Website design trends in 2019 – our predictions
December 06, 2018
We asked the creative team to take a moment in the studio to discuss what we feel would be the hottest new website design trends to look out for in 2019.
Over the last few years we’ve seen some exciting advances in website design trends and technology such as the adoption of HTML5, CSS3 and the rise of front end frameworks, the continued lean towards mobile first design and the introduction of new technologies like AR, AI and VR.
With this elevation in technology at our fingertips, what can we expect to see in the final year of the decade when it’s fused with great design?
When visiting a website most of us would expect to see a page which scrolls from the top to bottom right? It’s the norm and a function we have been conditioned to expect. However we are beginning to see more and more websites buck tradition and opt for a horizontal or custom scroll.
By far the biggest business we have seen do this is Apple. Yep, that’s right Apple have a page on their website where they have opted for a horizontal scroll, check it out https://www.apple.com/uk/ipad-pro/
The horizontal scrolling technique can be used to tell your brand story in a creative way, involve your users in a game or works particularly well with low infantry eCommerce websites.
By far the best way to get users returning to your website is by switching up your content. Creating curiosity leaves the user wanting more and they’ll stick around longer to uncover all of the content they haven’t yet seen. There’s a variety of ways you can switch up content such as page load titles (like we have on our website), call-outs, or rotating animations which change up every time you reload the page. Each of these options create a unique user experience each time they visit your website.
Micro-interactions are one of the more popular user experience trends right now. They can be used in a multitude of ways such as providing user feedback, explaining functions, entertain the user – essentially they enhance your user experience.
Here are a few examples of how apps or websites have used micro-interactions;
- Rating a song
- Searching online
- Liking a Facebook post
- Toggling settings on a website
Whilst micro-interactions aren’t a new concept and we feel they’ll continue to dominate in 2019.
Gradients in web design is nothing new but ever since Instagram decided to utilise a gradient in their logo and app design gradients have taken off in a big way. No longer are gradients a subtle afterthought added to a page or element such as an icon to suggest 3D. Also, with the latest release of Adobe Illustrator comes a new addition - the freeform gradient tool will make life much easier for designers to create more dynamic gradients for web design.
Any good designer will understand that geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles offer a sense of stability and trust, due to their rigid form. But in 2019 one of the biggest trends will see designers lean more towards natural or organic shapes which offer a sense of accessibility and comfort.
Irregular, natural shapes grant a freedom for designers and developers to break away from the systematic grid we’ve all become accustom to using and be more imaginative and free with their work.
More video content
The usage of video in web design isn't something necessarily new, we've been using it frequently for the last few years here, but we know that the amount it is used is certainly on the rise. With better smartphones cameras and editing software becoming more accessible to amateur videographers, we're seeing more of it including in websites and with fantastic results.
The drive towards motion is further enhanced by Google launching mixed search page results, which feature video content above standard web pages. That's a huge incentive to create video content for search purposes!
Apple also changed the game in 2018. Previously, video content would not auto-play for mobile users on iPhone, because it was deemed unfair to burden the users data by automatically downloading large videos. This restriction has lifted in recent updates, though, and mobile background videos look unbelievably dynamic... Thanks Apple!
Thumb-friendly mobile navigation
When designing a mobile website there's an almost unwritten rule about how to structure the navigation: along the top. Strangely though, when you're on the same device but browsing an application, you tend to find the navigation in a bar along the bottom of the screen. So why the distinction between top nav for website, and bottom nav for mobile?
The simple answer is trend, and that's something we think will change during 2019. It actually makes a lot of sense for the navigation to run along the bottom of the screen where your thumb is idly waiting to be called into action. And, particularly now with phone screens getting larger, we see the bottom nav as the solution to that awkward "go go gadget thumb" straining reach to the top of the device. Keep an eye out for early adopters...
Shopping with augmented reality
Augmented reality is set to make a huge impact on the way that we shop online. We've all bought something from Amazon only for it to arrive and be one-tenth of the size you were expecting. Well, imagine being able to browse product and then beam them into your living at 100% scale, then move in close to see detail. That's what is now achievable!
Shopify recently launched augmented reality product imagery across all stores, and those that are using it are doing so with great response. It truly is a game changer in ecommerce, and will have a massive impact on conversion rates in some sectors. We've written an
You still need to hire a 3D modeller to get a good result at the moment, but we see the technology really snowballing into commonplace during 2019. We'd highly recommend you check out this article, which gives 10 examples of stores currently using AR. We're rolling it out soon in partnership with The Cambridge Satchel Company, so we're excited to see the impact it has first-hand.
We have seen many brochureware and eCommerce websites utilising the ‘less is more’ approach, and we feel minimalistic web design will continue to prevail in 2019.
With the use of animation married with good typography and imagery we can create web pages which are engaging yet simple, aiding in a better user experience. This works particularly well with small inventory eCommerce websites and brochureware websites where i think we’d all agree that the web design is just as important as the products or services offered.
These are our predictions based on present technology, design systems and trends which we feel will continue to reign supreme. Something we are certain of however, is, technology will continue to change and with that design will follow – we are bound only by the limits technology sets for us.