by Justin Difazzio
We’re back for the third and final time with a dozen web design trends to tell you about so you can build into 2024 with confidence. If you missed the previous two entries in the series, which covered design trends and typography trends, just click the links to go check them out. If you’re just here for the web trends, keep reading! You know how a blog works by now.
Focus on User Experience
The days of people browsing your website to read all the content are pretty dead. People want to know what you’re doing, what you stand for, and how you can help them, and they want to know right now. Every piece of information needs to be direct, and it needs to show people what you’re offering and how you can solve their problems. Anything else is in danger of frustrating people by wasting their time. The user experience is more important in 2024 than how you think people should experience your content. Make sure your home page, at least, is concise, effective, and helpful.
Grids and Visible Borders
We’re going back to grids, people. A little organizational help can go a long way, and grids and visible borders are a nice way to help people find what they’re looking for. Anything you can do to help get the message across, even in the small details, could put you ahead in the new year.
You thought you’d get through one of these lists without seeing this one? No, no. Movement is HUGE this year in design. In the web design sphere, look for more kinetic type, of course, but also be prepared for motion effects on the home page, in the buttons, and even in menu design. It’s all about catching a visitor’s eyes.
Y2K Era Aesthetics
It pains us to say it, but Y2K-era artifacts are retro now. So be prepared with this information when you start to see designs that reference the late ‘90s and early ‘00s as you surf the web (yes, we said it). Designs that lean heavily into skeuomorphism like bulletin boards, scattered papers, and early web design elements are coming with this style, harkening back to a simpler time. Enjoy the trip back, and try not to cringe too hard at the whole Y2K thing.
Speaking of making everything old new again, guess who’s back: parallax scrolling! But this isn’t your 2010’s parallax. No. This has to be fresh if you’re going to implement it without looking out of date and out of style. The sites that implement this old trick are using it with animation, video, and the like. Don’t just dust off old designs here. Make something new, something that moves or has a trick to it or serves a purpose.
Focus on Bold Text
Last year we mentioned that hero images might be replaced with bold text. We saw some of that, for sure. But we’re going hard in ‘24. Look for text with flashy styling, movement, variable fonts, etc. A picture might say a thousand words, but sometimes you only need a few bold ones to make your point.
Glassomorphed Hero Images
Where text does not replace a hero image, we’re seeing visual effects being applied to create something new, rather than the same old thing. One of the biggest visual trends we’re seeing is glassomorphed images. Some of these effects might look like seeing part of the image through a reeded glass, a beveled privacy glass, or smoky transparency. It’s just enough to create visual interest without completely rendering the subject unrecognizable. Play around with it if you’re feeling like freshening things up.
Some trends have us feeling like a broken record. We’re seeing doodles in graphic design, handwriting in typography, and here’s the web design side of all that charming, fun, organic expression: handmade illustrations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for to accent your website content, draw it! Or, rather, hire an illustrator to draw it. Stick figures won’t cut it in most spaces, but thoughtful illustration will absolutely generate interest in a way photos may not.
Another trend that’s stretching across the whole of the design world is the philosophy that more is more. Done right, embracing maximalism can make you stand out in a market saturated with muted colors, minimalist organics, and plain boring design. Try including vibrant gradients, textures everywhere, big text, overlapping images, and microinteractions like hover and click effects. Keep them guessing and you’ll keep them looking.
Where there’s maximalism, there’s a counterpoint, and anti-design certainly serves that purpose in 2024. Anti-design shows how the sausage is made. It doesn’t try to be an illusion, an experience, or a multimedia presentation. This year we’ll see the emergence of unfiltered images, unfiltered content, and web design that is what it is. You’ll either find it refreshing or distressing, but either way it’s gonna be a hit.
We’ll keep this one simple. Corners? Round them. Do it with images, icons, boxes, visible borders, and everything in between. Got it? Good.
AI-Generated Designs and Tools
We can’t get away from AI, even in web design. With AI able to write code (albeit not flawlessly), the process of creating a website has been democratized. But even skilled designers are embracing this new technology with generative AI as a coworker. Images, text, and yes, even code will be getting an AI boost, whether you’re on board or not. And even if you’re not using it, you should be paying attention to what it can do, since those who have the knowledge have the power to make decisions about its use. We’ve been using it for years in automated chat bots, but even these are getting smarter and more helpful at answering questions so you don’t have to take time to. Whatever you think about it, it’s gonna be huge this year as we all learn together what the advent of AI means for web design.
Well, everyone, thanks for joining us throughout our look at 2024 trends in design, typography, and web design. We hope you found something to be curious about in the new year, and if you find success in employing any of these trends, we’d love to see the results! If you think your brand could use a little freshening up for the new year, contact us to schedule a chat. We’d love to work with you on that!