Top 21 Web Design Trends For 2022
Maybe you’re a web developer or an aspiring web designer — or maybe you need a Manchester web designer to craft a beautiful and intuitive website that will take your personal brand or business to the next level. Either way, you already know that visual design is always in flux.
Web design trends don’t evolve in a vacuum! They are are always informed by cultural and social changes, behavioural trends, and yes, even fashion crazes. Just like the clothes you wore five years ago might no longer cut it, or television ads from the early ‘90s make you cringe hard now, even websites that were once cutting-edge quickly risk becoming dated.
The bad news? Just as you think you know what makes a good website, new web design trends are already in full swing — and you always have to keep learning and innovating to stay ahead. The good news? Website design is becoming more exciting than ever in 2022, and creativity has never been more important.
Table of Contents
- Oversized Typography
- Custom Illustrations
- Complex Gradients
- Playful and Creative Web Design
- Back to Basics with Black and White Designs
- Mini Sites
- Organic Shapes
- Geometric Designs
- Micro Animations
- Homepages as Billboards
- Lazy Load for Faster Browsing
- Interactive Elements
- Gender-Neutral Web Design
- Accessibility as a Design Choice
- Responsive Web Design
- Faster Loading
- Taking Branding to the Next Level
What Web Design Principles Will Dominate in 2022?
Before we take an in-depth look at the top web design trends of 2022, let’s delve into the principles that will determine the individual trends. Trends that emerged in 2021 will continue to thrive and evolve, and in 2022, website design will be:
- More art-focused than ever before. Websites aren’t merely functional platforms where people go to get relevant info any more. In a world where digital life plays an increasingly important role, users and designers alike crave creativity, individuality, and artistic expression. Web designers will have an exciting year, because they’re not just making websites any longer; they’re creating true works of art. Yes, that means that DIY website builders will go out of fashion and that all serious businesses will want to hire a professional website design team to create a bespoke website that matches their vision and inspires their visitors.
- Increasingly UX-focused. Users demand fast-loading websites that are supremely intuitive to navigate, and new techniques will be used to achieve precisely that goal.
- Playing with the latest techniques. Advanced animations, interactive features, and designs will be used more and more — because when web designers discover a cool new toy, they’ll inevitably play with it until they achieve perfection. And as more do so, clients will increasingly demand advanced features on their websites.
- Vintage. We’re in the middle of a huge ‘90s renaissance, and that trend will carry over into web design, too. Of course, we’re not talking about websites reminiscent of GeoCities, but more about the overall feel of the era. You can also expect to see nostalgic throw-backs to even earlier areas, like the 1930s, ‘50s, and ‘80s, because vintage is all the rage.
What could that mean in practice? A whole lot of different things! Let’s take a look at the trending visual design and UX aspects of web design fit for 2022!
1. Oversized Typography
The template-based website-building platforms that have become so popular in recent years have played an enormous role in making photograph-centered websites the norm across the world wide web— in large part, simply because there’s little else you can do to customise these otherwise generic-looking websites.
Web designers are set to play with typography — including bespoke fonts and interactive lettering — a whole lot more in 2022, in a pushback against image-heavy websites. Typography will partially replace the photographs we have grown accustomed to, and innovative oversized fonts will dominate entire pages.
Our example of oversized typography in website design: Design In Motion Festival website.
2. Custom Illustrations
Stock photography will squarely be confined to the past in 2022 because, if we’re going to be honest, everyone has been tired of it for years. Any business worth their salt won’t just hire a website designer to design a bespoke and one-of-a-kind business website, but also make sure that all the illustrations on their site are uniquely theirs. Images are one of the most powerful ways to send a message about your brand’s values and mission. Artful photography and professionally-designed illustrations are there to stay in 2022, as they play an increasingly important role in the overall layout of any website.
Our example of custom illustration in website design: Lunchbox.io
3. Complex Gradients
Gradient designs are nothing new, true, but technical innovations have broadened the possibilities — and web designers are going to be exploring complex gradients that add motion in 2022. If you look around enough, you’ll already see hints of the amazing artwork we’ll be able to enjoy later in the year.
Our example of complex gradients in website design: Gucci Beauty Foundation website.
4. Playful and Creative Web Design
Thought you knew the rules? In 2022, it’s time to break them. We’ve all had a rough time in the last two years or so, and modern internet users delight in playful designs that make them feel optimistic and happy. Adding fun to web design is no longer reserved for recreational content like gaming or cartoons. You can expect to be surprised by the playful websites people will come up with this year, including on eCommerce websites! From asymmetrical grids to bold colours and even interactive cursors, nothing is considered “too out there”.
Our example of playful and creative website design: Pierre Grosjean website.
5. Back to Basics with Black and White Designs
Whilst some web designs will experiment with bold and playful designs, others will seek to stand out from the crowd by going back to basics. Choosing black and white designs is a brave choice in a world exploding with colours, but more and more websites will ultimately do exactly that. Haven’t seen one yet? When you do, we can guarantee that it will leave an impression.
Our example of black and white website design: NexBank website.
Collages can achieve a multitude of goals — evoking nostalgia, creating a tactile experience for users, conveying core values, and creating a sense of being grounded in a physical location. It’s no surprise that we’ll see a wide range of beautiful and creatively-designed collages in 2022.
Our example of collage website design: Rino & Pelle website.
Already popular in the visual arts world, including in tattoo design, linework has the unique advantage of simultaneously being modern and vintage. Web designers looking to create timelessly beautiful and impactful websites will have a lot of fun with minimalistic yet complex linework in 2022.
Our example of linework in website design: Tom Garcy/This is Garcy website.
8. Mini Sites
The web is full of websites so large that you can easily get lost in them — sometimes for days on end. If you’ve got a core message that you want to draw attention to, though, mini sites leave no space for distraction. These websites, which can have anywhere from one to five pages, have one single purpose, and aren’t afraid to commit to it fully. Yes, mini websites are currently primarily a sales tool, but in 2022, they’ll be used in novel ways, including within the non-profit sector.
Mini sites offer website designers the chance to experiment with new design trends and creative navigation, and will prove to be some of the most artistic websites around. Sometimes, you just need a single page. One-page websites are fast becoming a trend, making a single important impression that you just can’t miss.
Our example of an engaging mini website: My Creative Type by Adobe.
Glassmorphism introduces visual design elements that have a glass-like feel to them. This trend emerged in the latter half of 2021 and is bound to continue in 2022, as web designers explore transparent, frosty, glossy, and blurry elements.
You can learn more about glassmorphism in website design with the official Glass UI CSS library.
10. Organic Shapes
No, we don’t really want to mention the lowlight of our lives over the last year or two, but it can’t really be avoided — as we’ve all been touched by a strange new world of remote work and lock-downs, it’s only normal that we seek connection with the natural world. Web design trends will reflect that primal craving by offering organic shapes. Nothing’s out. From botanical designs to oceanic and mountain designs, we’ll see more websites based around organic themes in 2022.
Our example of using organic shapes in website design: Affinity website.
11. Geometric Designs
Bold and artful abstracts will continue to impress users in 2022, and you don’t have to take inspiration from naturally-occurring fractal designs to make a beautiful website. Geometric shapes will, combined with other emerging trends like glassmorphism and complex gradients, wow visitors.
Our example of geometric website design: Rally Interactive website.
12. Micro Animations
If you have been on the internet at all in 2021, you’ll already have seen some of micro animations. The bespoke illustrations that make a website come to life aren’t always just illustrations any more, but can have surprising and refreshing moving elements. In some cases, these micro animations will even be interactive.
Our example of micro animations in website design: Puree Maison website.
13. Homepages as Billboards
Who says that businesses need to pack their homepages full of information to be successful? In 2022, less can definitely be more. That means a trend towards homepages that act as highly-effective virtual billboards — featuring nothing but the bare essentials, delivered, of course, in the form of hard-hitting and highly-relevant one-liners and accompanied by imagery that inspires brand loyalty.
14. Lazy Load for Faster Browsing
In 2022, nobody is willing to wait for a web page to load — and modern internet users value speed as much as design and navigation. That is exactly why Lazy Load, which makes it possible for browsers to download only the content a user is actively interacting with, will be more widely adopted in 2022.
You can learn more about lazy loading with the web.dev documentation.
Quick customer service is another essential element of user experience, and nothing is faster than a chatbot with excellent AI. With a chatbot, no customer will have to wait until working hours to get the information they need, and chatbots are going to become better and better at their “jobs” in 2022. They’ll be less clunky and more human, which means they’ll be better at solving problems and answering questions. Have you ever had trouble navigating a troubleshooting page? That’s a problem you can look forward to no longer having. Web designers, meanwhile, will have a blast designing chatbots’ user interfaces.
16. Interactive Elements
No matter on which side of the aisle you sit — whether you’re a web designer or someone who needs a web designer — you are an internet user yourself. You know that you sometimes just want information, or need to buy a product. Much of the time, however, you’ll also want your voice to be heard. You’ll want to know that your input is valued and taken seriously, or that you’re a treasured part of an online community.
That’s exactly why interactive elements will become more celebrated in 2022, starting with:
- Web scavenger hunts, which are going mainstream in 2022
These interactive elements are going to improve user experience as well as giving webmasters and marketers extremely valuable information about their visitors’ behavioural trends and backgrounds. That, in turn, will allow web designers to adapt their designs to the needs of the audience.
17. Gender-Neutral Web Design
Are you a web designer? The last time someone asked you to craft a flowery pink website targeted at women, or a hyper-masculine theme meant to invoke images of brute strength, was probably circa 2016. You might still have encountered subtler incarnations of that same general zeitgeist in recent years, however, especially if you’ve created websites for products traditionally marketed exclusively to men or women.
Just as content creators are embracing gender-neutral language in 2022, however, modern web designers serve people, not genders.
18. Accessibility as a Design Choice
By the same token, because web design will be more inclusive than ever before in 2022, every web designer needs to do their part to make sure that as many people as possible can enjoy the websites they create. Not all accessibility options fall within the domain of web designers — but those that do cannot be ignored.
Common tools web designers will turn to in 2022 to make modern websites that are more accessible and inclusive include:
- A clear colour contrast that allows users to distinguish between text and background, and that keeps colour blind people in mind as well.
- Offering a dark theme in addition to a light theme, which has exploded as a trend in 2021 and is going to become almost universal in the coming year.
- So-called “focus indicators”, which draw visual attention to key elements with unique design features.
19. Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design, in short, makes websites look great on screens of any size — automatically adjusting to fit the needs of desktop and mobile users. Using HTML and CSS, responsive web design ensures that web designers don’t have to craft a brand new website for each platform.
It was one of the biggest trends of 2021. In 2022, responsive web design will no longer be a novelty, but a requirement, for the simple reason that most users will rely on their mobile devices to browse the web.
The next big thing? Thumb-friendly mobile navigation! This design principle takes the fact that most mobile users navigate the web with their thumbs into account, and makes sure that important interactive elements are within easy reach, leading to better conversion rates.
20. Faster Loading
Making page speed a top priority will not only help users stay on site in 2022. Page speed is also quickly becoming an important factor when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation. Google already pays more attention to the speed at which a website loads in determining PageRank, and that metric will only become more important in 2022. Web design and development teams will want to make faster loading speeds front and centre of their strategies as a result.
21. Taking Branding to the Next Level
Business websites were, not that long ago, a secondary way to reach customers. They played a supportive role. In the modern age, business websites have become lead actors. Sometimes, as in the case of online-only eCommerce websites or magazines, they’re even the entire business.
Web design will become an ever-greater part of every company’s branding strategy, and that means that web designers who are deeply familiar with colour theory, behavioural economics, and other aspects of marketing psychology will have an edge in 2022.
Web Design Trends in 2022: Introducing the Internet of the Future
Are you feeling overwhelmed just reading about the latest web design trends? Do some of the trends strike you as contradictory? That only makes sense. In 2022, we’ll be saying goodbye to generic websites that are neither memorable nor user-friendly — much like their visitors have already done, usually within seconds. We’ll be making websites that are designed to convey brands’ individual messages and values, and we might even be setting whole new trends with revolutionary new designs that deserve a place in a modern art museum.
The internet is personal in 2022. Making websites won’t be enough any more. Even making wonderfully functional websites that make it easy for users to find whatever they are looking for in a matter of a few clicks won’t do the trick.
In 2022, the world will want websites that have it all. Instant loading and beautiful visual design full of refreshingly unique artful elements. Interactive design that makes users feel heard, and inclusive web design that’s accessible and enjoyable to everyone.
In 2022, web design helps businesses speak directly to their clients and customers, conveying the very core of their mission. Are you ready for the internet of the future?