Table of Contents
- Why Your Website Design Matters
- What Every Modern Website Design Should Have
- Web Design Trends 2023
- 1. Minimalistic Style
- 2. Interactive Design
- 3. Accessible Design
- 4. Added Movement
- Web Design Inspiration
Why Your Website Design Matters
Websites are some of the most important pieces of internet real estate you can own, but your website design is what’s going to really help you stand out from the crowd. Your web design tells your users exactly who you are and what experience they can expect from your site – it’s up to you whether your design turns a first impression into a lasting one.
Choosing a smart visually aesthetic direction to take while also including all the right technical aspects so that your website design gives you the best user experience possible can be a challenge. That’s why we’re here to help with our top tips for web design trends 2023 and inspirations for creating a successfully designed website in 2023.
What Every Modern Website Design Should Have
By this point in 2023, there is a certain standard for web design that separates the successful websites from the unsuccessful websites. In the last few years or so, search engines have been rapidly making their criteria for the types of websites that earn their top search slots significantly stricter, and users’ expectations for the level of experience they want to receive have also climbed substantially. In order not to fall behind and ensure you’re delivering the best online experience possible, it’s essential that your web design incorporates elements such as:
1. Responsive Design
Over half of all web traffic in 2023 comes from mobile devices, so a website that can’t adapt effectively to mobile screens just isn’t going to cut it. Responsive website design allows your web content and interactivity to automatically adjust to any screen it’s being viewed on, so it always looks great no matter the device.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Modern websites have to be built not just for users, but for search engines too. Search engine optimization is the practice of making sure that all aspects of your site are geared towards making it as easy for search engines to crawl and index as possible. This can involve many steps such as properly incorporating your keywords into your tags and content, including ALT text with your images, and building a linking strategy. Websites that don’t show up in the search results don’t get web traffic – it’s that simple!
Alt: Man pointing at superimposed search bar above laptop keyboard
3. Fast Load Times
Web users in 2023 have completely run out of patience! If your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, the vast majority of your traffic will leave before they even get the chance to see what you have to offer, resulting in a higher bounce rate for your site. Remove all the obstacles that are slowing your load speed down, such as large image files and out of date plugins, and watch the success rate of your web design skyrocket.
Great web design takes all of the effort away from your users so they can focus on the information you are trying to offer them. The way your design guides your users through your website should be intuitive – they shouldn’t need to think or search hard for the information they need – your navigation should lead them straight to it. Before you think about visuals, make sure you have your menus and link strategies mapped out and organized so that your audience can easily make their way around.
Alt: Web designer hand drawing mockups of user friendly web page layouts in marker on busy desk
Web Design Trends 2023
There has been an exciting trend among web designers in recent years that is really going to culminate in 2023, and that is that companies and designers alike are starting to have fun again. The cultural shift among users is to want to connect with companies – to see some personality over just being sold information, but what else is set to make a successful website this year?
1. Minimalistic Style
Web design is trending very clearly towards a minimalistic style, and for good reason. Designers are really starting to lean into the idea that less is more. As a website owner, think about what key things you want to tell your audience, and then remove all the fluff that was distracting and overwhelming your audience.
Creative and Bold Typography
The focus of modern web design trends 2023 is definitively shifting from a lot of smaller pieces of text content to highlighting important phrases with larger, bolder lettering. This standout format of typography will really serve to capture your audience’s attention and draw them into key focal points of your website. When letters get big enough, they become an elemental part of the graphic design as opposed to just written information, so finding the spacing and visual contrast to achieve a good balance will help your web design make the most of this exciting minimalist trend.
Bold fonts used as primary elements in web design can create strong typographic layouts that capture the viewer’s attention quickly and keep them on the page.
More White Space & Asymmetric Layout
Hand in hand with the minimalist “less is more” philosophy is the idea of negative space being just as important as filled out content. Websites used to try and cram as much information as possible into one page in an effort to capture their audience’s attention, but now the same goal is being achieved in a much more subtle and effective way. White space or “padding” gives the content in your web design the appropriate room to breathe and stand on its own, naturally drawing your users’ eyes towards it instead of away. With padding, you can give more prominence to the ideas that really matter, and cut to the chase instead of beating around the bush.
Traditional web design is challenged by asymmetric layouts that challenge one of the most fundamental parts of the user interface – the grid. In 2023 it is more common for designers to experiment with dynamic, unbalanced layouts rather than perfectly symmetrical ones.
Emphasis on Lines
Minimalist web design mirrors that of minimalist architecture and fashion, by using clean lines to direct the audience’s gaze to wherever the designer wants. Very recently the user experience has been found to have been enhanced with the usage of diagonal lines as a tool, guiding visitors’ eyes down a visual path in a simple but captivating way. Clean lines, regardless of which direction they have been drawn, help to break up pieces of content, add visual choices without being overwhelming, and help navigate visitors through the journey of your website.
2. Interactive Design
As we mentioned previously, today’s web users crave connection, and there is no more literal example of that connection than the usage of interactive design. While emotional connection is an important aspect to bring to your web content, physical connection is an important aspect to bring in web design trends 2023.
We probably don’t need to remind you how drastically mobile phone usage has taken over the way we conduct business, recreation, and life in general – after all, in 2023 over 50% of website visits are in fact coming from mobile phones. Web designers have taken note of this culture shift and are changing their outlook on how they design their websites. User experience is a major part of a successful web design, and as it turns out, the majority of users’ experience with digital interaction is now through apps. Emulating the look and feel, but most importantly, the interactivity of smartphone applications increases user engagement with your material and creates a more familiar experience.
One of the most important ways to connect with your visitors is to make use of storytelling – getting a little personal and presenting your information in an engaging way will actually get your users interested in what you have to say. Increased interactivity in your website’s navigation can greatly help, as your audience will be more locked in to what you have to say, and as an added bonus, will spend more time on your website. Interactive fonts, hiding and revealing images, playing interactive videos, and so much more will increase your engagement and get your audience hooked on your message.
Illustrations and Data Visualization
Illustration and data visualization is becoming important trend in web design trends 2023. It is easier for users to understand complex information when data is presented visually appealingly and a custom illustration can enhance a website’s look and feel and convey a brand’s message in a memorable, creative way.
3. Accessible Design
In the past few years, society has grown much more aware of, and thankfully much louder about the ways in which the “default” is not always fully accessible or inclusive of everyone and their needs. Web design trends 2023 have no excuse for not thinking about every member of their audience, as it is a firmly accepted notion that the internet needs to be for everyone.
ALT text is a tool used to describe images for those who may be visually impaired, or even just those with a poor internet connection and limited downloading speed. ALT text is manually added in photo settings, and should be done for every image that is viewed on your website, so that those who use screen readers can get a description of what the image is about. ALT text is also really good for search engine optimization (SEO), and will contribute positively to your search ranking.
Light Mode/Dark Mode
In keeping with the “app-like” theme, web designers are moving to understand that peoples’ eyes need a break, especially for those who stare at screens all day, and those browsing the web in low light. Mobile phones have incorporated light and dark mode features for a while now, and so it only makes sense that modern websites begin to follow suit.
There have been dark modes around for a while, but recent years have seen an increase in popularity. In dark mode, you can create an atmosphere of sophistication, luxury, mystery, and suspense. It is also more user friendly as it makes it easier for people with visual impairments to navigate the website.
Gender Neutral Design Language
The binary is a thing of the past, and accessibility and inclusivity involves understanding that cookie cutter options are no longer going to cut it when it comes to design choices. Websites in 2023 are going to really take a step away from the classic, labeled, restrictive binary designs, and focus on neutral tones, avoiding unnecessarily gendered terms, and generally slowing down designers from making assumptions about their audience.
Video content especially needs to include either embedded titles or closed captions, so that those who are hard of hearing can still grasp the information being given. Captions should really be standard practice by now, but there are many websites which still don’t include this option. Make your content as accessible as you can in order to reach every member of your audience with your message.
4. Added Movement
Movement – even subtle movement – is one of the most effective ways of capturing and keeping your audience’s attention that has really been gaining traction as a design strategy recently. When used in your web design successfully, movement will assist in your navigation efforts and keep your audience engaged and ready to learn more about you.
The increase in motion graphics skill has been one of the most exciting things to watch in the graphic design world – and users certainly seem to think so too. Animation can be used in so many ways – from simply adding some life to your logo to integrating complex scroll-triggered animation, like Apple does for their products.
Among the more popular animation trends for 2023 are micro animations (subtle movement added to certain graphic elements on the web page) and rotation animation (an added interest element which displays a different animation every time the same page is reloaded, giving users a unique experience each time). No matter how you integrate animation, be sure not to overdo it as you don’t want to overwhelm your visitors or give them motion sickness.
Video has always been an incredibly effective medium, especially for getting lots of information across in a short amount of time in an engaging way. Video has been a criminally underutilized (or just plain wrongly utilized) element in many websites up until this point, but it seems that those days are on the way out. An especially effective form of video is silent, automatic homepage videos, which add visually pleasing and informative movement (in place of a static picture or carousel), whilst still allowing users to explore the rest of the website at their leisure.
Websites have been using animated cursors for quite some time now, but it is still a popular trend. You can use it to add personality to a website and attract users. Choose from a variety of animated cursors to see what works best for your website. Just don’t go overboard with the animations or it can be more distracting than helpful.
Parallax & Horizontal Scrolling
Another one from the most popular web design trends 2023 is parallax and horizontal scrolling. By scrolling the background more slowly than the foreground, parallax scrolling creates the illusion of depth on a 2D website. By using this method, the website looks more 3D. Horizontal scrolling includes moving from left to right through which a storytelling or instructional experience could be created.
Web Design Inspiration
Now that you know our top picks for the features that are going to kill it on the web this year, how do you go about finding your own web design style to get started?
These are our go-to resources when looking for web design inspiration for our client-based projects.
Awwwards is a platform where websites are submitted, rated, and awarded on a daily basis for their innovative designs and creation. There are numerous categories and thousands of real websites to take a look at, all updated daily.
Dribbble is a sharing and showcasing platform for designers, with user-submitted portfolios galore. There is inspiration for every design element you may be looking for, from web design to typography to animation, all neatly categorized for your convenience.
Bēhance is another way to see the creative world at work through looking at thousands of impressive design portfolios. There is something for everyone in every style, with categories ranging from web design to fashion to architecture.
Pinterest is an idea inspiring platform, where you can create your own ‘boards’ through ‘pinning’ content submitted by other users. You can search for just about anything, and will be supplied with countless visuals that you can go through and handpick to create your ideal design aesthetic.
Level Up Your Website with Our Web Design Trends
Ultimately, these web design tips are a guideline for how the online landscape and its user base are changing and evolving with the times, and we are so excited to see how you use them. For more inspiration, check out our work! We have loved having the opportunity to craft custom designed websites for all of our amazing clients and would love to do the same for you. Contact us today to find out more!