trends 2018!

Web design trends from 2018 to 2020

The upcoming 2020 web design trends

Every year brings new trends in the world of design and 2020 is no exception.

From bold typography to dynamic content, 2020 has truly got it all. If you are remaking your website and are in need of the hottest trends, this article is just the thing for you.

We’ve searched the internet and made a list of 10 biggest web design trends in 2020, so let’s take a look:

1. Oversized lettering and bold color

Big and bold headlines are one of the biggest trends of 2020. They started gaining in popularity years ago and are still going strong. It probably wouldn’t be wrong to think that they will never go out of style. But why are they so popular?

bold fonts are new web design trend in 2020
Bold fonts are new web design 2020 trend

They’re very effective and can be stunning. Big headlines with nice fonts draw the attention instantly and can make a whole simple page feel fresh. Paired with a nice fitting background, big lettering can look amazing. Be careful though, it can look really bad if it’s on a page with multitudes of images or if the background image is supposed to be the focus of the page.

It is often combined with simple solid color backgrounds, such as red, green, black, purple and honestly pretty much any color you can imagine. Similarly to oversized lettering, bold colors draw the attention as well and make sure that a website stays in your memory.

2. Background videos

This is another element that instantly captures attention. It ensures that a visitor stays on your website more because they want to see where the video is going.

Check out this website with a video – pretty cool, ha?

They can be videos of products, tours, projects, members of a company in a relaxed or professional setting or a combination of both or they can feature a portfolio. I can think of so many times when I’ve clicked on websites that had videos for backgrounds so I stayed and watched them sometimes even multiple times. They’re interesting and often captivating, but if done wrong, they can slow down a website significantly, so make sure to optimize your video and all the other elements on your website.

3. Asymmetry

One of the biggest trends of 2019, asymmetry will remain relevant in 2020.

Yes, it is the absence of symmetry, but it doesn’t mean it’s messy and disorganized. It is actually quite a difficult thing to master because it is hard to maintain the relationships and balances among elements.

asymmetric grid
Asymmetrical grid is still “IN”

Asymmetrical grids are so much more unique and offer a ton more freedom than symmetrical grids. If you want your website to be remembered and outshine all your competitor’s websites, consider hiring a web designer who can make a great asymmetrical grid for you.

4. Hidden navigation

The trend of hidden navigation is directly tied to the popularity of minimalism. People want as little as possible on their homepages, because it makes the background stand out and achieves peak minimalism: a website with only the background and headline.

hiddent navigation web design trend in 2020
Hidden navigation is always cool

The hidden navigation can be used in multiple ways: a small button you can click to see the navigation, it is hidden and appears as you move the mouse over a certain area of the screen, or the navigation just appears by itself over a few seconds. If you want to use a video as a background and have people focus on it, hidden navigation is definitely the way to go. But don’t forget to make the navigation button visible, so people don’t get confused.

5. Voice capable interfaces

Since voice search is overtaking all the other methods of searching, it is necessary to have a voice capable interface. You want to enable people to browse your website through the usage of their voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

This trend is less on the design side and instead adds more to the functionality and usability of your website, which is just as important. It immensely helps people with physical disabilities.

6. Dynamic content

Animations, GIFs and dynamic illustrations were big in 2019 and undoubtedly will continue to be.

via GIPHY

They can effectively spice up a page and make even the simplest websites look more lively and professional. If you find that a video slows down your website significantly, an animation can be just as effective. You can also use it to transition between pages, and if big animations aren’t really your thing, there are always smaller ones that add personality to pages.

7. Split content

This is another trend that was big in 2019, and the reason for its remaining popular in 2020 is that it doesn’t only look good but is also quite useful.

split screen web design
Split-screen web design | Source: dribble.com

It creates a special visual flow, helps with organization, and makes a website look different from all the other ones that have more of a traditional-looking homepage. Concerning the usefulness of this trend, it works out well with website responsiveness. While a page with split content has two parts side by side on desktop, on mobile they stack and go one under the other.

8. Parallax web design

This is probably one of the most interesting trends periods. It is where the layout of the website moves as you scroll, creating a 3d effect in the process. It can be used in dozens and dozens of ways and creates the most unique and memorable websites.

9. Microinteractions

Microinteractions help creates a more human feel to a website by giving it life and a personality. They were popular in 2019 and by the looks of it, aren’t going anywhere.

microinteractions design
Microinteractions design

Have you ever purchased something and the call to action button lit up or changed in color as you hovered over it? That’s a great example of a micro-interaction. Another example is when you hover over images and they go from black and white to colored.

10. Organic shapes

Organic and natural shapes are another trend from 2019 that is continuing in 2020 and for a good reason.

Web designers are continuing to move away from strict and sharp lines, which limit the freedom of design. With more natural shapes, that are innately asymmetrical and imperfect as well, they are giving websites an appearance that provides more comfort, in away. They also feel more spontaneous and human.

Web design trends of 2018 and 2019

We’ve also made lists of what was popular in 2018 and 2019, so if you are interested in what was popular back then and what trends are still relevant and which aren’t, keep on reading!

Web design trends in 2018

1. Illustrations on user interfaces (UI)

The most prominent trend in 2018 were landing pages. They go beyond the typical white space hero section with the standard photograph background with the headline, sub-headline, and a button layout to a more vibrant and colorful illustration that is relevant to the website, with the purpose of catching your attention.

Illustrations have many purposes but the most notable one is to create a story that helps your audience visualize aspects of your product or service. Original illustrations can be expensive, but if done correctly they can transform a website’s UI and create an entirely unique experience.

w3-lab user interface
W3 Lab user interface.

2. Animation

Animations, similar to illustrations, are there for storytelling.

They are a good way to give movement to a site that allows users to experience the content in a different way. They also push the artist into a competitive environment which leads to the creation of something unique and specific to each website.

animation - heystack animation
Heystack animation

3. Soft edges

Looking back at older websites we can see that message boxes, buttons, windows, and containers were encased in sharp edges.

Over the years, designers started switching up and going for that softer tone with round edges, for a friendlier look. It is important to keep in mind that some websites still use those square or rectangular shapes. So if you want to keep the shapes of your site delicate and soft you will be in line with the popular web design trends.

4. Responsive Website Design

With the fall of desktop PC’s “dominance” over the years, it is very important that websites are developed for cross-platform use, the most important one being smartphones. Websites are being viewed from many different devices and making sure that it looks good on every single one of them is a must for every website.

There are two ways of doing this, one is to make a different version of the website for each platform individually, and the other is to make a website that is responsive.

A responsive website is one that has all the same site elements no matter what device you view it from, and can change accordingly to match the size and shape of the screen. This way other platform users get the exact same information and value from the website.

web design trends 2019
Responsive web design is important.

5. Chatbots

When it comes to some businesses there are just too many questions that need to be answered. A solution to that problem are live chat windows, where the user of the website has access to live representatives that can provide help. This means that any user with a specific question can have it answered immediately, but for many websites, constant representative availability in real life is unsustainable.

Utilizing a chatbot is one possible solution. Chatbots are programs that are there to answer the most common questions users have. That way both the user and the website save time by giving instantaneous answers to common questions and problems. They can be located anywhere on the website, depending on the websites design and spacing.

As for questions that the chatbot doesn’t know how to answer, you can program it to give detailed information on how to get in contact with a live representative so the user knows what to do next.

6. Minimalism

Minimalism, where more is less. After becoming popular among design artists right after World War II, minimalism quickly became a “go-to” technique for making simple and easy-to-use interfaces.

Going back to basics, this trend stands as one of the most popular and timeless designs. It can be identified by its negative space (“white space”) and big and bold typography. Here, homepages are used for navigating to certain content on the website rather than a source of information. A perfect example of classic minimalism is the homepage of the luxury designer brand – Balenciaga.

Minimalism: It shows nothing except the core features of the website, making the user focus on the content instead of the visual appearances.

While animations are not excluded from minimalist websites, they need to be moving on a fixed schedule or when the user clicks or scrolls to avoid distracting from the main content.

web design minimalism
Minimalism: It shows nothing except the core features of the website, making the user focus on the content instead of the visual appearances.

7. Typography

In the modern web-design world we are enjoying the creativity and communication typography has to offer. Devices are getting brighter resolutions paving the way for inventive and custom typography. The year 2018 brought many rich typefaces, decoration styles, and effects combined with emojis to enhance the expressiveness of the texts.

The key to making typography work is to choose the right typeface and limit the number of letters used and combine them with the style of the design artist.

Now that the 2018 trends are out of the way, let’s take a look at the ones 2019 is bringing.

Web design trends in 2019

1. Natural and more fluid shapes

Natural and fluid shapes were one of the most prominent web design trends in 2019. Designers abandoned straight lines and started using more organic lines. Images put in circles, backgrounds with curvy lines that separate colors and buttons with elliptical shapes all made websites look more natural and feel more approachable.

2019 was the year of web designers slowly moving away from the strictness of straight lines and allowing websites to look more creative and diverse.

2. Asymmetrical grid

Speaking of creativity, nothing says creative more than asymmetry.

Contrary to popular belief, asymmetry doesn’t mean that a bunch of elements just got thrown together. It is actually quite a complex thing to pull off that, when done well, can result in a beautiful design. A good asymmetrical grid design can take ages to achieve because there are no written rules on it, you just have to decide it if looks good or not.

All the elements must be in balance, so the most important parts aren’t outweighed by the less important ones.

3. Chatbots

One of the trends of 2018, chatbots remained a relevant web design trend in 2019, as well.

They are artificial intelligence (AI) and are used to talk to customers and answer important questions. Their significance lies in them being active 24/7, so whenever a customer visits a website, they are greeted by a chatbot who offers help should they need it. They can also redirect customers to a human assistant or different pages.

No matter if a website is being visited by a hundred or even thousands of people, one chatbot can manage all of their questions at the same time and immediately, with no delay. Additionally, 70% of people prefer texting over calling, so having a chatbot doesn’t have any disadvantages.

web design chatbot example
Web design chatbot example.

4. Overlapping elements

Every day, we are stepping further and further away from traditional and strict design. Overlapping elements were probably the most unique web design trend in 2019, with numerous possibilities.

Similar to asymmetry, this creative trend gained in popularity pretty fast. Text over images, images over text, images over images, the possibilities are plentiful and they form a unique look and instantly grab attention.

But it isn’t all about aesthetics. Overlapping elements are also used to represent different kinds of interactions that allow users to know what to click to go to the next page or to switch to the next image or article.

There are many people making web design related Pinterest boards, so examples of overlapping elements are numerous and easy to find.

5. 3d illustration

Visual impact is undoubtedly the most important part of web design and 3d illustrations are the best way to utilize it. They are what makes a website’s UI come to life. Both simple and complex, plain and colorful, these illustrations can still be found on all kinds of websites. They are not only interesting to look at, but also provide realism to graphics.

3d illustrations can be extremely effective when used on simple pages to make them look more appealing and gripping.

Another great thing about them is that they can be interactive, so users can use their cursors to navigate websites through a gorgeous 3d illustration.

If you need inspiration, check out Behance, where you can find hundreds of amazing designs.

3d illustration - web design 3d illustration - 3d web design
3D illustration

6. Colorfulness and gradients

Colors can be used to deliver messages, express ideas and emotions and they are an important part of branding.

Combined with gradients, they are the two elements that can work on pretty much any type of design. Used on both typography and backgrounds, the right combination of colors can go a long way.

Color theory is one of the most important skills a designer can possess and knowing how to use colors correctly means everything in the world of web design.

Combined with a unique illustration, the right colors they can attract attention easily and look stunning.

7. Brutalism

Stark, rugged and bold, websites with a brutalist style were all over the internet in 2019. What characterizes them is the use of giant fonts that take up most of the screen, saturated colors, weird choice of cursors, asymmetry and images and buttons in odd places.

They might be hard to navigate (and look at), but we cannot say that they don’t look intriguing.

8. Vintage and retro styles

In 2019, plenty of websites were using elements with hints of nostalgia.

Websites that aimed for a traditional vintage feeling were using red, orange, green and beige, and especially their bright variations. The typefaces used on those websites are usually bold, rounded and sketchy.

The retro-futuristic style, on the other hand, has neon tones with purple, blue and pink as the most dominant ones. Inspired by the 80s movies and video games, this style’s fonts are metallic and made of sharp lines.

9. Split screen design

One of the reasons for this trend were mobile users. Mobile browsing has overtaken desktop browsing, so having a good mobile design started being of great importance.

On desktop, two split panels stand side by side, while on mobile they form a vertical line. Using this technique, web designers can create sites that work across all devices. Plus, it looks great.

10. White space

Minimalism ruled as one of the main web design trends even in 2019. White space, or negative space, is necessary for a clean and simple look, and it helps improve readability and site performance.

Completely free of any text and images, white space not only makes a design elegant, but also redirects the user’s attention to the right places, such as the search bar.

Let’s take a look at Google’s homepage, for example. The logo is colorful and prominent, with the sizeable search bar underneath it. When you open the page, the white space immediately makes you look at those two elements. The additional options are at the top and bottom of the screen and they don’t distract the users at all.

whitespace inspiration web design
Source : Big Horror Athens

11. Animation

Similar to 3d illustration, this element is striking and exciting. From small images moving around to having a whole front page being a single animation, this trend is gaining popularity super fast.

Small animations are the ones used most often, with small changes happening when the user clicks something or moves the cursor around. They are device friendly as well, whereas large animations can have issues running on devices not as advanced or with poor internet connection.

12. Video

It’s no secret that video is the most engaging type of content. It combines both listening and watching, so what we see pulls us in more and is more memorable.

Now it is maybe the best moment to provide you a VIDEO about web design. Short and sweet, we hope.

Web design and development video.

It can include images, text, music and even links, which makes it a great storyteller and information source. And according to research, users spend 88% more time on a website that has video.

Wrapping up

As you can see, 2020 is bringing a number of trends and there is something for everyone. Some trends from 2019 will still be relevant, such as natural shapes, asymmetry and split screen design, but 2020 is also bringing parallax design, microinteractions and voice capable interfaces.

In 2020, web design trends will be as useful as they will be attractive, and we are looking forward to seeing all the websites that are going to contain these trends, are you?

Marija Milosavljević
Marija Milosavljević

Graduated as first in her class. Incredibly quiet and shy until the lag in Warframe turns her into a raging death-bunny.

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