14 Main Web Design Trends in 2023: How to Use Them To Gain Customers
Modern website trends are rapidly replacing each other. So many chief officers ask themselves, “Do we really need to implement them?”. But objective reality calls for constant changes. To stay relevant, businesses should implement them. Otherwise, competitors will quickly surpass them and get their potential customers.
The most appropriate way to run with those trends is to choose a few that fit a corporate identity and help to achieve the goals. It will show your current and potential customers that you know the latest trends, are not afraid to change and are ready to do everything for your clients. Ensure every implementation has some function that makes you even more appealing to them.
Most trends are moving in a 20-year cycle. We saw a ’90s comeback in the mid-2010s, and now it’s time to bring back the early 00’s aesthetic (often called Y2K). It applies to websites and applications. The main reason for this cyclic trend character hides in generational studies: young adults want to see the aesthetic that reminds them of their childhood.
That’s why we will see a lot of Y2K-inspired decisions in websites and mobile applications:
- Bold and neon colors. Metallic and shimmer elements. You may take inspiration from the old J. Lo music video “If You Had My Love”. It has many Y2K elements that are trendy now.
- Bold fonts. Y2K aesthetic prefers sans-serif fonts that look like graffiti.
- Tacky textures. Y2K style has textures like plastic, metallic, fur, and notebook square-like paper.
- Easy and gritty layout. There is no need for complex forms and layouts. Do them as simply as possible in your case.
You can implement Y2K elements and ensure they will be in trend even in three to five years. If you want to get inspired by currently existing sites, look closely at these: RAGSTOCK, High Street Pink, Santa Teresa Fest, Matter, or Vana. They all have this bold and trendy aesthetic.
What were the most common computer operating systems in the late 90s and early 00s? Windows 98 and MacOS Cheetah. What do they have in common? Square edges on most apps. If you have good eyesight, you may even see individual pixels on the 00’s screen due to their low resolution.
So, square elements in all apps and games were the necessity that allowed them to function properly on most PCs. But in 2023 even budget-friendly devices have at least HD resolution, so a user won’t see the individual pixels on computers or phones. So modern pixelization is an homage to Y2K culture.
You can create sites or pages that look like an old computer home screen, like in the MeetMac WebFlow template or the Attentive Holiday page. It will highlight you from competitors. Nostalgic users may even share this page with their friends or colleagues, working as a word-of-mouth promo for you.
Another common thing for Y2K internet is custom cursors. They were everywhere! And they will make a major comeback in 2023! If you don’t want to create a 00’s inspired design for your site or app, but still want to give it some Y2K vibes, try ’custom cursors.
You can ask a designer to create a cursor that fits your business or buy an already-made one from the internet. The final choice is up to you. You can find inspiration on Custom Cursor, Open Cursor Library, or 90’s Cursor Effects.
Danish design studio B14 uses several custom cursors and goes with a trendy “broken grid” aesthetic. They did it to focus the user’s attention on their portfolio.
As we said before, the Y2K web aesthetic is also known for its bold font choices. Choose thick fonts as the accent to highlight the user’s attention. But don’t overdo it, because you may get the opposite effect. If you put too much text in a handwritten font, it becomes hard to read the text, so the user will immediately leave the site.
Don’t use thin fonts, they were popular in the early-middle 2010s and people are tired of them. Take a closer look at Leandro Assis’s website. He is a font designer who works with Nike, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Netflix, and Amazon. His fonts may be an inspiration for your site or app.
Another, more deeply-layered nostalgic trend inspired by the middle ’80s. But why is it so popular today? As we said, most trends renew in a 20-year cycle. Memphis style is one of the most essential middle ‘80s styles. It inspired many web designers in the ’00s, and it gets a new rebirth today. Here are some crucial features of this style that you can implement into your digital product:
- Bold and repetitive geometrical patterns.
- Colorful stripes are terrazzo pieces.
- Various color patterns in one image: you can use neon, flat, and pastel colors at the same time.
You can find inspiration on the Cartoon Network, Orchestre De Paris, Raoul Gaillard, Doze Studio, and Shapefarm websites.
Many of us still remember the “aero glass” 00’s trend, where manufacturers tried to create everything as transparent as possible. It leads us to transparent iMac, Windows Aero, and dozens of apps and sites that try to mimic it.
In 2023 glassmorphism trend make a major comeback. Today it’s a combination of transparent, blurry, and frost-glass-like effects. It gives a glassy illusion that can be used to put focus on content that you want to highlight.
You can use it for any business: from games and messengers to accounting and financial apps. You can create a seamless glass-like interface or add some “frosty” elements. The final choice is up to you and your business needs.
You can find many glass elements in Apple products: just ask Siri about the current time and you’ll see a small glass-like window with time and date. You also can see glass-like elements on Conquer the Jungle travel agency website or the Decimal crypto app.
It is one of the newest designer trends that create a 3D illusion with 2D graphics. It allows designers to create unique and colorful voluminous objects, without overloading the site/app with big files. So, they will load fast, yet users get colorful 3D-like illustrations. Here are some crucial features of this style:
- Vivid, but at the same time light and pastel colors.
- Rounded and smooth corners.
- A double inner and outer shadow creates the depth illusion.
A combination of those features brings a light and bright mood, without being too childish or naïve. Businesses can use claymorph elements in their web products, can create product cards, use them in interactive charts, etc.
Take a closer look at Matter’s website and how they mix glassmorphism and claymorphism trends. They didn’t overload the site with the effects. It allows them to stay trendy and minimalistic at the same time.
Just 5 years ago everyone liked floating web design, where objects move, jump, and don’t stand still. Naturally, users got fed up with this “levitating” trend. So today they are looking for sites and apps with strict grids.
They are aware that all sites and apps build on various grinds. And now they want to see it. This style has some similarities with the pixelization trend, which can give the same nostalgic vibe. Moreover, the brutalist style has a major comeback, so we see more of a brutal vibe in web design in the next few years.
You can see this on the site of the Austrian physiotherapy clinic. And this strict and brutal style matches their brand identity. Their main goal as the company is to straighten the spines of their clients with various medical equipment and strict guidelines from doctors. So this strict design totally matches their brand identity.
Gumroad e-commerce platform is another inspiration source for you. They promote themselves as a simple and powerful platform for small businesses. So, this grid design resembles their attitude and totally fits their corporate style.
Those visual tricks are easy to make, but at the same time, they are one of the best ways to catch the user’s attention. Overlapping blocks create the scrapbook illusion, giving some nostalgic vibes yet staying highly corporate.
Check the HealHaus site and take a closer look at their grind structure. It allows them to show more details about them and have a detailed description without switching the user’s attention. At the bottom of their site, they have a video block, where they repost their content from social media.
Interactivity in every aspect
Sites and apps get simpler year by year, so it gets harder to catch users’ attention. But how to distinguish yourself from competitors? Try to add interactive elements, such as moving objects or text.
A great example of user-friendly interactivity is the ORB interior design studio. They have a minimalistic website with interactive elements in a brutalist style. It looks trendy, but at the same time, it loads fast even with slow 3G internet. Their design is highly intuitive, so users would know what to do to get the info.
But don’t overdo it! It may lead to the opposite effect. If you put too many moving objects in one place, it may annoy users. You may witness this effect on Upperquad creative agency website. Their homepage has too many objects, which may freeze some browsers.
We test it on various computers and laptops with dedicated video cards and get the same result: frozen browser tab. It’s a bad sign for the business: users are more likely to close the tab and never visit this site again.
Unique and interactive 404 error page
The 404 error page is the pain point of any website. They were and are in every site that ever existed. This error shows users that they try to reach a page that no longer exists. When users see a boring white page with a “404 Page not found” message they immediately leave the website and may never visit it again.
But your main point as the business is to draw the user’s attention. Yes, even if you have nothing to give them, like in the case of a 404 error. The easiest way to do it is to use the interactive 404 page: while the user plays with the cursor, you redirect them to the homepage.
Try to make it as interesting as possible: many users collect fun 404 pages and show them on their socials. So this small act can become another free promo for you. Portugal-based design studio Humana is a fine example of the fun 404 page. Users can move a mouse to launch a “running pointer”, and while they are doing this, the site gradually redirects them to the homepage.
Another fun example is the VOS9X investment firm. They create an interactive vortex and add text that says “404 error. Your page not found Blame it on gravity and use the menu to get out of here”. It’s a fun and bold way to create an eye-catchy 404 page.
It’s the pinnacle of the minimalist-brutalist trend of 2023 websites. Yet it’s another homage to the old internet culture when sites were just a page with text and dozens of hyperlinks to other text pages.
Paris-based movie studio Dillinger is a great example of a text-only website. Their site doesn’t have a traditional user interface or buttons but is still user-friendly. Potential clients can see the list of Dillinger movie and video-advertisement directors in their portfolio. And the absence of the rest of the classic website elements forces users to concentrate on the portfolio.
Restrictions of the early 2020s awakened the thirst for nature in every aspect of people’s lives. They get tired of sitting inside almost identical houses and scrolling almost identical websites. So now people want to see more of nature in every aspect of their lives, including the digital part.
But how to implement it on your website? You can use green, brown, and blue color pallets, add organic-like textures, and use negative space to emphasize those choices. Horizontal Design architecture studio uses those tricks to create an eye-catching portfolio.
Short video clips are vital for 2023 promotions. Users want to save time, so when they choose between the text/images or illustrated video, they select the second option. Moreover, you can use those videos on your socials or share your Reels/TikTok viral videos on your site.
It’s crucial to implement the latest trends into your product. They show potential customers that you are willing to get the most effective solution for them. But what’s more important is that you should implement them wisely.
You should understand which trend fits your corporate style and how you should use it to maximize your business’s profit. Your website/app should be user-centered, and all design features should make the user’s journey even more seamless.
So, working just with the designer is not enough. Most times, you should have a small team of marketing, developing, design, and even copywriting experts. Hiring the team can be pretty expensive for small and medium businesses: you should pay them salaries, and give them benefits, paid sick leaves, vacations, etc.
Looking for independent freelancers may seem like a bargain, but often becomes the business’s biggest fiasco. You can’t be sure that they perfectly work out with each other. Moreover, you don’t have a person responsible for this project. So if it fails, you may lose a lot of money on post-improvement.
The easiest way to get what you need is to work with outsourced software companies, like Synergy Way. That’s how you get the team that is already synchronized and works in synergy to make your site or app effective and appealing to your target audience. It’s a time and cost-effective solution that helps you to evolve even faster than you can imagine! Contact us to get a free consultation!