New Navigation Patterns
Navigation does not have to be glued to the top of the design. From hidden or pop-out styles to navigation on the side or bottom of the pages, it is trendy to move the menu. (As long as the placement is still quite obvious.)
When considering a change to navigation styles, think about user patterns. Is the nav easy to find and does it work in a manner that users will understand intuitively? If so, go for it. If not, rethink the idea.
More Tactile Design
Web design is rooted in physical things. It started with Material Design and the development of more tactile planes and layering of objects. This interface trend is expanding to the visuals as well.
Designers are much more rooted in reality. This includes images, rather than illustrations, and plenty of elements that feel like the user can reach out and touch them. The images are more natural as well, featuring elements that are made from materials found in nature and crafted into usable objects.
Neutral Color Palettes
Tactile principles will carry over into color palettes as well. While the last two years have been some of the most colorful we have seen in web design that is going to shift to a more natural, neutral set of hues.
Look for more greens, beiges and muted tones in projects. Color palettes will be derived from the natural world and have less of a bold, bright, almost-neon look to them.
Wearables Influence the Web
Small design will influence everything else. Very much in the way a mobile-first design mentality has impacted the way all websites work, a wearable-first approach will most specifically impact app design. (You’ll want your app to work on a phone or a watch, right?)
This influence will likely change the look and complexity of some mobile apps. We might see larger typography and more minimal styles emerge. With so many users opting to buy wearables of some sort and wanting those interactions to replicate on other devices, this method of design is destined to happen sooner rather than later.
Big, bold lettering never goes out of style. It is one of those trends that seems to just get better and better. Thanks to a growing number of web fonts and compatibility, more designers are taking typography risks with more novelty and interesting typefaces.
It’s a win for the design and a win for users that are likely tiring of the same few sans serifs that seem to dominate design projects. From vintage type styles to retro looks to completely custom typefaces, designers need to think about how to add flair with type to create visual interest.
Just keep in mind, cool lettering still needs to be readable. So whether you are pairing it with an image or as stand-alone artwork, make sure users can understand exactly what you are trying to say at a glance.
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