Key Trends in Web and Digital Design

The field of web and digital design is constantly evolving, presenting challenges and opportunities for designers to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. In this edition of Website Magazine’s Design & Development Digest, we explore some of the dominant trends that are shaping the future of website and digital experience design.



1. Hidden Navigation & Evolved Menus


Originally developed for mobile devices, hidden or expandable navigation menus, often represented by the “hamburger” icon, have become popular across all screen sizes. This approach allows for greater flexibility by providing a more prominent content area, which aligns with trends like minimalism, flat design, and material design. While there are concerns about the potential impact on user experience, many examples showcase how hidden navigation can contribute to a more modern and productive digital presence.


2. Streamlined Color Palettes


Color usage in digital design is constantly evolving. Designers often shift between using a wide range of bright colors and opting for a more restrained palette of just a few muted or flat colors. In the coming years, designers are likely to tone down their use of colors and focus on crafting experiences with smaller color palettes. This approach aims to avoid overwhelming users, especially on smaller screens, and acknowledges the significant role color plays in marketing psychology.


3. Split/Stacked Screens


For designers seeking versatile layouts, the split-screen approach is gaining popularity. This technique features a side-by-side, panel-style layout for desktop viewports and stacked elements for mobile devices. The symmetrical nature of this approach works well with certain content types, allowing designers to create visual connections between elements or emphasize duality. Contrasting colors and bold typography complement this trend effectively.


4. The Ever-Evolving Nature of Trends


Design trends emerge and evolve continuously, making it challenging to predict their future adoption. What may be popular today, such as geometric shapes, may fade tomorrow. Designers pride themselves on their creativity, and the direction of the industry remains unpredictable. However, it is undeniable that design opportunities are expanding, and the impact of design extends far beyond websites.


5. The Rise of Material Design Lite


An HTML5 framework that simplifies the development of modern web pages, particularly for single-page designs. It provides a cloud-based visual authoring environment and also allows coding in a preferred text editor.


Google’s Material Design aesthetic has gained significant popularity in recent years for its ability to enhance usability without sacrificing visual appeal. Now, a new phase of this trend is emerging with the introduction of Material Design Lite (MDL). MDL is a more flexible version of Material Design that can be implemented in whole or in part for almost any web design project. Its rise signifies the growing influence and adaptability of Material Design principles in the industry.


Overall, staying informed about these trends and embracing new design approaches will help designers create compelling and user-friendly digital experiences in the ever-changing world of web design.