Last year, some trends in web design already came to the forefront, which are likely to gain even more focus this year 2024.
Web design is not static but something that constantly evolves. Whether there are technological advancements, changes in user behavior or preferences, or potentially new aesthetic aspects develop, web design is always undergoing a certain evolution.
Especially last year, some points have already changed significantly, so we can see where these trends might potentially develop. In this post, I want to introduce some of them and delve deeper into the ideas behind them.
Table of contents
- Dark Mode and Color Schemes in 2024
- Minimalism and Simplicity
- Mobile-First Design
- Interactive Elements and Micro-Interactions
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
- Voice User Interface (VUI)
- Sustainable and Environmentally Conscious Design
- Typography and Bold Fonts
- Dynamic Scrolling Effects
- Data Visualization
- Security and Privacy
- Inclusion and Accessibility
Dark Mode and Color Schemes in 2024
Dark mode designs are becoming increasingly popular as they reduce eye strain when using devices in dark environments. Especially for people who spend many hours a day on a PC or laptop, know how strenuous this can be and how relieved they are when they can switch a site to dark mode.
I myself do this, for example, repeatedly with Google because the standard page is too bright for me. In some browsers, I have a forced dark mode, so I can also read longer texts when, for example, I am doing research. Readability is simply improved, and one can move around the internet for longer without too much strain.
For many users, it is also an aesthetic preference, which is increasingly offered as an optional setting on websites and in apps. Web designers use dark mode to highlight elements with bright typography and vibrant colors, giving the design depth and contrast. So it is also a new way to highlight colors and elements.
Web designs are also becoming increasingly adaptive, meaning that color schemes can automatically adjust to the time of day, user settings, or specific user actions. Personalization plays a big role here, giving users the option to select their preferred color schemes, which increases loyalty and engagement. Especially to such pages where one can adjust the individual settings, users like to return.
Minimalism and Simplicity
The trend towards clean, tidy pages with lots of white space (or blank spaces) continues also in 2024. Minimalist designs improve the user experience by reducing distraction and focusing on the content. Precisely because one is exposed to a large flood of stimuli on the internet, minimalist and simply designed pages are clearly at an advantage because they dispense with unnecessary elements. It also promotes a clear hierarchy in the presentation of information and specifically directs attention to important content.
Moreover, websites that follow a minimalist approach generally load faster and offer better performance, which is particularly important for mobile users. Reducing to basic design elements and functions not only improves aesthetics but also usability and accessibility. The faster a website loads, the better the user experience, because people quickly assume that the site is not working or something else is wrong with it. One could also say: A website that loads quickly is more trustworthy.
As a web designer, one knows something about Mobile-First, but as a layman, one has rather less to do with it. This concept refers to mobile devices, such as the smartphone, being used most frequently, and only then comes, for example, the computer. Websites must function just as well or better on small screens than on desktops.
In the past, homepages were always optimized for computers, but nowadays, especially 2024 , these have taken a back seat. Those who track their homepage and thus their users can quickly find out which devices users are using to access their site.
Unlike design for desktop users, where the mouse and keyboard are the primary means of interaction, Mobile-First designs must support touch gestures such as tapping, swiping, and zooming. This influences layout, navigation, and interaction elements. This is precisely why it is always sensible to get a web designer who is familiar with these different views and knows what is good for the user experience.
Interactive Elements and Micro-Interactions
Elements that react to user inputs, such as buttons, icons, and animations, are actually nothing new but also improve the user experience here by providing feedback and a sense of involvement. Interactive elements like hover effects, button animations, loading indicators, and transition effects provide visual feedback on user actions and increase engagement through a dynamic experience.
Micro-interactions help convey a sense of immediacy and responsiveness to users. Even if a process on one’s own website takes longer, something visually happens, and precisely this keeps the customer because he understands that something is being processed on the page.
Through targeted interactions, we web designers can guide users through the website and motivate them to take certain actions, e.g., through subtle animations that point to important content or call-to-action buttons. These elements contribute to increasing usability by providing hints and making navigation more intuitive. However, it should be noted that such micro-interactions should not be confused with those horrendous, full-page newsletter popups or popups trying to sell you something. Whoever uses such a thing on their site immediately reduces the positive user experience.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Admittedly, the topic is somewhat complicated, and I’m not quite sure how this trend will develop in 2024, but it’s certainly sensible to think about it. With the improvement of technology, AR and VR are increasingly integrated into web designs to create immersive experiences, especially in e-commerce. Here, the interactive idea is at the forefront, where one can experience things in a virtual world. Especially for shops, this aspect can be very interesting, but also for virtual tours or educational purposes.
But also to see, for example, whether a piece of clothing or furniture fits one, is quite interesting via AR. Nevertheless, I think that this possibility will not spread so strongly in 2024 and only individual, larger retailers will try it out before many jump on this bandwagon.
Voice User Interface (VUI)
The integration of voice assistants and the optimization of web content for voice searches are becoming more important as more and more users use voice-controlled devices. I find the topic extremely interesting myself because we are moving more and more towards interacting with the internet or components that control things for us.
With the increase of voice-controlled assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri, VUIs are becoming increasingly important in web design. They allow users to interact with websites through voice commands, improving accessibility and user-friendliness. Although we are still at the beginning, this will also come more into focus from 2024 onwards.
Especially the optimization of web content for voice search is becoming increasingly important as more and more search queries are made via voice commands.
Google is slowly receding into the background, which also requires a change in the algorithm. This requires a more natural language use and focusing on long-tail keywords in the content. Those who have followed the topic around Google in recent months will have noticed that Google search is no longer coping with all the SEO spam and thus has problems distinguishing good from bad content.
As a result, the search on Google is also changing for the worse, which could give other search engines an advantage in 2024.
Sustainable and Environmentally Conscious Design
This combination has been neglected for a long time, but this topic is also moving more and more into focus. We web designers are increasingly considering the CO2 footprint of websites by using more efficient codes, energy-efficient backgrounds (see dark mode), and hosting on environmentally friendly servers. But the optimization of images and videos also plays an increasingly important role. Here, not only user-friendliness is in the foreground, but it combines with efficiency, minimalism, and thriftiness.
Many homepage owners still use old image formats like .png or .jpg, but one can use more effective formats with the same representation, which also increases the speed of the website. The trend is towards a more conscious design that not only considers the user experience but also the ecological footprint of a website. This can also include promoting sustainability topics and integrating green practices into corporate culture.
Probably some website operators will soon advertise themselves with this or use some kind of certificate for sustainability. But this trend makes sense because internet traffic consumes a lot of energy, and the lower this consumption, the better for the environment. Let’s try to lower it together in 2024.
Typography and Bold Fonts
The use of fonts has changed a lot in recent years. For a long time, many pages used similar fonts and sizes, making many homepages look basically the same. Large, eye-catching fonts and creative typography layouts have been used for some time to attract attention and create a strong visual hierarchy. This helps highlight important messages and also contributes to brand identity.
More precisely: One can make oneself and one’s brand more individual again and stand out from the crowd. This also facilitates the adjustment and optimization of typography for different screen sizes and resolutions.
Dynamic Scrolling Effects
This is about the parallax effect, which has reappeared more frequently in recent years. A popular effect that uses different speeds for scrolling the background and foreground to create an illusion of depth and movement. Parallax scrolling can make a website visually more appealing and support the narrative structure. But not only that, the user feels more comfortable on the website because it seems more professional and dynamic.
So-called „Scroll-Triggered“ animations, which are triggered when the user scrolls to a certain point on the page, are used to increase engagement and present information gradually. In recent years, they have also been used more and more, unfortunately mostly for popups and similar unpleasant things on homepages. However, if you use these animations correctly, they can draw attention to important content and promote interaction.
You just have to know how.
Humans are very visual beings, which is why processed data in graphics are always very appealing. Complex data is presented in an understandable and appealing way through innovative graphics and animations. Data visualization helps make complex data and statistics understandable and appealing through graphics, diagrams, and interactive elements.
Good visualizations enable users to quickly grasp patterns, trends, and connections in the data, which is particularly important for educational, news, and financial websites. This trend could be seen well last year in social media, like Instagram, where such infographics were frequently used and could generate high interaction. The integration of interactive dashboards on websites, which allow users to filter, sort, and choose different views, significantly improves the user experience.
Such tools support exploratory data analysis and promote a deeper understanding of the presented information. However, not many sites use this kind of integration because not all are made for it, and it explicitly depends on the content. Therefore, this trend will only move forward a bit in 2024, but not have as big an impact as many of the other points mentioned.
Security and Privacy
This point will continue to rise in the coming years because it is a very important topic in 2024. I myself neglected it for several years but was able to reduce a website to just one cookie a few months ago, and that is the necessary session cookie. Given growing concerns about privacy and security on the internet, transparent privacy policies and secure connections (HTTPS) will become the standard, although these are normally already standard in countries like Germany, for example.
As global privacy laws (such as the GDPR in the EU) are strengthened, privacy becomes a central component of web design. This includes transparent privacy statements, obtaining consents for data processing, and designing user interfaces that make privacy settings easily accessible and understandable.
This topic always sounds quite dry, but once you deal with it, it can be quite interesting, and one can see it as a kind of challenge to become better than other sites on the internet. The less data one gives to foreign companies and creates a protected environment for the user, the stronger the connection to one’s own brand will also be.
Inclusion and Accessibility
Web design that is accessible to all users in 2024, including those with disabilities, is becoming increasingly important. Especially last year showed that there are some pages that focus strongly on this and try to become as barrier-free as possible. On the other hand, there are still many homepage owners who have not understood the necessity of an accessible site at all. Accessibility is an important aspect of modern web design that ensures websites are usable for people with different abilities and disabilities. This includes compliance with guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), contrast ratios, the use of ARIA tags (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) for assistive technologies, and keyboard navigation. This includes accessible navigation, text-to-speech conversions, and adaptability for screen readers. It is important to note, however, that there are often not „absolute rules“ for accessibility, but mostly guidelines. Not always can these guidelines be followed, but one should try to do so as well as possible and also create an „Accessibility Statement“ as a subpage. There, possible problems can be listed so that users can see that one is dealing with this topic. A contact option is also helpful so that problems with accessibility can be reported. For a long time, the topic was not dealt with, but not only was a group excluded, but (even if this now sounds a bit cold-hearted) potential customers were not perceived. If I give my customers the opportunity to look around my site without barriers, I have a clear advantage over my competitors, even if my offer should be worse.
These trends for 2024 show that web design is constantly evolving to meet both the aesthetic and functional requirements of a rapidly changing digital landscape.
The challenge for us web designers is to remain creative while keeping an eye on usability, accessibility, and technological possibilities.
I hope you enjoyed my post.
Do you think I missed a potential trend? Write to me in the comments.