As a business, entering the 2020s you must have a website. But not just any website. A website that grabs the attention, works well to retain it, and sells. And as in any other industry, web design also establishes and follows its own trends.
Being a digital marketing and business consultant, it's my duty to introduce you to the web design and technology trends in 2020. But that's not all. What you will read in this article is not just any short-lived, come-and-go trends. It's likely that we will keep seeing them developing all through the first part of the coming decade.
The web is so full of information and content that our minds as consumers are overloaded. We are all in search of simplicity. The easier we find information and solutions to our problems, the more we want it to be simplified even further.
Whether you are building a new website this year or redesigning your existing one, go for minimalistic design and composition of elements. Add a lot of white space. Send a clear message through your copy.
A good call would be to use hidden navigation on desktop design too. This usually looks like three small lines at the top right or left corner of your website, just like it often appears on mobile versions.
Motion is important if you want your website to be trending in 2020. Use video as a background or animate various features and components on your home page in a sleek and non-tacky way. Remember, we are still going for simplicity!
That said, you can experiment with cartoons or drawings, provided you still make it look elegant, yet attractive. Such design would be best suited for creative brands, education organisations and individuals, as well as those targeting the younger generation.
Top 3 must-follow website design trends for 2020 include adaptability. In 2019, the majority of people use a mobile device to read, learn, entertain themselves or simply search the web. How do you expect to keep them on your website if they can't read the content easily on their phone? Your desktop version is certainly not a main priority any more.
When planning the design of your website, you need to plan for how it will look on a smart phone and on a tablet. Some features or elements would become hidden or will change size and shape. Some type of content may have to be further adapted to look good on any version of your website.
4. Oversized and Bold Text
The bigger your headings the better. Big and bold fonts rule the 2020s. Don't go for fancy fonts, unless, it's really part of your brand identity and truly represents what your target audience likes.
Third time now - simplicity is key. Put your money on big, round and thick fonts and you might just win the lottery. Italic is not part of the equation for the coming seasons.
5. Colour Psychology
Want a site that sells? Learn how each colour is perceived in the consumer's mind and use it in your design to evoke emotions in people. Spend some time on researching colour psychology and the meaning of colours across cultures.
As with content, touching the emotions of your audience will determine whether they will buy from you or not.
6. Split Content
Speaking of content... who wouldn't want to say several important things in just one plays, without this being confusing?
Good news! You can do that with sliders or content boxes on your website and as bonus, it is part of the web design trends for 2020 and beyond!
The idea here is to show more than one message on a single page. Each of these messages may be serving a slightly different audience. Personalisation and inclusion at their best.
7. Voice User Interface
With the increased popularity and influence of voice controllers and respectively, voice search, it's only logical the next step towards website design innovation to be towards voice user interface.
I mean, how cool it is to tell an online shop to add that item in your basket? Ain't nobody got time for clicking and tapping anymore, right?
8. Full Screen Forms
We established, well and clear, that in 2020 we are trying to be effective with minimalism. But let's stop for a second and ask ourselves, why people love minimalistic designs? Because they are clean, easy to grasp and most of all, simple to navigate.
That very last benefit of minimalistic design, leads us to the next trend - full screen forms. It's much more convenient for the visitor to use all the available space on the screen, rather than trying to squeeze all their info in tiny boxes.
Make it sleek, hit it big!
9. Custom Images
If you just bought a pack of amazing stock photos to use on your new website, I have bad news for you. Your audience wants custom images.
Stock photos are phasing out because they don’t talk about the authenticity of your brand. Everyone can buy a pack of nice shots from Shutterstock. They don't cost millions after all. You have no copyright over them, so you can't sue your competitor who thought that same picture would look great on their home page.
Invest in professional corporate photography and videography. Not only it will be unique to your business, but it will make you stand out from the crowd, being one of the pioneers of change.
Perhaps, it’s a little hard to explain the whole concept of interactivity, but imagine instead of looking at a website, you are playing a game. That’s exactly how it feels.
A consumer would be able to unveil the message of your brand and perhaps even try your product by completing small actions like clicking on specific items or dragging them from one place to another.
It’s a super cool experience and often people go to such sites purely to have fun. Then again, when people have fun, they are much more likely to buy whatever it is you are selling.
Trends that have been around for a while
There are some web design trends that have been here for a while and are not going away any time soon. Well, it makes sense, because they all fall in line of good user-experience provision, interactivity and security.
Video on pages
Upcoming trends in the next decade
I'll tell you what's more exciting than knowing how websites are going to look next year. Knowing how they will look like 3-5 years from now!
3D Effects and VR Navigation
As AR & VR make a serious claim for ruling over the digital world, we have an idea how that may impact the future of website design. By 2025 we will likely be using websites without having to touch a mouse or a screen. Navigation will be controlled simply by our motions. For example, blinking to change a page or moving our head to navigate content on the page.
This may sound as an out-of-reach technology for small businesses, but let me assure you, this is just temporary. In the next 5 years, these tech advances will be much more widely practiced and available. And if there is competitive supply, there is also a competitive price.
Data and Design Love Child
Data will collaborate with design to create a personalised experience for each user landing on a web page. No more 10-year bracket in demographics, no more inclusive buyer personas.
Brands will be able to give content and design, specifically tailored to the individual who visits their website.
It all sounds very exciting and powerful, but it will take some time before we see it happening in large proportions.
And more importantly, with great technological advances like these, comes great responsibility of guarding our safety, security and privacy in the digital world.