10 Hot Web Design Trends for 2022

Build a website that looks as good as it performs with these 10 cutting-edge design trends for 2022.

First impressions are everything. Even if you’ve got a long-established presence on the Internet, there will always be people who visit your site for the very first time. What impression do you want to make on them? Ideally, it’ll be one that gets them to explore your website and make a purchase. Thus, giving your business a brand new customer and hopefully, a repeat one at that.

Your eCommerce website acts as the silent salesman. You may have the best selection of products available and the best prices on the market but if your website looks outdated or amateurish, those new visitors will have very little reason to become new customers. That’s why it’s just as important that your website not only has the modern functions and features that today’s online shoppers expect, but also a modern attractive design scheme that grabs attention.

When revamping your website, you have the option to go with either a premade layout called a theme (or template) or a fully-bespoke custom design that’s unique to your company and branding. Custom websites give you more freedom in regards to visuals and functionality but regardless of which route you choose, paying close attention to these 10 hot design trends in web design will help you get a fresh start for the 2022 season.

#1: Accessibility and Inclusivity

As social awareness pushes forward in today’s society, the Internet is becoming more and more welcoming and accommodating to all people. Accessibility in web design is the practice of removing boundaries that can restrict people from interacting with your website. These boundaries include physical or mental disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economical and even environmental limitations of bandwidth speed. In many countries, accessibility in web design is required by law, including the United States as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Consider adding accessibility features to your website such as:

  • Text-to-Speech
  • Semantic HTML
  • Image alt text
  • Sequential heading structure
  • Consistent navigation

In addition to web accessibility, many websites today are incorporating inclusive content and language as well as gender-neutral design. This, like web accessibility, helps attract more people to your website and also helps make the Internet a more welcoming and understanding environment.

#2: Abstract Illustrations

Abstract illustrations versus clean, easily-identifiable vector graphics and illustrations give your website a sense of artistic sophistication, as well as an air of handcrafted-ness; your website appears less formulaic and more experimental. This excites visitors as it gives them the impression of innovation and creativity. Abstract illustrations to use in your website design can be textures, either natural or synthetic; paper textures or wood textures, watercolor or silkscreen effects, ink lines, or surface textures like metal. Hand-drawn illustrations or digitally-created illustrations also work well. Plus, you can choose to explore art motifs from certain eras of design such as Art Deco, Surrealism, and even Pop Art.

#3: Minimalism

Screenshot of minimalist web design. Image courtesy of Pompeii3.com.
Courtesy of Pompeii3.com

While other web design trends such as stock fonts, sidebars, and flat images have faded in and out of popularity over the years, one such trend that has been a staple of modern web design is minimalism. The minimalist aesthetic efficiently combines art with high-impact advertising function. The 4 core aspects of minimalistic design are:

  • User-friendly navigation
  • Simple color schemes of no more than 3 colors
  • Bold typography (see #6: Oversized Typography)
  • Use of negative space

The typical minimalistic design theory seen in advertising and in eCommerce web design often consists of a large image positioned off-center and a monochromatic background. Symmetry is not always considered, which opens up the negative space. To create a minimalistic design, you don’t necessarily need to follow standard minimalistic design tropes such as this. Minimalistic design language doesn’t even have to involve direct imagery; it can also be based solely on typography alone (see #6: Oversized Typography), color schemes (see #7: Comfortable Colors), or a combination of both. The best part of minimalism is the freedom it gives visual designers to create beyond the predictable confines of standard design language. This ‘less is more’ approach also carries the welcome side-effect of establishing a strong identity without the need to browbeat it into your viewers.

#4: Dynamic Content

Example of dynamic content (suggested item based on previous customer purchases). Courtesy of WisconsinHarley.com.
Example of dynamic content (suggested item based on previous customer purchases). Courtesy of WisconsinHarley.com.

Dynamic content is web content that automatically adjusts itself to reflect the user’s location, preferences, behavior, and interests. In contrast to static content, which is a ‘one size fits all’ method of content delivery, dynamic content creates a more personalized and user-friendly web browsing experience. This is a very powerful and effective tool for eCommerce websites; dynamic content can be used to increase sales and conversion rates more consistently. How dynamic content works is that it’s built around a database which is linked to repeated structures. Everyday examples of dynamic content on the web include news sites and restaurant menus–websites that utilize ever-changing content which needs to be adjusted on the fly. Dynamic content and databases also allow designers to build more complex websites without increasing the downtime whenever an edit or an adjustment needs to be made.

#5: Video as a Design Element

A screenshot of the homepage video seen on Nike’s website.

Video on the Internet isn’t exactly a new phenomenon but it’s now being implemented in far greater ways than ever before. Instead of basic hyperlinks or embedded video as part of a content block, we’re now seeing video being used as the entire backdrop of some websites’ homepages. Video used to be difficult to implement because there were far less video encoding formats than there are today and they were often massive in data size, which made it unsuitable for the slower bandwidth speeds of the day. Certain video formats were also incompatible with different browsers and plugins, namely the Adobe Flash, Apple .MOV. and the old Windows .WMV formats which required their own plugins and media players. Today, with faster Internet performance, more universal encoding formats and code streamlining in CSS and HTML5/6, video can now be easily integrated into web design. Video is also a major component in social media and most content creators on the Internet depend on both video and social media to market themselves. Content-driven eCommerce such as headless commerce could take great advantage of using video as a design element in their websites.

#6: Oversized Typography

The words 'Oversized Typography' displayed in orange and white over a black background.  Description: Typography as art does not need to follow typical design constrains such as symmetry, alignment, or even consistent typeface size.
Typography as art does not need to follow typical design constrains such as symmetry, alignment, or even consistent typeface size.

There is more to typography than simply placing text and fonts. Typography itself can be an art and its use can be implemented in both minimalist or maximalist designs. Oversized typography is exactly what its name implies; the fonts used are large for the intent of being the focal point. Instead of using photographs or images to deliver a message, selecting the size of font, font boldness, character arrangement, and type orientation can be used to create powerful, attention-grabbing visualizations that are just as effective as traditional imagery. More or less, the font becomes the image itself. Like other forms of non-traditional art, there are no real wrong ways to implement this into your design. You can try combinations of standard and bold typefaces in the same text block, experiment with contrasting colors, position the text blocks in non-traditional structures such as diagonal or sideways vertical, overlay against solid color or against an image. Oversized typography gives your website and design an almost theatrical appearance, referencing similar styles used on movie posters or opening credits (especially, when combined with video as a design element).

#7: Comfortable Colors

A teal-blue gradient has multiple hues of muted colors intended to evoke a sense of tranquility.
This teal-blue gradient has multiple hues of muted colors intended to evoke a sense of tranquility.

Psychologists have long studied the effects of colors and their link to human emotions. For example, reds are often associated with two extremes: passion and fury (IE: reds for Valentine’s Day or the phrase ‘seeing red’ when describing intense anger), blues for royalty and sophistication, greyscale or non-colors (black and white) for luxury (or death, in certain cultures). Comfortable colors are intended to produce a calming effect. Instead of using bright, high-impact colors which can create an undesired effect of harshness, comfortable colors are gentle to the eye and evoke a feeling of casualness. Calming colors are often found in-between the main primary colors; typically as off-shades or within the intensity gradients. Pastels are on the higher end of the intensity spectrum, darker hues are towards the lower end. Muted colors, either lightened or darkened, strike a good balance between excitability and restraint. If you’ve established your branding based on colors, incorporating comfortable color use into your website is another way of subliminally asserting your brand identity. You can also use color to build upon the specific field or industry of which you’ve entered.

#8: Page Speed Optimization

It’s arguable to consider this a ‘trend’ per say, because page speed optimization is an absolute must for effective web design. Page speed plays into many determining factors such as SEO ranking, page visits, and conversion rates. In fact, Google’s 2021 algorithm update places higher emphasis on page loading speed for prime SEO ranking positions. Also, as we’ve stated previously, users expect websites to load in under 3 seconds. With today’s advanced mobile platforms and connectivity, the percentage of users who will abandon a website should load times exceed 3 seconds has increased to 53%. One of the most effective ways to optimize page speed is to actually dig deep into the code and eliminate repetitive or junk code lines but for those users without advanced web design skill or knowledge, we have a list of 5 easy tips to help boost page loading performance:

  • Optimize images for web use
  • Don’t stack too many apps, plugins, integrations, etc.
  • Eliminate unnecessary render blocking files
  • Minimize Javascript, CSS, HTML5/6 code
  • Keep your redirects at a bare minimum

For a more in-depth explanation of these 5 tips, check out our previous entry: Top 5 Tips for a Faster Website.

#9: Dark Mode

What we know as Dark Mode today began during the early days of computing. The predecessors of modern computer monitors used CRT oscilloscopes which produced light monochromatic text on a black background. Its usage was in relation to technological limitations of the time, but it even carried over into the first CRT RGB monitors. Fast forward to today, we still have a use for Dark Mode as modern OLED screens reduce their power consumption by not having to illuminate such large areas of negative space. This is important for mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. Dark Mode is also used in accessibility features; for those with vision impairments, the use of contrasting text on dark or black backgrounds reduces eye strain and improves readability. As such, Dark Mode is also a favorite for programmers and developers. Aside from its helpfulness in accessibility, Dark Mode can be used as an alternative to traditional dark-on-bright design themes and typical layouts. Dark Mode also works well with minimalistic design, such as the use of oversized typography and calming colors.

#10: Glass Morphism

Glass morphism has been a signature visual motif for Apple MacOS ever since the debut of the original OS X in 2001. Two decades later, Big Sur continues this design language.

Glass morphism is a new design trend for 2021 and going forward into 2022, expect to see more websites take on this aesthetic. Glass morphism is an optical illusion that combines transparency, blur, and motion to make pages appear to have a translucent appearance similar to that for frosted glass as opposed to a solid surface. It creates an artificial perception of depth and can be used to direct the user’s eye towards a set visual hierarchy; items or content that is intended to be the main focal point can be more effectively highlighted through sublimation as opposed to blatantly targeting the focal point by directional symmetry/asymmetry or even color oversaturation. Glass morphism has become extremely popular in website landing pages, login pages, and kiosks. Even the current operating systems use glass morphism in their UX design. Glass morphism can even be incorporated with some of the aforementioned design trends such as abstract design and minimalism. All in all, its presence and usage is another indicator of the Internet’s shift towards visual content and media.

Are you ready to give your website and your business the Diztinct advantage over the competition? If so, let’s talk. Get in touch with us today and get ready to make your website work for you.

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