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Note: This blog was updated in Quarter 4 of 2022.

Similar to fashion, web design trends are in a constant state of flux. What is in today could be out tomorrow. And what was in years ago may make a comeback.

We’re not trying to predict the future with this post, but we do want to direct your attention to five web design trends we’ve noticed around the web. Some of these we’ve seen consistently for the past year, and we can’t imagine them going anywhere any time soon. Without further ado:

1. Captivating Hero Images

The days of the slider have come and gone. Enter the ‘hero.’ A hero is a visual element that takes up the majority of the page. It typically contains a captivating background image, a tagline, and a call to action.

web design trends Earl Architects hero image

On heroes, we’re seeing bold gradients like the one at Kopis:

Why Sliders Don’t Work

A handful of reasons backed by solid data:

Why the Hero Works

The hero allows the user to focus on a singular call to action, leading to higher conversion rates and a better overall experience.

2. Illustration

Another trend that has been on the rise for some time now is illustration. This trend began with the boom of iconography. We’ve seen icons across the web over the last five years, which have helped pave the way for illustration.

Illustration can be used to create an overall theme and personify your site:
web design trends EmailPostcards illustration

Or simply add decoration to enhance design:

Why it Works

Illustration doesn’t necessarily do anything spectacular in way of function, but it sets brands apart and enhances user experience like few other elements can. Because so many sites follow the same design conventions, a delightful visual experience can make all the difference in winning customers.

In addition, it can be difficult to find photos or videos that accurately reflect the message you’re trying to communicate to users. Illustrations alleviate that frustration and provide you with imagery that truly resonates with the needs of your website visitors.

3. Animation

Obviously, animation has been around for decades, but we’re seeing it become the norm on websites. Touches of animation are popping up everywhere. We’re seeing elements slide in on scroll, fun interactions when buttons are hovered over and clicked, and even the ability to doodle on hero images (disclaimer: you could spend hours playing with this one).

Why it Works

Similar to illustration, animation is eye-catching, interactive, and user-friendly. It functions to surprise and delight your users, setting your brand and website apart. Implementing creative website animations can further enhance the overall user experience, capturing attention and conveying information in a dynamic and engaging manner.

4. Card / Container Design

Cards are small containers of information. You’ve seen and interacted with them on Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, and while shopping online. With the rise of mobile, cards have taken over the app field and transitioned to the web in the last few years. You’ll also notice a trend towards thumbnail short-form video content now.

web design trends Pinterest cards

Why It Works

Cards are useful, attractive, and well-organized. In addition, they are ideal for responsive web design, working great on devices of any size.

5. Authentic Photography & Video

One doesn’t have to be a web designer to recognize stock photography or video assets anymore. Users want to see original photos/videos of real people interacting with your products and services. It may cost a little extra money, but we’re seeing more and more brands fork it up in order to be more personable.

Why It Works

Studies have shown that images and videos featuring real people have a better chance at converting visitors. Users want to see the product they’re considering in action. A photo or video of a real person looking delighted while using your product is going to work better than a stock photo your user has seen a million times before.

All-in-all, we’re seeing the web become more authentic and personable. Positive experiences are becoming crucial pieces in the buyer’s journey, especially when it is so self-directed, and these five trends are critical elements in building a healthy relationship with your prospects and customers.

Will These Web Design Trends Last?

The thing about trends is that they are unpredictable, especially when it comes to web design and digital marketing. We believe these trends will last because they lend themselves to user-friendly design and a heightened sense of authenticity.

On the other hand, advances in technology and changes in user behavior will inevitably result in new tactics gaining popularity while old ones fall by the wayside. It’s difficult to tell the difference between trends that are simply popular and those that actually deliver results.

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