Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2020
1. Dark mode
Dark mode web designs not only look ultra modern, but they’re easy on the eyes and make colors and design elements pop. Sometimes the most visually stunning web design trends have practical beginnings. Dark themes are better for OLED screens—saving power and extending screen lifespans—but that utility doesn’t stop them from looking good. Dark backgrounds improve the visibility of other accent colors for truly dynamic design.
2. Imperfections that add personality
Imperfect, hand-drawn design elements inject emotion and humanity into websites, which users seem to be craving after seeing perfected yet impersonal graphics dominate web designs for years. In 2020, adding some hand-drawn realness gives web designs the heart and soul visitors find appealing.
Indeed, who couldn’t use a little extra positivity these days. Unique and stylized, hand-drawn icons and other elements show off your brand personality and stand out from your competitors. In fact, this rebellious trend is almost a countermovement to the trend of pixel-perfect flat designs—so flaunt your scratchy edges and open shapes to show how human and lifelike your brand is.
3. Immersive 3D elements
3D visuals have always delighted people; what held this trend back was technology and the (previously) expensive price tag. But as Pinch Studio explains, the technology is now in a place where you can design in 3D without NASA-tier equipment, opening the gates to more and more designers.
Until VR becomes more mainstream and cost-effective, hyper-realistic 3D that’s often taking up the whole screen is the best way to create an immersive experience for your site. That’s not just an advantage for visuals, but for UX as well—interactive 3D design encourages users to stay longer. As 2020 unfolds, expect to see more immersive 3D web designs drawing users in and visually breaking down the boundaries between digital space and reality.
4. Soft shadows, layers and floating elements
This trend is all about creating depth. Like the 3D effect from above but want to tone it down? Soft shadows and floating elements add interest and depth and give your web page a “3D Lite” look. It’s not just graphics either: you can use this effect with text and photos, too. Taking the principles of material design a step further, designers can add a little extra pizzazz to 2D layouts with soft drop shadows and layering elements on top of each other for extended depth. These effects give the design a lightweight feel, as if the elements are floating over each other—a sharp contrast from classic, impenetrable flat design where the layers seem, well, flat.
5. Mixing photography with graphics
Overlapping original graphics on top of real photographs creates a memorable visual, which lends itself to letting your creativity go wild. This collage-like trend is a versatile one; you can use it to add a special cuteness and charm to otherwise bland product photo (TSP stoneware, above), or you can use its more serious attributes to better communicate complicated or abstract concepts like tech or finance. It’s a way to customize your imagery and add more personality (a reoccurring trend in 2020) to your web design.
To make the most of this trend’s flexibility, be sure to match the style of the illustrations and graphics with your brand personality. Their style can sway how people interpret the photograph—cartoon squiggles for something more playful, or geometric and detailed illustrations for something more sophisticated.