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5 digital and web design trends for 2018

We take a look at the design trends that are shaping the web this year.

Digital and web design is always changing. As technology advances, web designers have to adapt to new technical challenges. It’s no easy feat either, building a beautiful site that is user-friendly, innovative and adaptable to every new device is tough for even the most experienced of developers.

In the last year we have seen mobile usage finally surpass desktop browsing. This means if you’re site doesn’t utilise mobile functionality you’re going to lose a lot of potential custom. All design must continually evolve to stay relevant and with that in mind, we’ve highlighted some designs that will keep you on trend in 2018.

Mobile first

As we mentioned in our intro, mobile browsing has now officially surpassed desktop. Online shopping has become so popular almost everyone now orders from their smartphone. In previous years designers would ponder: how do we get a decent menu, submenu and sub sub menu on such a small screen?

But now, mobile design has matured. In 2018 the “roll-out burger” has become established, minimizing the menu for tablet and mobile screen sizes. Photos take a back seat and icons become more economical in terms of space. They have now become so popular that users have no trouble recognising them. It’s also now easier to identify and fix UX issues with micro-interactions as you get immediate feedback on the actions of your users.

Big, bold typography

Considered typography has always been a striking visual solution for digital design. Able to provide personality, evoke emotion, set the tone, all while conveying important information and now that device resolutions are getting better, pages will become easier to read, and we expect to see a huge increase in the number of custom fonts.

The trend of larger characters, contrasting sans-serif and serif font styles will create dynamic pages, improve UX and best of all, will keep your website visitors engaged. For web pages, in particular, headers are key for search engine optimisation and page visibility. In the coming years, we will see more businesses taking full advantage of banners with big, bold typography.

Dynamic gradients

In the last few years, flat design has been preferred to dimensional colours, but gradients are making a big comeback. They illustrate perfectly how technology is changing, as the last time they were popular, they were used for subtle shading in Apple iOS icons.

Now, gradients are big, loud and full of eye-popping colour. The most popular recent incarnation is using a gradient filter over photos – a great way to make photos memorable and intriguing. A simple gradient background can also be a great solution if you don’t have many images to work with.

Drop shadows and depth

Shadows have been a stable of popular web design for many years, but now, thanks to the development of web browsers, we are starting to see some exciting variations. Grids and parallax layouts combined with shadows allow designers to add depth to pages that will now hint at layers beyond the screen.

Experimenting with shadows not only improves the aesthetics of a web page but will help the overall user experience, by providing emphasis. For example, whilst using soft shadows as hover links is not a new idea, combining them with vibrant gradients creates stunning three dimensional effects.

Colour schemes

It’s the year of colour! In years gone by, brands and designers were restricted to web-safe colours and it’s only in the last few years more and more people are using saturated and vibrant shades.

This increase in playfulness is helped in part due to technological advances in monitors and devices with screens that are better suited to reproducing these rich colours. New business tends to opt for vibrant and even clashing colours to attract visitor attention, but it’s also perfect for brands who want to move away from a more ‘traditional’ design trend.

From the bright zesty colours, vibrant gradients and big, bold typography, the current designs trends are shaping up to be the most fun in recent years. We can’t wait to deliver projects that push creative boundaries to the limit.