The development of the Internet into the colossal information apparatus it is today can be traced back to the trends that have changed the face of the World Wide Web over the years. Especially in the field of web design, new trends are observed again and again that are already determining the Internet of tomorrow. Today’s most popular design ideas include eye-catching visuals like color transitions and bold fonts, but also useful elements like hover effects and chatbots. Below, we present 12 of these novelties so that the most modern web design does not catch you by surprise in 2022.
The 12 web design trends in 2022
By and large, web design continues to evolve in the same direction it has in recent years: a focus on mobile devices, easy-to-consume content, purpose-driven interfaces, and responsive or interactive user interfaces. Advances in the field of artificial intelligence are increasingly influencing web designers as new technologies become more accessible. It’s clear that 2022 continues several web design trends from previous years and won’t fundamentally change the internet landscape. However, some trends point to an improved user experience on platforms that already want to help shape the Internet of the future.
2022 web design craves colors and above all, smooth transitions between them. Color gradients are all the rage because, unlike monotonous colors, they can create a dynamic effect and thus give a web page more oomph. They can also be used in a variety of ways: use them on individual elements (such as your brand logo), in fonts, or in the navigation menu. On some websites, this design technique dominates almost the entire background.
The type of gradient you decide on will finally depend on your taste and the image of your web page. While some people prefer bold, bright colors, others prefer a more subtle look, pairing black or white with a primary, secondary, or complementary color.
On the ColorSpace web page you can implement a wide variety of gradients and copy the CSS code for your web page. Play around with color tones and gradient directions until you find the perfect result for you.
Large and individual typography
Big letters and individual fonts are on the web design agenda in 2022. Home pages welcome users with words and phrases that take center stage throughout the page, often covering elements aesthetically. This typographic trend reminds us that our typeface should not only serve to convey information, but can also function as a supporting design element.
Fonts are also an important tool in giving a brand its own identity. Big names like Coca Cola, Disney or Harry Potter are endowed with personalized fonts that identify them all over the world. Therefore, it is worth considering using a self-designed font on your web page. Experiment with colors and shapes. Images and other media can also be added to the lyrics.
Interactive 3D elements
Three-dimensional figures or graphics did not play an important role in web design in the past. Those who wanted to decorate their web projects with 3D effects mainly used videos. A web design trend is poised to replace this static integration of three-dimensional content: users are increasingly finding web pages with 3D elements that can be moved with a mouse click or finger tap. For online stores in particular, interactive objects of this type offer enormous potential: In this way, customers can comfortably view a product from all sides and from all angles to obtain an optimal impression of the product, very similar to the buy in a physical store where we can see what we want to buy and inspect it carefully.
Three-dimensionality also plays an important role in the next web design trend for 2022: neumorphism (also “new skeumorphism”) brings more realism to web designs, some of which have become very abstract. In particular, very flat, card-based layouts are going to come alive with the modern approach. To do this, the various UI components of the pages are rendered in a three-dimensional style by using lighter and darker tones in CSS. As a result, individual elements appear to pop off the screen until the user selects them and thus – visually at least – clicks on them, giving a realistic impression.
Despite its popularity, this design trend also has its drawbacks. For example, users with low vision have a problem that they cannot correctly grasp fine dividing lines when viewing neomorphism elements. For this reason, the tendency is increasingly towards a new morphism with greater contrasts.
The dark mode, also dark mode, is not only a trend in web design, it is applied above all in the software sector. More and more users consider it important to use an alternative to screens with radiant light, especially annoying in dimly lit spaces. For example, Windows operating system offers dark mode to its users. The Google Chrome browser is not far behind either, as it allows you to activate the dark mode for the screen. While many programs and applications can switch to dark screen mode without any problem, most web pages still opt for white. However, this is not necessary.
Microinteractions are a novelty in UX (user experience) design with which some user interactions on the page are accompanied by small animation effects. It can be a “like” button, which rewards the user with a movement or a vibration of the phone when they click on it. For UX experts like Dan Saffer, it’s these details that make up the user experience.
Designs focused on the social and the environment
Social and ecological issues have been gaining importance in recent years. More and more often this fact helps companies to have more direct contact with their customers and connect with them at a deeper level. The coronavirus pandemic has also shown the importance and the need to have an active participation in the World Wide Web, either through social networks or on the website itself.
Efforts to promote sustainable development or social commitment are issues that have a much greater influence on web design today than they did a few years ago. Prominently placed images, videos, photos or mockups are trending when used to showcase a company’s involvement in a cause.
Scrolling design: Long/infinite scrolling and parallax effect
The mobile first paradigm does not only affect the size of the screens and the full presentation of web content in different terminals, but in the future it will see its influence increase more and more in the content itself. One of the most significant developments in this regard is the move from clicking to scrolling, certainly nothing new, but which brings with it design concepts such as infinite scrolling or the parallax effect, which continue to gain followers, so that it will also be talked about in 2022.
Infinite scrolling allows the user to discover new content by scrolling the page instead of clicking. When the end of a chunk is reached, the next one below is loaded. Blogs and social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit or Quora, use this method to present the user with content in a continuous informative thread. Infinite scrolling has also been applied in blogs for a long time, and it will continue to be current in the future.
Infinite scrolling is a suitable technique, especially for pages with a very wide range of information. While paginating a blog with a hundred or two hundred posts isn’t much of a problem, structuring a project with an ever-increasing volume of text like this doesn’t make much sense – it’s unlikely a user would specifically want to read page 812 out of 5,782. subpages. Infinite scrolling is implemented with elaborate algorithms that filter the information offer and present the user with the most relevant texts first.
But implementing it also means taking care of SEO aspects. Despite the fact that Google had its initial problems with the pages that applied it, today its use does not carry any risk thanks to the recommendations that the search engine itself offers to developers. In any case, do not forget these four factors:
- An individual URL for each subpage
- Avoid content overlap
- The elements that the user is looking for must be easily found
- Adequate charging time
Parallax scrolling is not one of the latest web design trends, but it is one of the most popular at the moment. The parallax effect has been used in the most modern pages for some years, providing an effect of depth by making the different layers that make it up move at different speeds. In the best implementations, this effect is accompanied by elements that motivate the user to take some action. This makes it such a good pairing with interactive storytelling. The Every Last Drop page is a good example to better understand this effect.
Personalized user experience
The presentation of the content according to the target is integrated into the fundamental principles of modern web design. With an eye on eCommerce above all, both the content that is selected and the way it is presented visually should be adjusted to the idiosyncrasies of your target audience. If before we thought of abstract groups of people, in 2022 the individual user experience will capture all the attention.
A trend in web design in 2022 will be the personalized web page in which the user would obtain the content that fits their habits. To determine the data on which to base the personalized user interface, web analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Matomo are used, which give content providers a very accurate picture of how Internet users interact with web content.
Augmented reality and virtual reality with WebXR
Virtual reality (VR) is already familiar to most users in the entertainment industry. Above all, the video game industry is betting on this technology, investing in the development of virtual reality glasses and the corresponding games. However, in recent times, applications have also been coming onto the market in the smartphone sector in which augmented reality (AR) is not only applied as a recreational concept, but is also used for practical purposes. Thus, for example, the real environment is merged with digital information from the device to plan the interior design of an apartment or so that the user can try on clothes virtually. Now the World Wide Web is also taking this step. With WebXR, W3C has created an interface that replaces current WebVR technology and allows browsers to display VR and AR content.
With VR glasses it is possible to visit a website in three dimensions. As if it were a physical space, the user can navigate between the menu options and the content. For e-commerce, this technology has great appeal, as online stores, for example, can mimic the physical store experience. If you have the right glasses, you can test WebXR performance on the following Mozilla test page.
Programs that perform communication tasks are nothing new. Chatbots have come out of the field of artificial intelligence research to be integrated, today, into corporate pages or online stores. Usually, it is a small pop-up window that reads user queries and generates automated responses that can be customized using machine learning algorithms. Thus, it is possible to give the user the impression that it is a flesh and blood employee who is offering him support. They are usually implemented as assistants in the virtual sale or as an alternative to the classic FAQ (common questions).
Chatbots are not usually intrusive, but are usually activated by an interactive element to give the impression that it is an employee of the company who has written. They often have the ability to respond to queries without leaving the website. Since the success of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, it seems that mistrust of AI-based conversation partners has lessened somewhat. Despite everything, even today they do not pass in the vast majority of the search function, which, yes, reacts in a more dynamic way. We will have to be attentive to the evolution of chatbots in 2022.
Speed and performance are even more important
More than a trend, it is a fundamental principle of well-designed pages: speed grows in importance. This is partly due to the mobile revolution because, after all, any web administrator wants their page to be easily accessible from mobile terminals. The faster the pages load, the better the user experience, although this was already the case 10 years ago. In addition, it can be seen today that in 2022 web designers are continuing to do without heavy elements to make their pages more agile, although this was already the case ten years ago, and they work intensively with lazy loading to increase the agility of their web pages. .
Many other trends in web design start from here. Thus, the increasingly popular minimalism avoids the heaviest multimedia files in favor of less demanding formats in terms of storage. The success of long scrolling pages, which present information on a single page that can be swiped, is due to the fact that the user only has to load one page, and not several subpages. Along the same lines, the concept of white space, which is also increasing in popularity, implies the absence of superfluous elements that could slow down the loading speed of the page.
It should not be forgotten that the performance of a web page has a direct effect on the user experience. Here it is necessary to differentiate between the loading time as it is perceived and as it is in reality. Delays become problematic when they are perceived as such by the user. To avoid this, designers resort to the following measures:
If the user has to wait, then he should at least know how long. The progress bar does not shorten the time it takes to load the page, but if it is designed in an attractive way, it can make the wait less boring. The goal is to prevent the user from leaving the page when forced to wait for it to load. It is known that the margin of tolerance of the modern Internet user has been progressively reduced as connections have improved.
Load the most important items first
The pages should be programmed in such a way that the content above the fold, the one that is shown to the user at first glance without the need to scroll, is loaded first. If this content is shown to the user, the user will not give too much importance to the content below the fold being loaded later.
The images that are integrated as progressive JPEG are not loaded from top to bottom like the baseline images, but instead, using what is called interlaced scanning, the first thing that is shown to the user is a lower quality preview that is detailed little by little until all data for the entire image is loaded.
In short, the same that applies to texts also applies to visual content: it must be unique, of high quality and relevant to the user. Also, it should be loaded only when the user opens it. It is above all users of mobile terminals or weak connections who benefit most from well-structured sites without superfluous data load.
What is meant by web design in 2022?
Web design in 2022 emphasizes visual individuality and entertainment to counter the tedium caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Color transitions, large fonts, and interactive components are just some of the elements that future websites plan to include.
In addition, developments based on mobile adaptation have been observed in recent years. Therefore, websites need to be even more efficient and user-friendly in order to stay in the competitive online market, whether on a computer, tablet or smartphone. The bulky and slightly ornate designs of the 2000s are behind us; the human eye has tired of them. The new maxim is to concentrate on the essentials.
Ease of use, that is, web usability, is also very important in 2022. Decisive for this trend is responsive web design, so significant for the mobile market, and which emphasizes technical flexibility taking into account the end device of the user. Modern web design thus means that a web page effectively “reacts” to the user’s device and is presented accordingly. Responsive web design is deliberately designed with foresight so that web pages can safely respond to new or unfamiliar systems. In addition, web designers no longer just develop for browsers: many of the most popular web page providers facilitate mobile use through their own applications.
Some buzzwords in web design will not go away in 2022. On the one hand, there is the Internet of Things, which recognizes an increasing digitization of everyday life and wants to offer users even more possibilities for interaction. On the other hand, significant advances in AI research make automated web services better and better. Web designers are also likely to try to make the most of this realm.
Among the most important new trends is the more selective integration of 3D interactive effects and VR -/AR elements. Both techniques make web projects more interactive while also establishing important visual eye-catchers. However, the principle remains valid: less is more.
Another important point that will also have a decisive influence on web design in 2022 is the growing social and ecological awareness. The enormous social and media interest aroused by issues such as climate change or the COVID-19 crisis demonstrates the importance of companies getting involved accordingly. With all the technical advances, these issues consistently shape web design as well.
Trends and countertrends in web design
Trends in web design almost never exist alone, but have countertrends alongside neighboring trends that take a particular design element in a different or even opposite direction. Sometimes countertrends develop in reaction to certain trends as they become more apparent. Web designers often rely on a countertrend to stand out today in tomorrow’s Internet landscape. Here are some examples of trends and their corresponding counter-trends that we will also find in 2022.
- Stock images, i.e. professional images from stock agencies that can be integrated into many different web pages; a safe way to decorate your website.
- Symmetrical shapes, box shapes, “flat grid”, for example, strictly horizontal-vertical layout web pages that are very easy to navigate and efficient to use; these pages adhere to the proven “rectangular” nature of HTML and CSS.
- One-Page-Designs, so that all the important information is grouped on a single page and the user saves as many clicks as possible; the (increasingly mobile) user is made to scroll rather than click. Certain standard designs are being established, especially for companies with digital activity.
- Bright color schemes and strong complementary colors that give a web page a certain flair; Add to this a deliberate use of color symbolism or color association (blue for digital products, green for charities, pink for cosmetics, etc.) to unconsciously “precolor” the page for the user.
- Individual or authentic images that radiate closeness and show people or companies as they really are to address visitors in the most personal way possible.
- Asymmetric shapes, experimental designs, “broken grids”, innovative web interfaces that break with common conventions and thus stand out for their individualism and playful character.
- Nostalgic web design trends, who want to return to the principles of 2000s Internet interfaces (“web brutalism”, minimalism, text-based) or technically innovative menu bars and buttons that are still necessary to navigate the web website but not bulky even for mobile use (hamburger menus, microinteractions).
- Chromatic minimalism and a lot of white space to distract as little as possible from the information being communicated. Strictly two-color (“duotone”) web pages focus on ease of use and do without complex color design. Instead, the focus is often on brands and symbols.
Conclusion: Web design trends for success
2022 web design trends combine usability and elegant user interfaces with visual and interactive aspects. Color gradients and bold fonts transform web pages into digital eye-catchers, while 3D objects and scrolling effects breathe new life into a sometimes very abstract online world. Quick access and optimal display on all devices are of course also on every web designer’s to-do list this year.
Modern web design offers new possibilities to create web pages that invite you to stay, without being overloaded. At the same time, never forget: Trends change, new techniques emerge, but the user will always be in the foreground in the future. Therefore, the presentation must always be adjusted to the target group and the content offered.
If you have just created your own website or want to update the one you already have, you should be inspired by some of the trends for web design in 2022. This is how you can make your website fit today to the requirements and expectations of tomorrow.
Nina Walker is a web designer and psychotherapist based in Phoenix, Arizona, US. Passionate about digital marketing and content writing. After finishing a course for content writing, she became a part of the DigitalStrategyOne agency. She writes short stories and blogs for sites.