At the starting point of 2018, several new ideas in the realm of web design have become more common. The internet and technology are constantly changing and advancing, and web designers have found new ways to keep up and stick out among the crowd. The seven web design trends below are some that have become prominent so far in 2018.

BRAND-CENTRIC ILLUSTRATIONS AND VISUALS

Marketing teams and web designers are using more illustrative elements on websites, and these match up with their brand ethos. Visitors to Spirit Airlines’ website are greeted with hand drawn doodles on top of a yellow background, to give them a friendly, down-to-earth feel. Basecamp uses fun cartoons to illustrate the problems their services solve, helping them identify with customers and staff. This trend started in small business and personal sites, and it is now permeating at the big brand level to help them stand out and be unique.

Basecamp illustrations  create a personal connection with the company’s  customers.

FLUIDITY AND RESPONSIVENESS

More websites are being designed to accommodate all screen sizes and devices according to the way people currently consume online information. Unoptimized sites that don’t adjust to different browser sizes can exclude large segments to potential customers. The official website for the Oklahoma Sooners has a layout that already looks like a standard mobile format, and places a high focus on photographs as the main feature. The site looks exactly the same on a mobile browser and on a desktop. It adjusts the content to fit without pushing anything out of view. Spotify and True Food Kitchen also have very responsive designs.

BOLDER TYPE AND BRIGHTER COLORS

In today’s realm of marketing captivating a demographics undivided attention is paramount, and web designers have been using bolder type and bright colors to achieve that goal. The main slides on Chipotle’s website feature prominent typography and statements to pull your interest in. Jessica Alba’s Honest Company features sharp pastel blues and oranges throughout the site along with conspicuous type. Target has always been associated with the color red, but their website is primarily bright white, with blue and red accents and unapologetic lettering.

Honest Company’s aesthetic homepage.
LIVE CHAT AND INSTANT INTERACTION

With the rise of social media, brands have discovered more ways to communicate with their customers. Chatbots and live chat applications have become more commonplace. Warby Parker uses a live chat system to communicate directly with customers who have questions regarding any aspect of their business. Macy’s is currently working with IBM to test a chat assistant called Macy’s On Call that helps customers get instant help. Mattress manufacturer Casper created an SMS bot called Insomnobot-3000, which talks to customers who can’t sleep, only between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Warby Parker’s chat support application

UNIQUE LAYOUTS WITH MORE ANIMATION

Sites with unique layouts jump out at customers who are used to standard templates. Sub Pop Records have taken a unique approach with their layout, confining their logo and menu in the top left quadrant of their homepage, featuring news and info on their artists on the rest of the page. Seattle’s Space Needle has an interactive design that correlates with their brand. Users scroll up to the top of the building, seeing different information about itself and Seattle along the way. Mountain Dew’s NBA site combines a unique layout with cool animations for a great showcase of talent and partnership.

The Space Needle’s website takes customers on a virtual tour via unique layout and animation.

VIDEO BACKGROUND AND ANIMATED GIF’s

Another trend that’s gaining steam is the use of video backgrounds and animated GIF’s, which give websites an extra sizzle. The site for Arcade Fire’s new album, Everything Now, makes use of a unique background video. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California uses very glitzy background videos that reflect their typical visitors. Typeform has several animated gifs throughout their site that show how their service works and how customers use it.

GRADIENTS AND GEOMETRIC PATTERNS

Web designers used more gradients and geometric patterns in 2017, a trend that seems to continue into the new year. as a way to make sites more visually appealing and attention-grabbing. NYC Pride uses a very nice pink to purple gradient over their website, and Bonnaroo uses several gradients and pastel colors throughout their site. Acorns combines a gradient with the faintest geometric pattern to create a cool visual. The website for NASA Prospect utilizes geometric illustrations consistently as the user scrolls down the page. Wagerr has a beautiful geometric pattern that animates and responds to where the cursor is on the page.

Acorns’ gradient and geometry combination

As 2018 continues, look for these and other trends to take shape, as more web sites vie for the ever-fleeting attention of potential customers and fans.