Just like any other creative endeavor, websites are greatly influenced by design trends. And just like most trends, design elements draw inspiration from what’s “hot” right now, balancing that with influences from the past while keeping an eye on the future.
There are a lot of components to consider when building your first website, from the implementation of visual hierarchy to the content you put on the page, but design elements aren’t just some pretty afterthought. They have a big impact on other important factors. A good website designer knows this and fits together each piece like a puzzle. So before we continue to wax poetic about color palettes and landing pages, let’s get into our recommendations for the latest web design trends for 2022.
This year, we’re seeing a return of fan favorites in web design as well as some new twists on familiar trends. By using a wide range of color schemes and making use of white space, bold new tech is only becoming more and more apparent in website ideation. Here are the top web design trends to look out for this year:
The parallax effect creates a 3D illusion on the page. This technique creates depth, allowing the background to look farther away from the foreground. For example, turn to the brand Moooi. This company utilizes the parallax effect to showcase its interior design products, immersing visitors into a whole brand experience online.
Parallax is nothing new in web design. It has been a popular technique for years, employed in different ways in an effort to keep you scrolling and exploring down the site. It’s been so effective that it comes back year after year in different iterations. In 2022, however, designers are harnessing the power of animation to create a parallax effect throughout websites. Expect to see more parallax animation as a result.
The hero image is the first thing visitors see when they go to your website. Oftentimes, this is a big splashy photo or an eye-catching video. In 2022, the hero image isn’t going anywhere — but it’s being replaced with type.
The typographic hero image is designed to hook visitors in within the first few seconds, enticing them to keep reading and scrolling. Delivering this important message in a well-designed way increases the chance that a visitor who spends only a few seconds looking at your site may stick around. This design trend has the added advantage of combining punchy slogans with beautiful, memorable designs.
Typographic hero images may seem simple, but they’re a bold choice akin to a daring newspaper headline or a book with a flashy title. Here, the letters play the role of design choice, using a brand’s chosen font to further reinforce its brand values. Combined with its prime website placement and catchy phrasing, the typographic hero image ticks all the branding boxes.
The high contrast of black and white will always be a design favorite, and thankfully, this timeless combination is back in vogue for 2022’s web design trends.
In the absence of color, there’s surprisingly more creative forethought involved. When stripping back to basics in this manner, the design relies on itself and the way the two shades play off one another to have surprising and stark effects. Essential graphic design basics come into play here in an especially meaningful manner.
Check out a unique take on the trend from creative studio Femme Fatale. It's captivating and seemingly perfect for their brand and messaging. (And check out that typographical hero image while you’re there!)
We’re kicking it old school again with the bold and fun trend also known as Memphis design — the look that shaped the ‘80s. Sometimes considered garish with its clashing of patterns and colors, the Memphis design celebrates accessibility by not associating with the high-brow culture of minimalism. Instead, it showcases maximalism at its finest — completely exuberant. It’s no surprise that this trend is making its way back by leaps in bounds as the world emerges from the restrictions that marked the global COVID-19 pandemic in the two years prior.
The Memphis design inspires adventure and works well for creative portfolios or an independent creative company like Upperquad. The site demonstrates its fun-loving personality through animation, reoccurring color motifs, and funky shapes. If you’re hoping to stand out with something distinctive and different, this design trend is for you.
You want to motivate visitors to your site to keep scrolling and remain engaged with your content. Enter scrolling text elements: These words move with the page as your visitors scroll, swipe, or otherwise make their way through your content. In a not-so-subtle way, this bold web design choice encourages site visitors to wonder what’s next and keep scrolling until they’ve reached the end of the journey.
Animated scrolling experiences are only expanding this year, so though this trend is not new, it’s continually evolving and finding new ways to capture visitors’ attention. Horizontal scrolling combined with parallax effects can take the casual observer into a world filled with eye-catching graphics and stunning colors.
As you scroll through the site for Uncanny Valley Studio — which develops interactive art installations — you’re taken on a journey through interactive tunnels that transport you to previous exhibitions with a single click. The brilliance of an immersive website for immersive art is an incredibly clever way to draw someone in with a taste of what the brand is all about.
With text on one side and an image or images on the other, the split-screen website design trend is more recent yet just as impactful as the other trends on this list. This approach adds greater contrast between visual elements and content. It’s a fantastic way to naturally break up different sections on a page. It presents the user with two options to click on, which is perfect for engagement. This is commonly seen on login pages where you have the login form next to a relevant image or an introduction to the site itself.
Coder and designer Adham Dannaway artfully displays their skill sets with the use of a split-screen on their homepage. Interested clients can check out the creator’s previous coding or design projects, depending on their needs.
Originally an architectural movement applied to functionalist buildings of the ‘50s and ‘60s, brutalist design is deliberate in its plainness. Picture concrete slabs or unadorned buildings, and you’re right in line with brutalist trends.
How does an architectural concept make its way into web design? Like many design trends, it’s a reaction to many of the bigger and bolder visuals you see on this list. Unlike the fun of the Memphis design, the overtly direct and to-the-point nature of brutalist-inspired web design skips over the frivolity and gets right down to business. It’s characterized by unstyled HTML, basic fonts, and unedited photos. Brutalist-inspired design has been around for several years and continues to stand strong today.
If you’re having some trouble visualizing what this looks like in execution, there’s a whole site devoted to examples of this barebones aesthetic.
3D elements hold strong this year. A continuation from 2021 web design trends, 3D elements are still making their way into typography, imagery, and other design elements on the page. This year, though, you’ll see a bigger prevalence of this trend across the web, from ecommerce shops to informational websites and many other types of websites.
Web developer Titouan Mathis takes his personal site to the next level with 3D design elements that pop off the page with a fun, interactive feel while also demonstrating his sweet skills.
Dark mode is as trendy in 2022 as it is practical. This website design consists of a low-light user interface with a darker color as the main background color. The low contrast makes it easier for your visitors to browse in low-light settings, easing eye strain and improving their experience. Dark mode also lessens battery drain.
A common example is the music streaming platform Spotify, which is perfect for that late-chill ambiance when you want some low-fi tunes playing in the background of a study session. You’ll also see “dark mode” options on many popular social media websites, like Twitter and Reddit.
The typographic hero image makes use of oversized typography, but this design element isn’t relegated to hero images. When words are blown up to make a point, it’s less content-focused (though the words, obviously, do still matter) and serves a dual purpose as a design element.
Since it’s highly adaptable, both minimalist and maximalist designers can enjoy dabbling with this design element. It’s a matter of whether you want a white background with bold, black words or colors clashing in the background with comically large text in the foreground. Just check out Eva Habermann’s film portfolio website with large text imposed over a moving film reel.
Now that you’re familiar with popular trends you’ll see time and again this year, their origin stories, and their impact on web design in terms of function and appearance, let’s unpack how to make these trends work for your site. Below are several tips to keep in mind as you navigate graphic design basics and craft a killer site that suits your needs, wants, and desires as well as those of your audience.
Not every trend works for every business or personal page — and that’s okay! When deciding what your page should look like, consider your brand values and how certain trends could reflect these values. For instance, a bubbly brand selling upcycled vintage furniture might not be the best match for brutalist design elements. The same is true for a wedding photographer’s page, where edited imagery and soft or exciting colors are the best options to highlight the brand’s playful approach to love.
But if you are captivated by the brutalist digital artform, then perhaps your barebones spoken word poetry site focusing on the rejection of societal norms would be perfect for this daring design choice.
Even if several of the top trends are applicable to your brand, don’t jam them all together. This will create chaos and distract from the user experience as well as what you’re trying to accomplish with your site.
At the end of the day, a website needs to function in a way that’s intuitive for the viewer to comprehend, so a unique scrolling style and parallax together could be the right move. But oversized typography, 3D elements, and a split-screen home page might overwhelm your audience with extreme maximalism. When you choose one or two trends to make the focus of your design, they stand out more — making them captivating instead of distracting.
Since the digital space is constantly changing, your website has to evolve with design trends and new technologies. This isn’t just important for the visual appeal of your site — it also helps the user to trust your interface. A dated interface is often associated with sketchy websites that aren’t well-maintained and could be an unsafe browsing experience for your visitors.
If design elements have been untouched for years, consider giving them an upgrade to improve the user experience and get more traction on your site. Plus, when you focus on one area that needs improvement, you won’t feel overwhelmed by doing a complete site overhaul. Keep it manageable and enjoyable. After all, web design is an opportunity to explore your creative side.
The user experience is key to any site. It won’t matter if a graphic is super well-designed or a scrolling feature takes web exploration to the next level if no one experiences these features. A site needs to be intuitive, and you don’t want to slow your site down with all these cool features — because nothing deters an internet adventurer like the spinning wheel of death. This harkens back to keeping it simple and focused on a couple of well-executed elements.
For example, if a design agency features an interactive game as the hero image, the game should be straightforward enough that players can jump right in and experiment for a few minutes before checking out the rest of the site. Google is really good at developing fun games for various holidays or occasions that the world looks forward to because of this very reason. They don’t require a board game-style pamphlet of instructions. Therefore, always, always, always test your site and think like an objective web surfer.
Trends come and go, but we see certain design elements stick around because they’re just that good. Sure, maybe we’ll get an update on these design elements as technology advances at lightning speed, but their principles never waver. When developing your website or updating it from time to time, check out what users are currently enjoying and if these features are right for your brand.
Remember to never lose sight of your brand's overall messaging. Design elements are the cherry on top of a well-made sundae — the artful presentation of a memorable gift. And with tools like Namecheap’s Site Maker, creating a site has never been so easy. Coding skills aren’t required, and there are a ton of designs featuring templates to best showcase your content. Give it added personality by selecting a base color and font style, and then let the AI customize your site based on your selections. When it comes to all things web design, Namcheap’s got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Get creative today!