With every new year comes a new set of listicles to help prepare us for the year to come. There’s a good reason for this, however. A new year brings with it a psychological fresh start, where in personal lives and business, many decide that it’s time for a different approach. In the world of design, which is ever-changing, it’s a great time to look at the trends in our industry and how we think they’ll work for our customers.
When we design at Zinc, we’re not looking to make a ‘trendy’ website. We’re designing a website that we hope will stand the test of time, without looking dated within a year. Therefore, when we see the design trends that others are using, we love to see how we can work them into a new website design in a timeless way. Here, we’ve collated some of our favourites; the design trends that we think support our customers in a beautiful modern design that delivers the results and customer experience that our clients are looking for.
A fantastic way to add a dynamic element to a website, parallax scrolling is when the forefront and background of a website don’t scroll at the same speed. You’ll see it on our own website, and on many others. It’s a great way to add depth and interest to a page, as well as add additional imagery, without making it too busy.
In 2023, the Parallax is getting a creative shift. More than just a vertical parallax, some businesses are going with horizontal or zoom parallax scrolling, creating the illusion that a website is travelling forward to new content, instead of downwards. This creates a fantastically creative effect, which can keep an audience of tired scrollers engaged with a brand new visual effect.
Today’s audience is becoming increasingly used to video content on their devices. Tiktok has changed the way that social media is consumed, and accelerated the already incoming shift to video content. Websites are going in the same direction, with the incorporation of video content to supplement the content on websites. Although it wouldn’t be a good idea from a UX or marketing perspective to eliminate all content, we’ve seen a big shift towards ‘supportive’ videos. By adding an optional video alongside written content, you are able to satisfy both the skim reader and the in-depth researcher.
One thing that’s key in using video as a supporting media, however, is to move away from ‘autoplay’ videos. This turns your content from a resource to a distraction, and is more likely to cause a fast exit from the site.
Inclusivity is more than a trend, but we’re delighted that we’ve been able to see a visible shift in the imagery that’s used on websites. Stock imagery has historically been restrictive in terms of the different cultures, races, and abilities that are available to use. This can sometimes put web designers and customers in a difficult position; opt for expensive in-house photography, use less inclusive imagery, or go for illustrations that are more customisable, but without the human touch.
In recent years, there’s been a noticeable change in both the stock imagery that we have to choose from, and the requests from customers. We’ve had clients request in their initial brief that they’d like to ensure the imagery is inclusive. Though changes like this seem small, we’re proud to play a part in bringing more inclusive websites into the world.
Today’s audience is looking for one thing above all: ease of use. There’s no more time for slow websites, broken functionality, or clunky interfaces. A high-performance website needs to be part of the design. You’ll see the real-world impact of this; in a study Pinterest reduced their perceived wait times by 40% and saw an increase in traffic and signups of 15%.
How does this work in practice? It’s a process that begins in the early stages, and continues all the way through to the launch of the website. We shouldn’t just be relying on the way it’s always been done, but looking at our clients as individuals. We’ll look at their journey through the site, and what we hope the end goal to be. We’ll then design around this, making it an easy process for your users to understand your business and to take action equipped with the information they need. Then, we’ll make sure that the website is built for speed, working performance in from the foundations.
Interactivity & Animation
Design-wise, we’re in an interesting time of middle-ground between minimalism and maximalism. Whilst the old adage of ‘less is more’ is still visible on corporate websites, there’s a real lean against this with more creative sites. There, we’re seeing maximalism in the form of big typography, vintage Y2K designs, busy imagery and bold colours.
For most of the clients who come to Zinc, they’re still interested in a clean website that doesn’t overstimulate. Nevertheless, there’s the opportunity to incorporate more movement and interest than in previous years. This is coming in through a lot of small details that strike a beautiful balance between stark minimalism and busy maximalism. We’ve been able to add in more ‘just-for-fun’ elements, such as background animations, interactive elements and loading screens. For our eCommerce clients, we’ve loved exploring with this within products. Interactivity in product pages allows potential buyers to see more angles, zoom, and play with the idea of purchase, giving a sense of ownership that can support a buying decision.
At Zinc, we’re lucky enough to have a big range of clients who want all kinds of design. From sleek corporate websites to creative startup branding, we’re excited to be able to flex our creative muscles in 2023.
If you’re interested in working with a design team that thinks it through from beginning to end, speak to Zinc.
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