Web-safe fonts refer to fonts that can be used on the web without safety concerns. The key factor here is whether the respective fonts can be displayed correctly by as many browsers as possible. Here, we reveal why the list of safe web fonts continues to expand and why web fonts play an important role in a successful online presence for a company.
The Internet has developed into an oversized information apparatus which is evident in the design innovations that have changed the appearance of the world wide web over the years. Above all, new web design trends continue to emerge. Currently, the most popular design ideas include visual eye-catchers such as color transitions and bright fonts, but also elements such as scrolling effects and chatbots. We present 12 of these trends so that you can prepare yourself for modern web design in 2022.
- 12 trends to decide web design in 2022
- Colour gradients
- Large and small typography
- Interactive 3D elements
- Dark Mode
- Socially and ecologically motivated designs
- Scrolling design: Long/infinite and parallax scrolling
- Personalised user experience
- Virtual and augmented reality via WebXR
- Speed/performance becomes even more important
- What are the web design trends in 2022?
- Trends and countertrends in web design
12 trends to decide web design in 2022
Overall, web design continues to evolve in the same direction that it has for years: a focus on mobile devices (responsive web design), snackable content, purpose-driven interfaces, and reactive or interactive user interfaces. At the same time, developments in artificial intelligence have an increasing impact on web designers and new technologies are becoming more accessible. 2022 will see the continuation of various web design trends from previous years and the Internet landscape will not radically change. However, some trends indicate further improvement when it comes to user experience on platforms and will help shape the Internet of tomorrow today.
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Web design trends for 2022 crave colours and smooth transitions between them. Gradients are trendy because, unlike monotonous colours, they make for a dynamic effect and thus lend a website more oomph. Moreover, they can be applied in a variety of ways. Use colours to fill individual elements such as your brand logo, fonts, or the navigation menu. On some websites, an entire background could be dominated by this design technique.
Whether you choose a gradient or which type depends on your taste and your site’s image. While some people prefer flashy, bright colours, others prefer to go for a more subtle look by combining white or black with a primary, secondary, or complementary colour.
On the website “ColourSpace” you can create gradients and copy the appropriate CSS code to your website. Play with colour tones and gradient directions until you find the right result for you.
Large and small typography
Large letters and individual fonts are on next year’s web design agenda. Websites welcome visitors with words that span the entire page and cover elements aesthetically. The typography trend reminds us that our typeface must not only serve to convey information, but can also function as a supporting design element.
Fonts are an important tool for defining a brand’s identity. Big names like Coca Cola, Disney, and Harry Potter, for example, came up with custom typographies that identify them worldwide. So using a typeface of your own design on your website is worth considering. Experiment with colours and shapes. Images and other media can also be added to letters.
Interactive 3D elements
Three-dimensional figures or graphics used to play a major role in web design. Those wanting to decorate their web project with 3D effects would primarily use videos for this purpose. An exciting web design trend is about to replace the static integration of three-dimensional content – it’s become more and more common to find websites with 3D elements that can be moved by mouse click or finger touch. For e-commerce in particular, interactive objects like this offer enormous potential: customers can conveniently view a product from all sides and from every angle in order to gain an optimal impression of the product so it’s very similar to buying in a local shop, where it would be normal to pick up the object and inspect it before purchasing it.
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Three-dimensionality also plays an important role in the next web design trend for 2022. Neomorphism brings more realism to website designs, some of which have become very abstract. This new modern approach should give more life to very flat, card-based layouts. For this purpose, the various UI components look 3D due to the use of lighter and darker shadows using CSS. As a result, the individual elements seem to emerge from the screen until they are selected by the user and thus – at least visually – indented, which leaves a realistic impression.
Despite its popularity, this design trend has its drawbacks. For example, users who suffer from impaired vision aren’t able to properly grasp the fine dividing lines when viewing neomorphism elements. For this reason, the trend is increasingly moving in the direction of neomorphism with stronger contrasts.
Classic graphics programs such as Adobe Illustrator are best suited for implementing these 3D effects. Alternatively, you can find lots of offers online, such as Neumorphism.io, which help you get on board with the neomorphism trend.
Since shadowing is the basis for neomorphism design, the web design trend doesn’t work well with web apps in dark mode. Here, you need to specifically work out which strategy better suits your project.
Dark mode is a trend that is not only sweeping the web, but the entire software sector. Ever more users prefer an alternative to their bright display. For example, operating systems such as Windows offer a dark mode, and even browsers such as Google Chrome can activate dark mode. Bright interfaces are particularly annoying in low ambient light. While many programs and apps can be easily mode adjusted, many websites still use too much white, which isn’t necessary.
Micro-interactions is a trend in UX design where selected user interactions are accompanied by small animation effects. For example, this could be a like-button that makes a user’s smartphone vibrate when they click on it. For UX experts such as Dan Saffer, these are the details that distinguish the user experience.
Socially and ecologically motivated designs
Social and ecological issues have gained so much more importance in recent years. Due to this, more and more companies are connecting with customers or users more intensively and on a deeper level. The Corona pandemic has highlighted the necessity and importance of active participation online - be it on social media or in the form of a website.
Sustainability efforts and social commitment have a significantly greater influence on web design than they did a few years ago. Prominently placed photos, videos, visualisations, or simulations are just as trendy as a concrete design when used to show your company’s participation.
Scrolling design: Long/infinite and parallax scrolling
The mobile trend is already having a resounding impact on web content. One of the most important developments in this context is the transition from clicking to scrolling. In principle, the scrolling website is an old friend. However, design concepts such as parallax or infinite scrolling continue to enjoy great popularity and will, therefore, remain in trend in 2022.
Infinite scrolling enables website visitors to discover new content by scrolling, rather than clicking. When the end of a section has been reached, the next part is automatically shown. Social networks, like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Quora, have long since employed this method to present their users with content in a continual newsfeed. Infinite scrolling has also been a common tool used in blogs for some time now and is sure to play a large role in the future.
Infinite scrolling is ideal for websites with a wide range of information. While a blog with 100 to 200 posts can still be easily paginated, the benefits of page splitting on large web projects decreases as the amount of information increases. It’s unlikely for a reader to search for page 812 from a total of 5782 pages, for example. Infinite scrolling, on the other hand, is typically used with sophisticated algorithms that pre-filter information and present users with the most relevant blog posts first.
Website operators, who want to jump on the infinite scrolling bandwagon in 2022, should, however, ensure they do so in a search-engine-friendly way. While Google initially struggled with crawling scroll websites, infinite scrolling can now be implemented without worry thanks to detailed design guidelines from the search engine market leader. The following points should be taken into consideration:
- Individual URL for every subpage
- Overlapping content should be strictly avoided
- Visitors should be able to easily locate the sought-after information
- Loading time should be reasonable
An example of implementing infinite scrolling in a search-engine-friendly way is featured on the demo website by webmaster trend analyst, John Mueller.
Parallax scrolling effect
Although parallax scrolling may not be among the newest web design trends, it is definitely one of the most popular ones. This motion parallax has been an essential building block for modern websites over the past few years. The special ability to move various levels of a website at different speeds creates depth perception. These special visual effects keep the fascinated visitor scrolling and, as a result, they stay on the page longer. These effects are ideally combined with elements that prompt the visitor to carry out a desired action. For this reason, parallax scrolling is an excellent feature to use in tandem with interactive storytelling. A particularly illustrative example of this sort of use is the website, “Every Last Drop”.
Personalised user experience
Targeted presentation of web content is one of the basic principles of modern web design. Especially in e-commerce, the selection of content and its presentation should be based on the requirements of potential customers. In the past, the focus has been on abstract groups of people, but in 2022, the focus has shifted to the user experience.
A web design trend of 2022 will be personalised websites where visitors see content that matches their usage habits. Web analysis tools such as Google Analytics and Matomo provide the foundations for personalised user interfaces. They give content providers a comprehensive overview of how web users interact with web content.
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Virtual and augmented reality via WebXR
Most users are aware of virtual reality (VR) within an entertainment context. Computer and mobile game developers, for example, invest many resources into VR technologies to create VR glasses and games. In recent years, more and more apps have also come onto the market that not only have Augmented Reality (AR) as a fun concept, but also use the technology for practical purposes. For example, a real environment is mixed with digital input so that the interior design of an apartment can be planned out, or clothing can be tried on virtually. The World Wide Web is following these trends. The fault-ridden WebVR technology has now been replaced by WebXR technology which displays VR and AR content in browsers.
Users can already view specially programmed websites in three dimensions using VR glasses. Much like navigating a room, they can move between menu options and content. The technology holds much promise for the future of e-commerce allowing online shops to replicate the in-store experience online. Those who own VR glasses can already test WebXR by Mozilla.
Communication programs are nothing new. Chatbots originate from the research area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and are already used on corporate websites or online shops. Usually, these are small dialogue boxes that accept user questions and automatically generate responses. The machine’s learning algorithm creates personalised answers, which gives the user the impression that they are speaking with a human. Chatbots are used as virtual shopping assistants or as an alternative to the classic FAQ section.
Chatbots are rarely intrusive but are usually operated via small interactive elements. The user, therefore, gets the impression that they are being contacted in real-time by an employee of the web service. In most cases, the user can respond to the request without leaving the website. The distrust of AI-controlled dialogue partners has probably subsided somewhat since the success of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc. In most cases, however, chatbots are (still) nothing more than search bars that react more dynamically to search queries. It will be interesting to see how chatbots develop in 2022.
Speed/performance becomes even more important
Not so much a trend as a basic principle of a well-designed website: Speed is becoming increasingly important. This is partly thanks to the mobile revolution, after all, website owners want their sites to be easily accessible on the go and not to use up too much data volume. The faster a website loads, the better the user experience – it’s been this way for at least ten years. In 2022, the trend of forgoing time-consuming and memory-intensive elements and working intensively with lazy loading will continue to enable faster website use.
Many other trends in web design stem from this one. For example, the increasing minimalism in many website designs means no more memory-intensive media, and many formats are chosen specifically to keep the memory requirements low. “Long scrolling” websites, which place all the necessary information on a single scrollable page, are often chosen because only one page needs to be loaded - and not several sub-pages afterwards. Also, the increasingly popular “white space” means there are no elements that could slow down the website’s loading speed.
Other current modern web design trends such as interactive animations, parallax effects, or dynamic backgrounds look eye-catching and can help the visitor absorb the information better (if used correctly). However, elaborate website designs often have a negative impact on performance. Web designers must therefore carefully consider which multimedia and interactive content offers added value for the user and which only slows down the website unnecessarily. Generally, less is more – which does not necessarily mean you have to return to flat design.
The performance of a website has a direct impact on the user experience. A distinction must be made between actual and perceived loading time. Delays are only problematic if they are perceived as such by the user. Web designers therefore rely on the following measures, among others, to compensate for longer loading times:
If the visitor must wait, they should at least know how long for. The progress bar doesn’t shorten the loading time, but it can make it more entertaining if it is designed in an interesting way. The aim is to keep the user on the site even if they are made to wait. After all, Internet users today are becoming more impatient when it comes to accessing websites.
Load key elements first
Web pages should be programmed so that “above the fold” content is retrieved first and displayed in the browser. These are the parts of the page that are visible to the viewer without them having to scroll down. If this content is available, it doesn’t matter to the user whether additional content (“below the fold”) is loaded later.
Images embedded as progressive JPEGs do not build up from top to bottom in the final resolution when loaded. Instead, interlaced scanning is used: the viewer is first presented with a preview image that’s low quality, which is gradually refined until the data for the desired image quality has been completely loaded.
More tricks to improve website performance can be found in our article on website optimisation.
In summary, what applies to content also applies to videos, photos, and gimmicks: they should be of high quality, unique, and relevant to the user. In addition, it makes sense that content like this is only loaded when the visitor accesses it. Mobile device users or weaker internet connections benefit from well-structured websites that are free of unnecessary data burdens.
What are the web design trends in 2022?
Web design in 2022 emphasises visual individuality and entertainment to counteract the coronavirus blues. Colour transitions, large typographies, and interactive components are just a few elements that will be displayed across the websites of tomorrow.
The web design trends for 2022 combine usability and slim UIs with interactive highlights. 3D objects for illustration and visual three-dimensional control elements breathe new life into the sometimes very abstract online world. Fast access and being able to display optimally across all devices are of course also on every web designer's to-do list this year.
Modern web design offers an opportunity for web designers to create elegant sites that users enjoy browsing and engaging with. But it’s important to remember that trends do change, and new technologies continue to be rapidly developed. At the same time, the future user should always be at the centre of a good design strategy. Designs should match the user group and auto-adjust their content accordingly.
Additionally, we’ve seen a shift in web design practices towards a greater emphasis on mobile adaptations. Websites are now supposed to be even more efficient and user-friendly in order to keep up with the competitive online market, and they must be suitable for all screens – whether a PC, a tablet, or a smartphone. The bulky and slightly overloaded designs of the 2000s are long a thing of the past; the human eye is fed up with them now. The new maxim is a focus on the essentials.
Websites must be “user-friendly”, but usability is just as important in 2022. Responsive web design is an important trend for the mobile market. It emphasizes technical flexibility while also taking the user’s device into account. Modern web design therefore means that a website “reacts” effectively to the user’s device and presents itself accordingly. Responsive web design is consciously designed so that websites can react well to new or previously unfamiliar systems. Web designers no longer develop sites just for browsers anymore – many of the best-known website providers enable easier mobile use via their own apps.
Some web design buzzwords are following us into 2022. On the one hand, there is the Internet of Things, which sees an increasing digitalisation of everyday life and wants to offer users even more interaction possibilities. On the other hand, there have been significant advances in artificial intelligence research resulting in automated web services improving; web designers are likely to fully exploit this area as well.
Among the most important new trends is the more targeted integration of interactive 3D effects and VR/AR elements. Both techniques make web projects more interactive with cool optical illusions. However, the principle still applies: less is more! Another important point that will also have a decisive influence on web design in 2022 is the increasing social and ecological awareness. The huge social and media interest in topics such as climate change or the Corona crisis shows how important it is for companies to get involved accordingly. With all the technical progress, topics like these consequently also shape the design of websites.
Trends and countertrends in web design
Web design trends don’t exist in a vacuum; countertrends have emerged pulling certain design elements in a different or opposite direction. Sometimes counter trends develop from a reaction to certain trends as they become more apparent. Web designers often rely on countertrends in order to stand out as the Internet designers of the future. Here are some examples of trends and corresponding countertrends that we will encounter in 2022.
Stock images: professional images of stock agencies that can be integrated into many different websites - a secure way to decorate your website.
Individual or authentic images: that radiate closeness and show people or companies as they really are to connect with visitors on a more personal level.
Symmetrical shapes: box shapes, flat grids e.g., horizontal-vertical web pages that are very easy to navigate; these pages follow the proven and familiar ‘rectangular’ nature of HTML and CSS.
Asymmetric shapes: experimental designs, ‘broken grid’, just innovatively designed web interfaces, which go against common conventions and stand out through individualism and playfulness.
One-page designs: all the important information is presented on a single page and the user is spared as many clicks as possible; it is better to let the (increasingly mobile) user scroll rather than click. Certain standard layouts are gaining acceptance, especially for digital companies.
Web-nostalgic design trends: bring back the principles of the Internet interfaces of the 2000s (‘web brutalism’, minimalism, text-based) or technical innovation menu bars and buttons that are still necessary to navigate the website but are not too bulky for mobile use (hamburger menus, micro-interactions).
Colourful designs and strong complementary colours that give the website a certain flair; in addition, there is a deliberately used colour symbolism or colour association (blue for digital products, green for charitable companies, pink for cosmetics, etc.) to subconsciously ‘pre-colour’ the page for the user.
Colour minimalism: add lots of white space to distract as little as possible from the information provided. Strictly two-colour websites (‘duotone’) focus on user-friendliness and forego complex colour design. In contrast, more attention is often drawn to brands and symbols.
Success with web design trends
Web design trends in 2022 combine usability and sleek UIs with visual and interactive highlights. Colour gradients and eye-catching typographies transform websites into digital eye-catchers, while 3D objects and scrolling effects breathe life into an abstract online world. Fast access and optimal cross-device displaying are on every web designer’s to-do list this year.
Modern web design provides new possibilities to create websites that invite visitors to linger without overloading them. But remember, trends change, new technologies are emerging rapidly, and the user experience should always be in the foreground. Thus, web design and content should suit your target audience.
If you’re building your own website or would like to update your existing site, you can take inspiration from the web design trends in 2022 – preparing your website for the requirements and expectations of tomorrow.