Taking a look around the web, it may appear that web design hasn’t changed much since last year. This is partly true.
Many web design trends have stayed the same, but with small, yet very significant shifts. While it may be hard to notice at first glance, each of these small changes makes an important difference.
And since we’ve been paying very close attention, we’re going to show you the what’s what of web design in 2019. Check out the 9 latest and greatest website design trends below.
1. Asymmetry and Broken Grid Layouts
One trend from last year that remains strong today is unpredictable patterns that appear to break their own rules. You could call it, “Anything but neat and simple!”
These broken grid patterns start with an imaginary grid of horizontal and vertical lines. In a perfect world, you’d see the design elements lined up neatly according to this grid.
But today, the grid is instituted only to be broken. Certain elements are shifted out of place or skewed, breaking the symmetry of what would be a perfectly structured layout.
For example, take a look at this website. You can easily see where the page elements should line up. But they don’t.
It certainly draws attention to these elements, doesn’t it? And since there are endless ways to break the grid, this trend adds a generous helping of originality to all sites that use it.
2. Organic Shapes
Another rule-breaking design element that remains strong in 2019 is the prominence of organic or fluid shapes. Geometric shapes continue to be replaced by amoeba-like blobs on websites across the board.
The appeal is the illusion of motion. Even still images of these shapes evoke an expectation of movement. You can’t help but keep your eyes on them for a few seconds, studying them as if waiting for them to perform a trick.
In fact, on many websites, the blobs truly are animated.
Gradients, the blending of one colour into one or more others, continue to dazzle the onlookers of many sites. They are seen as eye-catching backgrounds or as colourful text. One of the most powerful uses of gradients is drawing attention to statistics in infographics.
We’re especially seeing a lot of pastels in 2019 web design gradients. As you can see, everything on Apple’s iPhone XS landing page has a gradient colour scheme that resembles a pastel sunset.
And we’re seeing gradients in a lot of website photos, but used differently than they were last year. In 2018, photos were often overlayed with gradients, but this year, the photos themselves are the gradients. Either the lighting provides a gradient look to the photo or a gradient serves as the photo’s backdrop.
4. Abstract Art and Realism
One of the most eye-catching ways many web designers use fluid shapes today is in original, abstract artwork and animation. These abstract pieces add a refreshing dose of originality to any website.
What’s more is that this, and most other points on this list, appear to be following the same trend. It seems the driving force behind the movement toward fluid shapes, gradients, and abstract art is realism.
With the advents of chatbots, machine learning, HD VR and the like, the lines between technological artifice and reality have begun to blur. Now it seems web design is following that same trend.
The clean-cut, preciseness of digital design that was once so impressive is now cliche. Now people are more impressed with technological realism. Web surfers are more drawn to surreal designs because life itself is abstract.
Real life isn’t clean-cut. It’s messy and doesn’t follow the rules.
5. 3D Shapes
Following this same trend, there’s been a significant increase in 3-dimensional design elements. Many sites have given the standard flat design a 3-D facelift with shadows, 3-D object animations, and other techniques that give the illusion of depth.
Other sites have 3D objects users can interact with. The Shopify homepage features an animated globe users can rotate in any direction.
The goal seems to be a website design that users can reach out and touch. After all, when VR technology advances and becomes more available, this could actually be possible.
6. Overlapping Web Design Elements
One very prominent, very specific use of flat-site-emulating-3D is overlapping design elements. Many sites appear as if the page elements were pieces of paper, placed by hand and overlapping one another. This adds another touch of realism to the website.
Most commonly, this is done with squares and rectangles. While many sites feature fluid-shaped blobs, many others feature overlapping boxes, like you’d see in a photo collage.
7. Mobile Animation
Currently, video still isn’t very prominent on mobile sites. This is largely due to the iPhone’s limited video-rendering capability.
However, web designers have found that animation can provide the same effect as video without overwhelming mobile devices. As such, we’re seeing an increase of animated images on mobile sites. And we expect more of this in the future.
8. Fancy Fonts
As screen resolution continues to go up, text becomes easier to read. And web designers are taking advantage of this fact.
Designers are branching out with bold, experimental typography choices. Text often appears three-dimensional or doesn’t follow a straight line. Text of mixed sizes and fonts appear all on one page.
The stylized, serif-heavy fonts of olden times are making a major comeback. And, as mentioned above, text is often splashed with colour gradients.
Also, following the trend of realism, we’re seeing some examples of hand-written text as images, especially as hero images.
9. More Text
Here’s another way designers are taking advantage of the readability of modern screens. These elaborate typography techniques are now seen more as style elements than text.
This means headlines and hero image text is becoming wordier. Headlines may share the page header with 1-3 subheadlines.
However, one must still take caution to choose words wisely when implementing text-heavy designs. A boring headline still turns audiences away in 2019.
The Best Web Design Trends of 2019
After reviewing these cutting edge website design trends, how does your site compare? For a hip, modern, popular website, implement these top web design trends of 2019.
For related reading, see 7 Telltale Signs Your Business Needs a Website Refresh ASAP.