Which web design trends are big in 2022 and how important are they?

Such a fast paced world is constantly evolving and changing, making trends hard to follow. We’re well over half way through 2022 now, which means that we can take a look at which trends have stuck so far this year.

Layouts
Web design trends continue to expand what we can expect within the limitations of a screen.
Familiar layout conventions are great for UX, with sources of information located in places a user
would expect them to be. This maintains comfort and eases the journey through a website.
However, adding a bit of the unexpected in the right place can inspire interest and engagement in your user, keeping them on your site for longer.
Scroll direction
For some organisations, scrolling need not be limited to the vertical. Catalogue or portfolio
sites work especially well by extending scrolling to the horizontal plane. An alternative trend
harnesses our instinct to scroll. By creating a scrolling narrative or progression of
information, users are engaged in ‘scrollytelling’.
Single page
Experimentation in scrolling has led to a trend in single page websites. For some users,
these websites are more engaging and enjoyable to navigate. As a business, a single page
site means that you have more control over the journey of your user. So they’re great for
smaller organisations, services and freelancers whose audience may be more niche.

Concepts
This is your overall artistic design scheme for your website. It’s as influenced by trends as interior design is for homes. Changing your aesthetic doesn’t always mean changing your branding, though. Colours and fonts can diverge massively whilst remaining in keeping with your corporate scheme. So which looks are popular in 2022?
Nostalgia
Retro feels have been everywhere this year, and this shows no sign of abating. As with
music and fashion, web designers are taking inspiration from the 90’s with bright
background colours and Courier based fonts. Another tone of nostalgia that designers are
embracing is non-tech. Hand made and hand drawn graphics are really popular, especially
for creative industries. These visuals bring an authentic and honest design concept to a
website.
Layering
In contrast to the wave of nostalgia is another visual aesthetic that’s super modern and
innovative. Layered, overlapping images and content on a page challenges the
conventional grid based website where everything is separated out. This concept
encourages interactivity, uses less space and looks intriguing.

Functionality
The way that your website functions offers a wealth of different design possibilities. It’s this part of web design that is experiencing a huge innovation in experimental thinking. Trends have moved on from cute cursors and embedded video. Functionality now is paving the way for a more interactive integration of a web presence into the Metaverse as a whole.
Satisfaction
At the heart of all functionality must be the user. Driven by the shift in Google’s core vitals
which increasingly prioritises UX, designers are always looking for new ways to create
satisfaction in their user. Examples are functional additions that add to the convenience of
the user, like concise and helpful mouseovers, interactive maps and tactile transitions.
Animations
This is all about making your website more dynamic. Moving typography has been big this
year, both as a background visual and as a transition that guides the user through the site.
Graphic animations have been used to encourage meaningful engagement with a page. So rather than being limited to a set area, they extend across the whole site. This requires the user to become active as they browse the site and move beyond passive scrolling.

Trends vs Basics
Of course, following trends will only get you so far. While keeping abreast of design trends is great for ideas, it’s all for nothing if the basics aren’t in place. So which core practices should you be careful not to neglect?
Mobile UX
Users are increasingly browsing on mobile devices. This is especially true if you’re a paid
service. So if your mobile responsiveness isn’t up to scratch, it doesn’t matter how many
cool features your website includes. Mobile browsing is all about immediate interaction, so
keep mobile services simple and straightforward. This doesn’t have to mean boring,
though, as long as your journey and information is concise.
Consistency
Tidy, streamlined branding across your online and physical presence is a basic foundation
that must be in place. Don’t try to include every design technique under the sun, as the
different pages of your website will start to feel confused. This will do nothing for confidence
in your brand.
Loading Speeds
The last thing you want is for your user to give up on your site before it’s fully loaded.
Around 40% of users won’t wait any longer than 3 seconds for a site to load. Optimise code
and images and compress any files that you can. Large images and plug ins should serve a
purpose, so regularly audit these things to catch anything that might be slowing down your
load speed.
CTAs
There’s no point in having so much cool animation and dynamic scrolling that your user
can’t find a Call To Action button. Underneath any design trends that you decide to employ
should remain a streamlined and intuitive journey through the website. With clear and bold
CTA’s, you’ll prevent users from getting lost.

As we’ve said, web design is a fast paced field. It’s led by innovative and creative thinkers who can
do amazing things! This doesn’t mean that every trend is right for your organisation’s website,
though. Visual and functional wizardry should reflect your brand and be appropriate for your
business and typical user. So it’s important to pick and choose trends carefully, and not overdo it.
Moreover, always ensure that you have the basics in place before indulging in trend based
features!
At Planet Wide City we have the expertise and experience to advise and create websites that tread this balance perfectly. Contact us to learn more.