Over the past 11 months, we’ve seen an impressive shift in digital trends and design choices – moving away from the comforting and familiar styles of 2021 and into spaces a little more challenging this year.
In one of our earlier blog posts this year, we discussed the five most unpopular website features of 2022 (we recommend giving it a read) and discovered that the digital world has been changing. The audiences and users of today have fallen out of love with animation and autoplaying tunes, and are gradually moving away from live chat widgets and well-meaning pop-ups in favour of designs a little simpler and cleaner. We’ve taken a look at the five most popular website features of 2022:
Modern users are looking for something a little bit bold, bright and gaudy when it comes to new design experiences. Graphic elements inspired by art and high-concept media are becoming increasingly popular and common on modern websites, with vibrant colours, shapes and icons forming the base of the trend.
There’s also been a recent return to childlike design features, particularly in the usage of splashes and splotches and unconventional shapes creating brand identities that travel across the site. The idea of ‘bringing back the fun’ and finding the bright side has been a key trend over the past few years, and one to pay attention to for the future.
With each new passing year, our collective attention spans get shorter and shorter, and it can take more than just a nice font and a big headline to catch our eye. Moving typography that scrolls, slides, spins or scribbles itself across our screens is rapidly becoming a popular trend for modern web designers to adopt.
Users want to be entertained by websites in 2022, they want to enjoy a webpage as well as consume it and animated typography is a great way to introduce some fun to your site. UX matters, more than ever, and on-site movement and animations are a great way to encourage an engaging user flow and demonstrate your skills as a designer.
The concept of playing around with our expectations of design and traditional structures is one that has risen to popularity over the past few months, as more and more designers embrace unconventional layering in their web pages.
From image cutouts and section overlays to collages and overlapping grids, the use of layering has become a popular feature – particularly in more creative and artistic digital spaces. Many creators have turned their portfolios into a rapidly layering animation, dealing cards of content onto the webpages rather than simply displaying them as a grid. Utilising the seemingly endless possibilities of creative design available in 2022, layering is just one of the standout features to arise from the digital shift this year.
In an almost unintentional throwback to the bizarrely textured backgrounds of Bebo and MySpace, texture and visual feel have become key elements to consider in website design this year. Texture can add a variety of different themes and styles to your site, with grainy and rougher textures creating more of a vintage, bohemian feel and smooth, sleeker textures building minimalism and a clean aesthetic.
Intentional textures can be found in everything from images and photography to the background and wallpaper choices on a site. Even the choice of typography can bring texture to a digital space, from the grittier, scratchy fonts to the rounder and softer types available.
Beyond The Grid
Finally, as designers continue to embrace change and growth in the digital landscape, so do their website designs. Far from staying within the lines and above the fold, modern designers are now embracing the crossing over boundaries when it comes to their sections, layouts and text and are pushing their content as far as it can go online.
A popular feature of webpages today is to subtly subvert the user’s expectations when it comes to boxes, shapes, outlines and defined space – mixing up and repositioning their content to fall down the page, scroll off beyond the screen or remain hidden until hovered over. Described as going ‘beyond the grid’, this experimental form of design is one that future designers are sure to enjoy exploring in 2023.
2022 has been an incredible, transformative and transitional year, one full of change, development and unexpected growth for designers and users alike. It’s been a year of pushing boundaries, exploring the unknown and finding new ways to challenge the expectations of the past.