Ten Wicked Web Design Trends that Will Wow in 2022

Published: February 14, 2022

We’ve come to the last entry in our design trends blog series: web design trends for 2022. Much like the design trends and typography trends blogs, you’ll see experimentation with elements, an emphasis on retro design, and some big changes (we’re looking at you, hero images). Log on and enjoy this list of what’s likely to come in the world of web design in 2022.

app design notes

1. App-like Experiences

We’re deep, deep into the age of apps, so it’s no wonder that websites are increasingly being designed to run and appear like apps. Simple interfaces, clever designs, and functionality that allows for quick interaction are all important if you adopt this style. And like apps, all information is often displayed on a single page. Sure, it might scroll and transform section to section, but single page web designs can be cost effective and help you to focus only on what really matters and what people are going to use.

Chrysler building

2. Art Deco Motifs

Yeah, at this point you probably saw this coming. But as in the design world and in the typography world, Art Deco is back at full force. Rich jewel tones, silver and gold, and things that look classy and expensive are all the rage. We won’t belabor the point, but basically, if it evokes shades of the Chrysler building and makes visitors feel like a million bucks, you’re doing it right.

cawing raven

3. The Death of Heroes

Not just for Marvel movies anymore, the world of web design is seeing the death of heroes–hero images, that is. Once a standard of effective web design, hero images are being snapped into oblivion, replaced with big, flashy text headers featuring some of the typographic trends we spoke about here. Consider saying what you need to say rather than hinting at it with an image. You’ll certainly stand out from those who choose to stick with their hero images, and maybe you’ll be getting the message across more effectively, too.

top down shot of tennis court

4. Visible Borders

In mental health and in web design, strong boundaries are on the rise. Sprawling pages with borderless expanses of text and images are being hemmed in and contained with panache. Lean into visible borders. Tame that text. Frame those images. And play with different line widths and colors to really set off your web design elements in 2022. We’ll respect those boundaries wholeheartedly!

rotary phone

5. Early Web Throwback

“Welcome! You’ve got mail!” You have to be of a certain age to remember telling your little brother to stay off the phone so you could get online. While it might pain you to remember the charming sounds of dialup connections, the elements of early web design are sure to put a smile on visitor’s faces. For those who don’t know, it’s something new and cute that feels retro. For those who grew up in the early days of the world wide web, it will feel familiar in a way that comforts them and makes them yearn for a simpler time. Of course, these websites don’t come with the hefty loading times and clunky interfaces of their 90s ancestors, hopefully. Keep it sleek, but don’t be afraid to opt for that Windows 3.1 look to make people smile.

collage of text and picture of cat

6. Collage Design

Text, images, visual flourishes. Mash them all up. Give them a papercraft vibe. Paste them up and let their juxtaposition say more than you could with just words alone. A good collage transcends any of its elements, so you can be sure to send a message with this experimental style. Just be sure you don’t veer into scrapbook territory. Maybe that will be big next year; time will tell, but right now let’s keep it more arts than crafts, just to be safe.

rainbow gradient

7. Gradients

We’re not sure why we ever stopped doing gradients, but we’re glad they’re back. This time around, combine your use of gradients with some other theming or trend. Go for green and gold Art Deco or a couple of neons to fit with the retro feel. Whatever you do, be bold. Try something you haven’t seen before. Speaking of being bold…

Black woman in flower crown

8. Be Bold

You’re going to be seeing a lot of big moves this year toward bold colors, typefaces, and designs. Huge, flashy elements. Two-tone designs that catch your eye with unique combinations and, yes, gradients. The replacement of the hero image with loud, statement-piece typography is a part of this trend as well. Whatever you’re doing to embrace your bolder side, keep it fresh, and keep it on brand.

pyramidal crystal

9. Glass and Crystal Effects

Something we’re seeing a wave of right now, a wave we expect to continue into 2022, is well-rendered glass or crystal effects. Lots of designers are playing with transparency and fragmentation in their designs. Picture frosted glass, multi-faceted crystals refracting, and some 3D effects that could blow your mind. In keeping with that transparency in visual motifs, be sure you keep that transparency in your message, too. That brings us to our last 2022 web design trend.

colored pencils of every shade

10. Inclusivity

It’s all about inclusivity. If your brand is not inclusive, people are going to talk about it, and while it was popular once upon a time to claim that no publicity is bad publicity, that’s simply not true anymore. If your message is leaving people out, that word is going to travel fast. It’s important to make your website approachable for anyone. No matter their race, gender, ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, or income level, everyone should feel like they have a place in your website, accessibility included. Alt text on images. Screen-reader-friendly designs. Language toggles. Maybe even font scaling. Anything you can do to make someone’s visit to your site a welcoming one is a big plus. Think about how your message is going to reach people at their core level. Who are you alienating, and how can you enhance your brand identity by being more inclusive?

Trending into the Future

We’ve given you a lot to think about here, and in our posts on design and typography trends in 2022. Here’s to hoping you can find something here that feels like you, that appeals to your brand, and that you can put into use in 2022. If you don’t know what to try or where to find inspiration, the OC Creative team is always happy to chat. Whatever trend you embrace, however hard you roll your eyes at the ‘90s being called retro, thanks for coming with us on our speculative journey into 2022.