A Look Back on 2018’s Biggest Web Design Trends

by Ally N. | Web Designer |

As we are nearing the end of 2018, we’ve seen big design trends that have grown and emerged since 2017. Companies and their designers have started to step out of the boundaries of classic design principles and are becoming more adventurous with their website designs and web applications.

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Animations/ Interactivity:

If done right, animations can add major visual interest to your website and keep users engaged for longer periods of time. We are now seeing animations used to guide viewers through the website, evoke certain feelings, or prompt a reaction. It’s important that it not be overdone or interrupt the user experience, but a touch of animation can really wow your audience.

The header image of the Elje Group's home page

Bold Use of Color

Is there really a need for an explanation? We are seeing it everywhere – Apple, Nike, Spotify… all major brands are going bold.
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Creative Custom Fonts

No longer are designers sticking to simple sans-serif typefaces. Sleek, minimalistic web designs have been finding more personality by incorporating instances of creative, custom-made fonts that don’t negate clean lines, but instead accent them quite nicely!

Shadows & Gradients

In the past decade, shadows and gradients have been phased out of the design world, but in 2018, we’ve seen them make a comeback – shadows with more subtlety to make objects stand out from a solid background, often to make objects look like they’re “floating” – and low-key gradients with updated color pallets.

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Animated Storytelling and Data Visualization

This plays into animations and interactivity, except graphic artists are also using it to not just visually enhance their website, but also get information across to their viewers. Statistics, charts, graphs, locations- pretty much any data can be converted into moving visuals.

Playful Illustrations

For the more crafty companies and business that want to show some personality via their website, the use of fun illustrations and hand-drawn graphics have made their way onto the digital scene this year.

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“ANI” Artificial Narrow Intelligence

Not quite full on AI, but we’re experiencing an influx of plugins and website add-ons that provide a more personal experience and offer helpful tools right when you need them. Think of how many pop-ups and chat boxes there are when visiting websites nowadays.

The header image of dada-data's home page


Since big, market-leading companies started making use of offset text and graphics, 2018 design principles became a little laxer in relation to symmetry; previously non-negotiable by many people’s standards.

E-commerce Boom

There’s been an enormous increase in the amount of websites that are now incorporating e-commerce functionality. This is due to the fact that entrepreneurs and small business hopefuls are realizing that you don’t actually have to own a retail store to make money off of selling goods and services. There are now websites for food delivery companies that don’t own a single restaurant (GrubHub.com), online sellers that ship all over the world but don’t have a single storefront (Amazon.com), and profitable resellers that make money on products they never even paid for (Etsy.com). So needless to say, everyone is jumping on this new business model.

What design trends have you seen this year that you just can’t get down with? And what do you think we can expect to see in 2019?

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