Every new year is another chance for a fresh start, and this applies to web design as much as anything else. This is a great time to review your existing projects and plan out how to incorporate the most popular web design trends predicted for the coming year.
In 2016, we saw the continuation of some already popular web design trends. Some are starting to fade — such as flat design — while others continue to gain ground (think modular design).
Generally, the trend in web design has been a shift away from heavy graphics to simple, minimalist layouts that emphasize content legibility.
In this post, we’ll go over six web design trends that have been gaining ground lately and are likely to dominate the world of WordPress this year.
6 web design trends for 2017
Bold color gradients
Modular layout design
Monochromatic color schemes
1. Bold color gradients
Gradients enable smooth transitions between colors, creating a captivating, layered effect that turns a dull page into a pleasantly inviting one. Over the past few years, gradients have been making a steady resurgence, although they’re now used more creatively and stylishly than in the past.
Designers now tend to use bold, bright duotone color combinations to create visual appeal. Gradients often work best on a home page, and like shadows, they create depth for background images without competing for attention.
2. Video backgrounds
Video backgrounds take storytelling to a new level, using a straightforward approach that combines a fullscreen video with muted audio. The video autoplays when the page loads and usually includes supporting text overlaid on a transparent background color.
Visual content is popular because users respond to it, which explains why many small business owners are incorporating some form of video marketing into their online campaigns. Like gradients, video backgrounds often work best on a homepage or landing page to quickly showcase a product or highlight the key features of a service.
Thanks to the popularity of this particular trend, there is plenty of advice online to get you started. While it’s not totally similar, the new WordPress Twenty Seventeen default theme uses video headers out of the box.
Cinemagraphs are perhaps the freshest and hottest trend in web design right now. Simply put, they’re still images with a looping video portion, essentially creating a middle ground between still images and full video.
This trend exploded last year — and rightfully so. For starters, the part of the image in motion keeps the viewer glued to the page. What’s more, cinemagraphs can also make a big impact through digital marketing campaigns. The visual appeal of a well-crafted cinemagraph (using a platform such as Flixel, for example) could make a casual user stop and notice, which (of course) is where effective marketing begins.
4. Modular layout design
Modular design employs a grid of boxes to organize and display content in square or rectangular tiles stacked neatly on a page. It results in a clean and organized look.
Modular layouts can be simple or complex, but their major advantage is that they work seamlessly with responsive design. They’ve gained a lot of traction in recent years because they’re one of the most responsive-friendly layouts available. Portfolio sites are a perfect applications for this kind of design, but modular layouts also work well on normal blog sites that want to display post lists as tiles.
To get started with this trend, there are a number of responsive, front-end frameworks that include a grid system, such as Bootstrap. In fact, it’s not that hard to find a suitable solution, meaning it should be a breeze to get onboard.
5. Monochromatic color schemes
In a nutshell, a monochromatic color scheme uses various shades of a single base color. With less contrast than other color schemes, the interface is accented in a visually cohesive way.
Monochromatic palettes are popular with minimalist designers, but they also make choosing colors for your website a lot easier. If you’re a non-designer, go with a monochromatic palette. Fortunately, this is a simple trend to implement, and there are plenty of tools available to help you, such as Paletton, Coolors and many more.
6. Minimalist design
Minimalist web design strips all superfluous elements away, emphasizing simplicity and clarity. A key feature in this trend is white space — and plenty of it. This helps balance the scarcity of elements on the page and enables your site to display a sense of calm and assuredness.
Minimalist design has been popular for a while now and is perfect for authoritative blogs, portfolios and business websites. Quite simply, less clutter showcases your content to the exclusion of all else, and both text and images can benefit from this approach.
Getting to grips with minimalism is not as simple as you think. However, there are some basic principles you can apply, which should help you focus your designs on its key elements.
2017 promises to be an exciting year for web design with some new trends that will shape the way websites are built throughout the year. The common element among most of these design trends is simplicity, which gives you an idea of what to expect moving forward.
Let’s quickly recap of the web design trends that are likely to explode this year:
- Bold color gradients. Gradients are making a comeback, using bolder and brighter colors.
- Video backgrounds. Media will take visual storytelling to another level.
- Cinemagraphs. This unique feature uses a looping video segment to draw users’ attention.
- Modular layout design. Modular layouts organize content into grids for increased clarity.
- Monochromatic color schemes. Many sites are employing a simple scheme that uses varying tints of a single color.
- Minimalist design. In 2017, web designers will be pushing the limits of this popular design trend.
Hopefully these web design trends give you an idea of what to expect in the coming year. Once you’ve made updates to your site, consider revamping some of your old content to give your website a total overhaul.
Also published on Medium.