A red arrow pointing in an upward direction to represent a trend.

Let’s Talk about Design Trends

An experienced beginner

I have recently arrived on the door for a career in digital design and what an exciting time to arrive. With new software and technology continually shaping the industry, it’s important to know and stay on top of the latest trends. As an upcoming designer, I think it’s important to know where the future of design may go. Along with, where my ideas and creativity stands in relation to past and current trends. I have scoured the past six years of ‘top 10’ web design trends to better understand the trends that have come and gone.

Out with the old, in with the new improved.

Exploring past 6 years of ‘top 10 upcoming design trends’ has shed a light on how web design has evolved and why it has been that way. I was expecting many of the trends each year to disappear and many new ones in their place. However I found that key trends in web design are re-emerging each year. Large captivating images and video, attractive web fonts, sleek resolute colour pallets and the use of animations have all been at the top of web design trends over the past half a decade.  What is changing though, is the way these are being used. With many websites looking to incorporate key design principles, maximising the user’s experience is priority.

One can forgive developers for wanting to use the latest and greatest functions of CSS and JS at their pleasure, however, what is changing is the focus on how these are used to maximise a user’s experience. Much of this is down to the ‘micro’ interactions users have at their hands (or fingertips) and all these add up to create a seamless, full site experience. Meaningful transitions, interactive elements and widgets, and animations with purpose can provide an experience which can reflect the business brand and help further distinguish itself from the competition.

Trends to Stay

As you may be aware, advancements in technology, software, internet speed among many other things are influencing the web design trends. As previously touched on above, the trends that are sticking around to do with optimising the micro interactions, and these are on the back of enhancements in tech and software. Let’s have a look at what trends that were starting to gain traction 2011 are around in today’s webscape.

  • Minimal Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Large, full screen images and video
  • Simpler colour palates – 2 flat tones with a primary accent
  • Single Page sites with auto loading
  • Large captivating headlines

Over the following years, other trends started to emerge that are still top of the design trends for this year:

  • Fixed navigation and Logos
  • Hidden navigation – think Hamburger icon
  • Parallax scrolling
  • Flat design
  • Crisper images and icons for Retina/High res screens
  • Card-based designs
  • Vibrant designs
  • Material Design

Trends that didn’t make it

What’s exciting and intriguing about going back through the past half a decade of website trends is being able to see web design slowly evolve. Popular trends nowadays show their age and seem out of place compared to their newer contemporaries. So let’s have a look at what I found to be missing in today’s webscape:

  • Detailed and realistic 3D graphics
  • Darker colour palettes
  • Heavy text blocks with multiple pictures
  • Glossy gradients
  • Vertical navigation
  • Low Resolution icons and images

My take-away

As web design continues to grow, it is important to not only recognise the latest trends, but where possible, look to innovate and be one step ahead. The beauty of digital design is the endless inspiration that can be found, not on from web design, but from art, film, games and even music. I’d like to give my prediction on where I think the future trends will be, however, being new to this industry, id love to open up this question to discussion and get feedback from where you believe the latest design trends will be.




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