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Design trends for 2022

01/12/2021

With technological and creative advancements happening constantly, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing world of web design. This month we take a look at 5 current trends that are likely to gather further traction in 2022.

Visual optimism

After two years of living through a pandemic we have never been so keen to put some fun and optimism back into our lives, and as we all live online nowadays this attitude has been seeping into website design too. We’re starting to see an increase in bold, bright colour schemes and fun large typography. These are often used to amplify positive and encouraging messages used to brighten a user's day. This is not only a great way to spread joy but to make a brand come across really positively to new customers. 

Designing for thumbs

With Google Analytics finding that 77% of the UK's users use a smartphone, it is no surprise we’re seeing companies put more emphasis into improving their website at mobile level. In order to stay ahead of the competition, it’s no longer enough to simply adapt desktop layouts to mobile. Design decisions, particularly about content layout for mobile, are now being made independently of desktop. Meaning the design is sympathetic to the way most users operate their phones, e.g. no thumb stretching! Certain areas of a phone are easier to touch with a thumb than others, therefore important buttons, such as CTAs, should always be placed in ‘thumb-friendly’ zones. This is also true for navigational elements such as positioning of nav bars and menus. Bottom nav bars, for example, are easy for thumbs and can be seen on hugely successful social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Accessible and inclusive design

Previously, accessibility and inclusivity in website design were not high priorities, however the ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentally for website design is becoming increasingly more outdated. We’re seeing more and more businesses with a strong online presence paying attention to how accessible and inclusive they are. This is not only because of the obvious moral reasons, but also for legal reasons, as it is becoming increasingly common for businesses to be challenged on their accessibility and inclusivity standards. It is also in a business’s best interest as providing equal opportunities and experiences for all users means expanding your customer base, improved overall usability, and better SEO.

Quick loading times

In this fast-paced digital era, users don’t have the patience to wait for your website to load, especially if a competitor’s site is super speedy. Fast loading times are becoming more essential for good UX and SEO too. This is unsurprising, as slow loading causes frustration, making a user likely to abandon the site and increase the bounce rate. If this happens with enough users, it tells Google your website isn’t very user-friendly, as people aren’t willing to stay on it very long, therefore damaging your SEO. Thankfully, there are ways to improve loading times and prevent this from happening. Smart content load is one of these methods and one we will be seeing more of in 2022. This means the site only loads the information your user needs at that very moment, and anything else is loaded when and if they need it.

Minimalism and white space

For companies like Apple, the kings of minimalism, this is nothing new. However, with the anxiety-inducing past two years, people are calling out for more mindful and calming visuals. The inclusion of white space allows content to breath, creating a relaxing user experience as elements aren't fighting for their attention. This design aesthetic also has usability positives, as it means striping back your content, so the user is provided only with what they actually require. This is excellent for focusing their experience and making their journey more streamlined. Minimalism also doesn’t have to be boring or plain, it can still include colour and interesting features that represent your brand or keep users engaged.

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