Web design may be a decades old vocation now, but that does not mean it isn’t subject to fashions, fads and whims. So what can we expect in 2018? Here are a few of our predictions.
The Decline of Pop-ups
As the world’s number one internet company, Google is often the principal driver of many of the most important online trends. The search engine behemoth has interstitials and pop-ups in its crosshairs. Towards the end of 2016, Google signaled that it would start penalizing sites that relied on these obnoxious advertising tactics. While that did not explicitly happen in 2017, 2018 could see such sites punished in search results.
An example of these unscrupulous methods is a site that blocks off all content on a page unless a visitor clicks on an ‘X’ button ostensibly to close the ad. In actual sense, clicking the ‘X’ opens a new pop-up or pop-under window. Websites will want to avoid such design to remain in Google’s good books.
Some interstitials will be spared by Google, such as those requiring signing in or age verification before content is displayed.
Over the last decade or so, each year has seen a number of high profile hacking, data loss and malware infection incidents grab the headlines. 2017 experienced the same thing with botnets and ransomware dominating the news.
Web designers can no longer leave anything to chance. In 2018, a greater number of designers will incorporate security and vulnerability testing into their development process. For a deeper discussion on website security and penetration security, see more information here.
Unconventional and/or Broken Grid Layouts
Whereas grid underlay web design will continue to be a popular approach, expect the grid experimentation we saw in 2017 to intensify in 2018. Unconventional and, to a lesser extent, broken grids will become a widely prevalent aesthetic as web designers test the limits and find unique ways to present content.
Revival of the Serifs
The fascination with flat design saw many web developers go all out to the extent of getting rid of serifs on typefaces. As the allure of flat design gradually fades, typefaces are starting to get their groove back with serifs enjoying a resurgence.
A typical example is Kickstarter’s revamped website where serifs have returned to some sections of the site. This adds style, personality, timelessness and authenticity.
More Modest Animation
We have CSS3 and jQuery to thank for the explosion in website animations. While animations are a valuable tool, it is possible to have too much of a good thing to the extent that it starts becoming a turn off.
In 2017, it started to seem like web designers wanted to animate virtually everything that could be animated. This year, animations are likely to be done with more purpose and restraint. They will enhance user experience without becoming a distraction or source of confusion.
The sharp gradient is a trend that took off in 2017 and will increase in popularity throughout 2018. It adds visual appeal to gradients that go beyond a steady change in color. Depicting a dramatic change in hues along a sharp line transforms a boring gradient from 2015 into a sophisticated one well-suited for 2018.
Diagonal Section Breaks
Do horizontal breaks really have to be horizontal? Well, some web designers don’t think so and their perspective is fast gaining traction. Instead of a predictable horizontal line or section breaks, websites with a diagonal break are eye-catching.
A sharp diagonal break draws visual interest and presents a unique layout that makes the website stand out from the rest. 2018 will shows us that when it comes to breaks, we are no longer in 2014.
Rounded Corners Return
It’s either that rounded corners never really went away or there’s a significant number of web designers that are driving this emerging trend. Now that flat design has reached its peak, expect rounded corners to show up on more sites as nostalgic designers bring back elements that took a beating during the reign of flat design.
Bold, Bright Color Schemes
Developing a color scheme is one of the hardest things to do when designing a site. In 2017, we saw a lot of audacious color schemes that initially looked like they would never work, but somehow did. With such success, 2018 will see even more color experimentation as web designers combine colors that look horrible, but actually end up working wonderfully.
The split screen layout has proved quite attractive when compared to the more conventional hero image format. In this trend, one or two images take over the whole viewport and are split down the middle along the entire page.
Architects have been familiar with brutalist design for decades. In 2018, web designers will want to get acquainted with the term. Brutalism is the polar opposite of most of the other trends discussed above.
Like its name suggests, it emphasizes a carefree, rugged, raw and functional approach that pays little attention to visually appealing interfaces. It is effectively a rebellion against the light, clean and organized designs that currently dominate.
When it comes to web design, 2018 looks like it’s going to be a year to remember. Many of the trends discussed here had already started to make their mark in the second half of 2017 and are likely to gain momentum in the new year.
Stephen is an influencer marketing pro with brownboxbranding.com who is passionate about building authentic relationships and helping businesses connect with their ideal online audience. She keeps her finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving digital marketing world by writing on the latest marketing advancements and focuses on developing customized blogger outreach plans based on industry and competition.