Now that 2022 is over, it’s out with the old and in with the new — especially when it comes to web design and product design. Whether you’re hiring a web designer or looking for web design jobs, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the latest design trends. You may even want to take some time to incorporate new web design trends into your portfolio or think about how you can bring them up during your next web design interview. Without further ado, here are the top eight web design trends of 2023.
1. Increased Web Accessibility
On March 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice published a set of guidelines on website accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act, an antidiscrimination law passed in 1990. According to the updated guidelines, commercial websites fall under Title III of the ADA. Title III applies to businesses that are “open to the public,” such as banks, retail shops, hospitals, restaurants, and performing arts venues. It also applies to e-commerce businesses and other “online-only” ventures.
Although the DOJ guidelines don’t include hard-and-fast rules businesses must follow, they do offer some guidance on eliminating barriers to accessibility. As a result, one of the biggest web design trends of 2023 is the demand for accessible designs. For example, websites with embedded videos should offer captions to help users with visual impairments understand the content. Accessible websites also make it easy for users to perceive information and navigate their user interfaces.
If you have fond memories of the ’80s and ’90s, you’re not alone. Nostalgia is taking the design world by storm, influencing everything from product design to website graphics. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials issued stay-at-home orders that prevented people from visiting family members, hanging out with friends, or grabbing after-work drinks with colleagues. To cope with lockdown-related loneliness, many people started reminiscing about happier times, jump-starting the nostalgia trend. And brands have started to catch on.
3. Artificial Intelligence
These days, you just can’t escape think pieces about how artificial intelligence is taking over everything from design to copywriting. It’s true that AI design tools have come a long way, but that doesn’t mean they’re capable of replacing human designers and other creative professionals. In fact, the power of AI is giving brands all over the world new opportunities to connect with audience members.
If you’re involved in UX or UI design, you’re bound to have at least one client ask you to develop a visually appealing chatbot design. Chatbots serve as virtual assistants, giving customers a chance to ask questions or get basic support when human customer service agents are offline. Design is one of the most important aspects of developing a successful chatbot, as good design helps engage users.
Even if you’re not creating websites or products with AI elements, it’s still helpful to get comfortable using AI tools. As the technology improves, you’ll be able to use AI to make better design decisions in much less time. If you’re involved in prototyping, for example, you may be able to use AI to incorporate standard UI components from your company’s design library, reducing the amount of time it takes to bring a new product to market.
Not everyone wants a flashy website filled with bold colors and whimsical animations. That’s why minimalism is one of the top web design trends for 2023. Minimalist designs use limited color palettes and only as many design elements as necessary to get the point across. Although adopting a minimalist aesthetic offers several benefits, you have to pay close attention to the overall balance of each design, as a large amount of white space makes it obvious when something is a little out of place.
The TED website, famous for posting videos of TED Talks delivered all over the world, also uses a minimalist design. That doesn’t mean it’s bland and boring, though. The screenshots at the top of the page show presenters wearing bright colors or showing off colorful presentation slides, making the homepage visually appealing without using too many design elements. The homepage also has plenty of white space around each video, which prevents the user from becoming overwhelmed.
Like other web design trends of 2023, microinteractions work to improve the user experience and increase brand awareness. Typical website interactions include clicking a link, writing a comment on a blog post, watching a video, or filling out a survey. Microinteractions require even less input from users, making them extremely helpful for increasing engagement and ensuring that visitors can navigate a site without encountering any errors.
One common example of a microinteraction is the use of progress indicators. These indicators are often used on pages requiring users to fill out a form or complete a process with multiple steps. As the user completes each required action, the progress indicator moves to the right, letting them know that the site is responding to their input. The use of progress indicators eliminates the need for users to wonder if the page is frozen or if the system recognizes their input, improving the user experience. Progress indicators can also help users remain patient when downloading large files or completing other time-consuming processes.
6. Mobile-Friendly Designs
Mobile-friendly design is nothing new, but it’s more important than ever, making it one of the top web design trends of 2023. As of 2021, approximately 85% of Americans owned a smartphone; many of these people use their phones to make reservations, view restaurant menus, schedule vehicle maintenance, and handle other tasks. If a company’s website doesn’t work well on mobile devices, consumers may take their business elsewhere, resulting in lost revenue.
Whether you’re looking to become a web designer or you’ve been designing websites for years, you need to know how to create responsive websites. A responsive site should adapt to different devices, from tiny smartphones to tablets with 12-inch screens, to give every user a positive experience. You also need to think about the size of the buttons in your designs, as many people operate their smartphones with their thumbs instead of their index fingers.
7. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality combines computer-generated content with elements of the real world, creating a more engaging experience. Due to recent advancements in technology, more and more brands are incorporating A/R elements into their websites. A great example is Amazon, which uses Virtual Try-On to help users find shoes they’ll love. With Virtual Try-On, shoppers use their smartphones to “try” on shoes, making it possible to test out different styles and color combinations without having to place an order. Virtual Try-On helps Amazon make sales and reduces the number of shoes returned by customers who were disappointed with the styles they chose.
IKEA is also using augmented reality to increase user engagement and promote brand loyalty. The company offers its own design lab to help customers pick out just the right furniture and accessories. IKEA Studio even allows customers to use their smartphones to create 3D plans of each room, making it easy to experiment with different product combinations. For example, consumers can use IKEA Studio to see how well a piece of furniture fits into their current space or find a rug that matches all the art and accessories in a room.
8. Dark Mode
Now that more people know about the benefits of using dark mode, you can expect to see more requests to incorporate it into your designs. Like responsive design, dark mode isn’t new, but it’s more popular than ever. Some users find it easier to read light text on a dark background, and dark mode may even extend the battery life of a smartphone or tablet. From a designer’s point of view, dark mode makes it easier to experiment with design elements, letting you flex your creative muscles a bit more than usual.
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