Website design is ever evolving. As a web designer it is so important to keep a close eye on current web design trends. While a classic design is a good way to future proof a website, a website can always be tweaked and adjusted in small ways to keep it on trend! So here’s are list of 5 important web design trends I predict for 2019.
1. Website story telling
Effective brands and brand story telling are sure to be one of the most important web design trends of 2019. This is the natural progression of story telling in social media, which has gained in popularity in recent years. Story telling in website design will be an essential tool to help stand out in an increasingly competitive online world.
As our attention spans forever shorten on the web, communicating the website story will become an important aspect of good website design, enhancing the user experience and helping to grab and retain user’s attention. The website shouldn’t be “just another place to buy a product or service”, but have a story to tell, and so in effect communicating the business unique selling point (USP). Some good examples of this are:
With both websites, on initial load, the focus is on their brand story rather than their products. Patagonia does an excellent job by first stunning users with their spectacular photography of beautiful natural scenery, which entices users to explore the website further and also helps the company differentiate itself from other outdoor online retailers.
2. Flat minimalist design and large typography
This is really more of a continuation rather than a new web design trend. But flat, minimalist designs are going to continue to be an important trend in web design in 2019. Not only do they look great, this kind of design can also help streamline your website code and therefore speed up loading times. Adding a few select effects can make the whole site really come to life, without overwhelming the website visitor. Here are some great examples of flat minimalist website design:
To be honest, while I like the scrolling effect on the website, it isn’t exactly user friendly. But I do love it for its beautiful colour palette and inclusion of some lovely detail, making this image free website really stand out.
This website of a New York based front end developer effectively uses large typography and only a few images and words to tell his story and highlight his offerings.
This Melbourne grammar school has a striking duo-tone landing page showing only their school motto and a large full page image of one of it’s students. This minimalist design and navigation creates makes a great first impact and promotes the image of a prestigious school.
3. The demise of the mega menu
I’ve always really liked the look of mega menus (where the menu covers a large part of or even the whole screen) which became especially popular for content heavy or magazine style websites. But these types of website navigations are generally mobile unfriendly and won’t be one of the web design trends of 2019.
So with the growing move away from desktop and towards mobile browsing, any UX designer worth their money will avoid mega menus if at all possible. Instead mobile navigation menus need to be kept short and sweet. Text should be easily legible, listing the most important pages first and, for larger website, incorporating a search function. A mobile first navigation needs to be designed for touch – the clickable items need to accommodate a finger rather than a mouse arrow, so should be much larger than on a desktop design.
4. Mobile first website design
Again, this isn’t new. But it will continue to grow in importance. More and more people will visit the web only via their mobile device, so rather than adapting a desktop design to mobile and tablet, the focus will need to be first and foremost on the user experience on mobile devices. This will be a key website design trend of 2019. Many front-end development frameworks such as bootstrap and foundation are mobile first frameworks. This means the website is built for small devices first, and as devices get larger, more complexity can be layered in to create a complete responsive design.
5. The continued rise of WordPress content management system
WordPress was born in 2003 and has seen a steady rise in popularity ever since. As of 2018, WordPress commands a 60% global market share (of websites running content management systems), making it by far the most popular content management system out there. It is an open source content management system, which means that at any given time thousands of developers and designers are contributing to WordPress, continually adding functionality and enhancing security. There is hardly a thing that can’t be done with WordPress, and if there is, it won’t take long before a new plugin has been developed to fill the gap.
These are a few of the web design trends that I predict for 2019. Some new and some that will just keep growing in popularity.
If you would like any advice on your website design project or a free appraisal of your existing website, please contact me.