Top Ten Web Design Trends of 2018
As we prepare to say goodbye to 2017 and collectively wonder where on earth the year went, it’s time to turn our attention to 2018 and spotlight some of the web design trends we think we’ll be seeing throughout the coming year.
Elements like responsive design and video will always be prevalent but these are becoming less of a trend and more of an ongoing design staple, so we won’t be including these. Instead, we want to take a look at some of the emerging design and development trends we’re excited to see more of.
Chatbots and Machine Learning
It seems as though websites and apps are becoming more intelligent with each passing year, and we expect 2018 to be no exception. Facebook is currently stealing the most headlines when it comes to machine learning and chatbots but we’re hoping to see more organisations large and small start to embrace this trend. Whether it’s a website learning your search preferences or a chatbot helping out with FAQs, there are many creative ways for this new technology to be incorporated into a website design that’s both cutting edge and effective.
Emerging in light of the rush to mobile first design, cinemagraphs are set to be huge in 2018. We’ve already seen them starting to be embraced in 2017 but we think next year will be the year cinemagraphs truly take over web design. The reason? They’re as visually appealing as video but far smaller files, leading to faster loading times on both desktop and mobile devices.
Progressive Web Apps
The place where websites and apps intersect, progressive web apps require no installation and adapt to your browsing habits over time to provide you with a personalised site browsing experience. You’ll spot them everywhere from Ali Express to Medium, and we expect to see far more websites debuting web app counterparts in 2018.
Security has been a hotly discussed topic this year, with number of high profile hacks taking place that impacted organisations ranging from the NHS to the (now) French president’s campaign. With security becoming more of a priority than ever, we’re expecting to see enhanced security being included in all elements of web development and design.
Scroll Triggered Animation
We’re all used to seeing scroll triggered animations but we’re starting to see changes in the way they’re designed and delivered. Previously they were often distracting, clunky and featured brash sales messages that served as more of a turn off than anything else. Now, however, we’re delighted to see more engaging triggered animations that feature minimalist design and effective CTAs.
An example to help you understand the hype? There can only be one: Apple’s Mac Pro site.
Voice User Interface
Between Siri, Alexa, Cortana and the like, voice user interfaces are having a bit of a moment. While they’ve mostly been confined to gadgets and mobile devices until now, we’re expecting to see more inclusion in web design in the coming year, not only from a technological point of view but also from an accessibility point of view.
Moving away from the styled stock imagery we saw come to the forefront this year, we’re expecting to see more personalised imagery commissioned specifically for brands in another step towards authenticity. Great news for photographers, not such great news for stock image libraries.
Linking in with the cinemagraph trend we discussed above, scalable vector graphics (SVGs) are set to become the format of choice of many designers in 2018. SVGs are the perfect pick for designs that feature elements such as cinemagraphs, as their scalable nature (as the name suggests) is great for keeping page speeds nice and zippy.
In keeping the the increasing desire for a clean, minimalist aesthetic, we’re anticipating a shift towards seeing more negative space on websites. While designers would previously have been pushed to fill up all of that lovely blank space, we’re expecting a more pared back approach in 2018. You’d be forgiven for thinking that makes things simpler for the designer but, in fact, designing an eye-catching but clean website is far more skilled than the ‘kitchen sink’ approach we’ve seen in the past.
Footer Sticky Elements
Another trend born out of mobile first development, as more and more browsing is done on mobile devices we’re expecting to see an increase in sticky elements at the bottom of pages, over the top bar stickies we’re used to seeing at the moment. This is a logical step that makes perfect sense when you look at the way we use mobile devices – the closer to the bottom of the screen, the easier to make a quick click with your thumb or forefinger.