It’s February 2017, and that means it’s time for us to dazzle you with our insight into the world of web design. So here they are, the top web design trends for 2017: the best of what will dominate websites this year and the trends that are going to fizzle.
Emphasis on content
This year websites are going to lose or deemphasize distracting clutter like ads, popups, signup boxes, endless buttons, and headers. Instead we’re going to see a renewed focus on what websites were supposed to be about all along anyway: the content.
Big, bold type and custom typography
Think of this as the typographical counterpart to losing clutter. The type will be bigger and bolder, taking center stage like the content. This is not about font size or weight, but about emphasis and placement. We can also expect to see more vintage styles and custom typography giving websites more visual appeal and interest.
Jettison of stock imagery
Mercifully, expect to see fewer awful stock photos and cheesy elements that erode user experience. Look instead for bespoke images, icons, and videos in their place.
Original illustrations done by talented creatives are versatile, expressive, and communicative visual elements. They can add anything from humor, fun, and playfulness to mystery, intrigue, and a vintage feel to a site. Web design in 2017 will focus more on these bespoke illustrations which are perfectly matched to a brand.
This trend isn’t new, but it will continue to grow in 2017. Look for stunning HD images to lend authenticity to a brand as well as close-up, high resolution images of products on ecommerce sites.
The end of flat design
The flat design trend is just about to sputter out. Flat design refers to reducing designs to their barest elements and flattening them. This simplicity has been its downfall as too many designs are starting to resemble each other, and things are getting redundant. 2017 will bring along more fresh designs and layouts without the flat design style.
Texture and tactile design
Tactile design is just design that looks like you could reach out and grab it, while texture is just like it sounds—the look of different textures in play within a design. Look for high resolution images that jump off the page of natural looking things as well as man-made objects.
No more parallax scrolling
Parallax scrolling was used to suggest depth by making backgrounds and foregrounds scroll at their own pace. Ultimately, it was more interesting than useful. It also added to load times and didn’t do SEO any favors. As such it doesn’t add to user experience and will fade in 2017.
More and brighter colors
Paring down to focus on content and simplifying designs means adding in personality elsewhere. For many designers, more and brighter colors will be the natural answer.
Geometric shapes, lines, and patterns
This trend has already begun and it will continue to grow in 2017. Expect to see overarching site designs that incorporate patterns and lines, the use of simple shapes around images, and similar uses of these kinds of visuals.
VR and immersive full screen video
For many companies, products, and experiences there’s no substitute for being there, expect to see more companies do the next best thing in 2017. Look for 360 degree digital video experiences and near VR immersive experiences.
Duotone gradient imagery
Duotone[NB1] is hot, and getting hotter. It’s a great way to stick the brand identity and use photos or other imagery at the same time. We can also expect to see “duotone effects” that look a lot like duotones but use three colors for a slightly different look.
More animations, SVGs, and GIFs
Animations, SVGs, and GIFs, especially those that are interactive, can be used to demonstrate function, entertain, or highlight meaningful content. We can expect to see more of this popular trend, and even more closely branded versions of each, too.
Pared down navigation
As more and more people access sites using phones and tablets, fewer and fewer people have time to mess with long, complicated menus and navigation structures. Expect to see simplified navigation on sites, with only a few items.
More hand-drawn elements
Anyone who thinks graphic design is all technical and no art is wrong. The artistic side of graphic design will show even more in 2017 as the demand for hand-drawn elements increases. Drawings add something unique to websites and create a totally refreshing user experience.
2017 is going to be another exciting year in web design, and we can’t wait to see what’s out there. An overall focus on user experience is going to prompt an emphasis on content, pared down navigation, and the use of original features like illustrations and authentic photography. From bigger, bolder typography and hand-drawn elements to brighter colors and duotone images, these are the top web design trends we can expect to see in 2017.