Website design ideas emerge in one year and solidify as trends or fade as fads in the next. This occurs in every industry, from automotive to fashion to mobile phones. This pattern occurs in both consumer-facing and B2B website design.
The pace of change in the digital world dictates a design refresh or a website redesign every three years. This New Year, resolve to take a hard look at your site and spot the dead giveaways of obsolescence, recognize enduring design classics, sort fad from trend, and take advantage of the latest web design thinking.
Let’s start by surveying the Top 10 web design winners of 2018. These trends will have legs to carry them through 2019 -- and maybe beyond -- or will come into full bloom in the coming year.
1. Hamburger Menus
By now you know those three lines that, when clicked, show the entire navigation system of a website. This space-saver first arrived on mobile apps and mobile websites. In 2019, you’ll see them more and more on desktops. Hamburger menus declutter your pages and help the user focus on the important information on your page. In 2019, look for “fries with that” --- more cleverly designed hamburger menus and new types of hamburger menus, such as these: https://jonsuh.com/hamburgers/
2. Video Backgrounds
Video background designs rock! Everyone loves them. What better way of quickly telling your story? Static images work and text is great, but background video has immediate impact on users: https://wildrenfrew.com/
3. Full Screen Design
Look for images to span your browser edge to edge, whether you’re on a three-inch mobile device or a 27-inch desktop. In 2019, super-large images will span 100 percent of your screen. Look for layouts similar to Nike’s in 2019.
4. Micro animation
Micro animations offer users an enjoyable experience as they browse your site and signal careful attention to detail. Hover states, sliding panels, progress bars and such subtly reward user effort and create a seamless experience. On the other hand, when a user clicks a button and sees a menu immediately pop up or close without transition, the experience can be jarring. Someone once told me that a menu that opens without animation is like ringing someone’s door bell and being immediately transported inside the house.
5. Organic Shapes
Rectangles, squares, circles, ovals are SOOOOO 2018. Free-flowing shapes will be vogue in 2019. Web designers have utilized CSS for years to create the same basic shapes. Enough already. Set your site apart with organic shapes early in the game: https://affinity.pt/en
6. Translucent Buttons/Minimal Buttons
One button has looked pretty much like another for decades, now, on every site. You see rectangular buttons, rectangle buttons with a border radius, and the ever-popular pill button everywhere. In 2019, we’ll see a Button Fashion Revolution, with more interesting hover states, for example: https://flowstudio.co/
7. Asymmetrical Layouts
Angles, overlaps and the broken grid; asymmetrical layout can appear clean and organized and even project a serious or playful tone.
8. Color Blocking
Color blocking looks a lot like it sounds: big blocks of color, images, or text. Color blocking creates strong visual interest and separates content buckets very nicely. That makes it easy for users to jump from one section to the next.
9. Vibrant Colors
Vibrant colors can make a big initial impact. Websites with vibrant colors can make sites more memorable and can make a statement. Color can prompt emotion and set mood. Look for a big splash of vibrant colors in 2019. Here's an example: https://timeforamammogram.breastcancerfoundation.org.nz/
Cinemographs are like minimalist background videos. They are essentially photos that show just a small amount of movement that repeats endlessly in a continuous stream. Cinemographs can have the same impact as a video but are usually created with animated gifs. The advantage: smaller file size and a faster load time than an .mp4 video.