The days are long gone when a viewer’s attention was easily captured by a simple and plain HTML website. The trend has changed and moved more towards animation and graphics with quite a lot of upgrades in technology and design.
2016 was a very important year for developers because that was the year when people’s primary means of viewing websites tilted more towards mobile devices. And because of this trend, webmasters started following a mobile first approach in designing a website. That means designing in a way that the content will fit properly in a mobile device first, i.e giving priority to mobile design first instead of desktop design and then working towards making sure that web pages work on larger devices as well.
CSS or Cascade Style sheets is a staple of every designer nowadays. New webpage layouts built using CSS3 has become more dynamic and responsive, and at the same time made developing faster and scalable. Let’s discuss some new trends that has grabbed the attention of developers.
Responsive design has come into play during the last few years. Site owners consider that it is not cost effective to create separate websites based on different devices or viewport sizes. A wiser approach is to use media queries introduced in CSS3 that helps the developer to add custom design to the elements of the webpages and tailor the webpage according to different viewport size.
There are some new libraries like Simplegrid CSS, and Bootstrap that provides flexible layout of grids and thereby, allow a dynamic website to adjust the contents and make them fit perfectly in different viewports. With mobile first design approach, grid layout and responsive web design work together and deliver more content with increasing screen size.These frameworks are especially useful in making sure that the webpages are cross browser compatible as they comes natively equipped with support for older browser versions.
Recently Google also updated their algorithm that allows sites having their content optimized for mobile devices to be ranked at the top. Hence, responsive web design is becoming more popular among site owners caring about SEO.
Geometric Pattern and Shapes
There was a trend of rounded corners sometime ago, specially with the introduction of border-radius property in CSS3. Now people are demanding more unique visuals. At present, Geometric shapes brings more angularity in page designs. Use of trapezoids, triangles or hexagons are useful once again with the use of clip-path property. It allows the developer to clip an element and render complex shapes ( This can be applied on SVG sources as well). Users can either manually do the coding or use online tools for rendering the desired shapes.
Bold and Big Typography
Typography always has been a great visual tool for a website. It has the capacity to evoke emotion, create personality and set tone to a website along with conveying important information. Nowadays, since device resolutions are getting sharper and texts are getting easier to read, usage of custom fonts is highly growing. With the exclusion of Internet Explorer, all recent browsers can support custom fonts which are enabled by CSS. Usage of contrasting serif headings and large letters can improve the UX and keep the visitor going through the content of the website.They year also saw a decline in SVG fonts, which as a developer you would know were a headache in making browser compatible sites. LambdaTest also wrote about this in their previous post on cross browser compatible typography.
Broken Grid and Asymmetrical Layout
Asymmetrical and broken layout were quite unconventional when they were first introduced in 2017. However, it soon became a trend and it’s still going to continue in 2018. This kind of layout is distinctive, unique and is good to use in websites projecting unconventional ideas.
However, large-scale brands that has a lot of content in their sites still use traditional grid system. Still, many brands are creating unique user experiences to set them apart with the use of asymmetrical layouts. Bigger brands that can afford a risk will definitely expect an out of the box design idea from their UX experts.
Integration of Animations
With the advancement of browser technologies, static images are now used in very few websites. Websites are trying to find out new ways to keep the users engaged.
Use of Dynamic Gradients
Previously, flat designs were preferred in websites rather than dimensional colours. However, gradient is the new trend in 2018. With more high resolution display devices arriving in the market, vivid and dynamic gradients are adding a whole new level in user experience. A very popular way of using gradients is adding an image over a gradient background or adding a gradient filter on a photo, which makes a simple image intriguing.
Apart from the trends stated above, the Web is evolving in various other ways. Other trends worth to be mentioned are usage of vector sprites, usage of custom photography and pop art over stock images, etc. So far, 2018 is all set to become a memorable year around the web. However, few features like mask, flex and filters are there that still does not work on lower versions of certain browsers. Still, new features of CSS3 have proved to be a boon on designers worldwide and with all its upcoming features, it will rule the world wide web over a long time.