Design, like every other benchmark of creativity, evolves. As individuals and society’s visual perception and expectations change, design trends have to keep in step to stay relevant and not go the way of the typewriter.

In web design, specifically, a lot has changed in recent years. Everything from website layout to design elements like fonts, pictures, animation. The reasons for these changes may differ depending on who you ask: digital marketers, bloggers, photographers, business executives and so on.

Whatever the needs of website owners, there are some web design trends that make sense for every website owner. Some of them are new, some others are making a come back and while the rest have been steadily climbing in popularity over the past few years.

1. Mobile will continue to take center stage

If you were skeptical at first, those doubts should have been put to rest by now that mobile is here to stay. There are over 4.5 billion smartphone users on the planet to access the web on a daily basis. As of 2018, half of that number accessed the internet through their phones in lieu of a tablet or a computer.

And with Google’s introduction of mobile-first indexing in 2018, it is even more pertinent that web designers continue to prioritize site interface, and user experience of mobile versions of websites to make it more user-friendly and intuitive for all kinds of users, whatever their interests may be.

2. Customized illustration design will continue to edge out stock photos

A few years ago, stock photos were the pinnacle of illustration in almost every web design project. Eight out of every 10 websites had a high-resolution stock photo emblazoned on the backdrop of their home page. They were also used to help drive home the website’s services and much more.

But when you see one photo in a few different places, it begins to lose its impact. This is why website designers are turning to personalized illustration as a means of adequately communicating their brand message. No other form of visual media connects with an audience more than illustration. In fact, according to studies, it has seven times more impact than photos. Companies like Slack, and Dropbox are already ahead of the game in this regard. Their use of personalized illustration is so powerful that all of their digital properties/products are immediately distinguishable from every other brand.

Web designers will continue to seek ways to incorporate custom illustrations into every home page, instructions page and all other elements of a website’s experience in 2019.

3. Bold colors and gradients

As brands seek to distinguish themselves, they have continued to force web designers to push the envelope of material design. Every part of the design element is consistently evaluated, updated or trashed in this process of forward-thinking web design.

Colors and color gradients are one of the most important elements in design for many reasons, especially because they can connect with an audience on an emotional level. Colors usually fall into one of the following emotional categories: joy and sadness, trust and disgust, fear and anger, and surprise and anticipation.

Brands that do not want to get lost in connection in 2019 know that the color choices for their web design projects should be decided by the way they want to connect with their audience on an emotional level. Often times, this may mean using bold and bright colors that don’t traditionally go together.

In 2019, web design will be more daring with the color choices or combinations they use as long as it makes sense for the big picture. You will see websites and apps with bold colors, daring color blends and gradients, lighting and shadows splashed across home pages, navigation bars, footers and everywhere else in such a way that they will seek to always deliver the right emotional cues to website visitors all the time.

4. Websites will increasingly incorporate more minimalistic and conversational design elements

As the amount of information available to us on the web increases, our attention span continues to go in the opposite direction. In 2019, the connection between information overload and decreasing attention spans cannot be taken for granted.

Modern life is extremely fast-paced. This dynamic nature means people have less time to take in and process every element of your website’s design. This makes the “less is more” principle more important than ever. For web designers in 2019, this will mean eliminating redundancies in theme or content. It could be using more white space, employing clear and legible typography, or using clearly defined lines and contrasts. Either way, up to the point where this trend doesn’t negatively impact user experience, it will continue to grow in its application.

5. Load speed will become even more important

How slow low speeds negatively impact a website’s metrics is not news anymore to any web designer or publisher. The need for speed will only become greater in 2019.

No matter how beautiful and visually compliant your website design is, it is all for nothing if a user cannot fully load your web pages in 3 seconds or less. That’s how long it takes the average web surfer to decide whether to stay or move on from your site.

It is of importance to also note that following Google’s update to their Speed algorithm in mid-2018, a website’s load time now bears even greater significance to where (or if) its pages show up on the search engine results page (SERPs). So web designers have their work cut out for them when it comes to design websites that are light enough to meet these load time requirements.

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