Website Design Trends 2019

You’ll no doubt have seen a deluge of articles about website design trends recently and it’s hard to know the difference between genuine trends and flash-in-the-pan fads.

True trends are likely to be the elements of design that stay consistent and evolve throughout the years. In which case, they sometimes only truly emerge in hindsight.

With that in mind, and not to dissuade you from reading our trends blog, we’ve decided to collect together some of the broader trend topics that we predict will stand the test of time in 2019 and beyond.

Colour & Illustrations

Trendy colour schemes come and go. While Pantone has chosen Living Coral as their colour of the year for 2019, there’s no guarantee that this will have any impact on website design or even graphic design in general.

Rather, when it comes to colour, we predict that websites will continue to use bold palettes that catch the eye but, more importantly, match the brand identity of the organisation.

This could mean that the brand palette broadens to include more colours that can be solely used on digital platforms.

Based on recent high-profile rebrands, we see custom illustrations as a stronger trend when it comes to the visual aspect of a website.

Mailchimp, Slack and Dropbox all incorporated quirkier, freehand style illustrations into their 2018 rebrands.

Most telling was the distinct lack of stock images and the fact that they commissioned illustrators to create their own distinct illustrative styles.


Dropbox rebrand: Dropbox and Collins

Slack rebrand: Slack and Alice Lee

Mailchimp rebrand: Mailchimp, Collins and R/GA

Animation & Interactions

We looked at animation in our 2018 website trends blog and we don’t see its popularity waning any time soon.

Both Dropbox and Mailchimp incorporated animation into their website.


Dropbox rebrand: Dropbox and Collins


Mailchimp rebrand: Mailchimp, Collins and R/GA

While this approach certainly looks impressive, it can be both time and budget consuming.

Personally, we see more value in smaller animated touches, also known as 'microinteractions'.

These are the elements that encourage you to navigate or interact with pages, like the Mailchimp high five when you send a campaign through their system.

After all, two seconds of waiting while you watch an amusing animation is a better user experience than waiting one second in front of a blank screen.

They can also help to show visitors what to do on a page and bring the content to life.

We’ve incorporated animated interactions into the websites of both Bedkind and Quatro PR, with more examples on the way in some case studies that will be coming soon.

Skeuomorphism V2

This is almost an anti-trend. Or at least a partial U-turn from the last few years’ focus on flat design.

Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real-world counterpart in terms of texture and physicality. The trend fell out of favour when flat design became more popular but it might be making a comeback.

However, we’re not suggesting that a move back towards skeuomorphism will look the same as it did before. In fact, we think you’ll see a version that fuses with flat design to create a layered effect that mimics the shading and blurred edges of reality.

A great example is the new set of Microsoft Office icons. While they follow the rules of flat design, they interact with each other and their background in the same way that physical objects would.

This approach of adding more volume to 2D images can also be used in illustrations. It’s not 3D in the purest sense but somewhere in between.

A polished final product like the one used for Pitch is going to eat into a website budget and take a long time to get right. By adding extra depth and drop shadows to simple flat icons you can achieve a similar effect.


Touchy feely UX

As you might have guessed, this isn’t a technical term.

It partially relates to responsive website design and a mobile-first approach but it also recognises the importance of designing for touch in a world where people are increasingly searching on mobile devices.

Designing for Touch by Josh Clark investigates how users hold their mobile phones and how things like thumb movement should factor into the web design process.

Expect to see more thumb-friendly navigation on websites.


And finally, quite frankly we can’t see a point in any year when user experience and the customer journey isn’t going to be a vital element of any website design.

You can expect us to be following the Laws of UX into 2019 and beyond, as well as finding opportunities to incorporate all of the above trends into our website development projects.

If any of our trend predictions have inspired you to take a look at the design of your company’s website, get in touch today.

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