It’s that time of year again!
2019 has come to a close and 2020 is in full swing! It’s time to take an educated guess at what is going to be big in web design for the upcoming year. Here’s what we think we’re going to see a lot of during 2020.
Dark mode has been in the news a lot lately, with tech giants like Pinterest, Slack, and Google rolling out dark modes in their popular apps. When it comes to the web, I think we’ll see a lot of sites using darker colors with bright or neon accents that will really pop off the page. Not necessarily black or dark gray, but dark blues, berry tones will gain traction as well. Dark backgrounds help elements stand out more, increases contrast while still reducing eye strain. I think we’ll even start seeing some companies automatically switching their sites to dark mode depending on a user’s time zone and what time they’re accessing the site. The PAVE Campaign example below uses a dark blue background which allows the images and the text to really stand out.
I think we’ll start seeing more shapes found in nature as design elements, versus the sharp edges and angles that have dominated designs in the last year or two. Using curves gives everything a softer feel, while still maintaining a feeling of motion. We used an organic shape for our client, GovStrive. The example below uses a curve that is similar to the curves in our client’s logo, helps break up the content and visually takes you down the page as you follow the path of the curve with your eyes.
Minimalism / Simplicity
Minimalism in web design has been gaining traction over the past few months, and I predict it will become even more popular as we move through 2020. People are short on time and attention, especially when browsing on their mobile devices. Given the fact that if your site loads in more than 3 seconds and users will bounce within 15 seconds, your content needs to be streamlined to capture your user’s attention. That doesn’t mean boring. Using bold colors, more concise text, striking photography can be very attention-grabbing and lead to more conversions because your users are finding what they want right away. In the example below, we have a bright orange calling out to users that this is where they can drill down Fluet Law’s practice areas.
Having a lot of whitespace throughout your site is not necessarily a new trend, but it will be used more and more, especially in tandem with minimalistic designs. Whitespace or negative space refers to the empty areas around design elements like text or images. Just because it’s called ‘whitespace’ doesn’t mean it’s only white – it can be made up of any background color. The empty space between columns, margins, and lines of text is also considered whitespace.
It used to be that companies would try to cram as much information as they could “above the fold” to capture users, but all that did was make things confusing and overwhelming. Users wouldn’t know where to go, what to click on, and that leads to increased bounce rates. By giving images and text room to breathe, it makes it more visually engaging. It gives your content and imagery a feeling of importance because it’s not competing with anything else.
Lacroix.com does a really good job here on their homepage where they use a bright color and a ton of white space around their three cans. The cans pop off the background, and it’s much easier to focus on each can with all the negative space around them – especially considering that the cans have pretty busy designs on them.
Oversize Type and Images
A great way to send a clear message to your users is to use a short message that conveys your mission with a powerful photograph. Usually, this pairing is done at full screen so that it stands out and the user doesn’t get distracted by what’s below. We did this for our client, the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. We had great photography of the mentors working with teens, and by combining that with a brief statement and call to action, were left with a very compelling end result. I see this trend continuing as designers and developers continue to simplify things overall.
Going into 2020 UX will continue to drive design, all with the goal of getting information to the user as quickly and efficiently as possible. Are you ready for an update or refresh? We can help! Contact us to learn more.