Looking Forward: Web Design in 2017

The world of web design is a shifting landscape, but each new year brings us an opportunity to say goodbye to old and welcome the new. 2016 saw the last gasping breath of a few design trends (we see you Hamburger Menu), the thriving of several popular trends (flat design, the long scroll, duotones, etc.), but what’s really exciting is looking forward to 2017. We’re all hoping 2017 is a better year – no presidential election, less celebrity deaths, universal free education for all. Ok, maybe we’re dreaming on one of those, there is an election in 2020 to start campaigning for!

But from a strictly web-design perspective, here are five trends that we plan to get to know over the next 12 months:

  1. Hand Drawn/Illustrations: I don’t like being blunt, but stock photography sucks. It has gotten exponentially better over the last five years, but it still lacks life. And there’s nothing worse than seeing your favorite stock photo on five different sites right after you use it. The 2017 solution is looking to be custom illustrations. Inexpensive and just-for-you, we expect to see a lot more illustration usage over the next year.
  2. Thinned Down Navigation: Websites grow larger every year, but the navigation bar won’t be following suit in 2017. The lasting trend of long scrolling will continue to combine multiple pages, and designers will find new ways to allow navigation that doesn’t rely on an extensive navigation bar. The move to big and bold hero images will continue to push navigation menus into new, slimmed down places.
  3. Bold Color Gradients: Perhaps more of a continuing 2016 trend, we see color gradients growing in popularity in 2017. While 2016 was the year of the duotone image, 2017 will see an increase in multicolor and bold gradients. Instagram jumped on the color gradient ship with their logo redesign at the end of 2016, expect to see more brands following along.
  4. Simple Typography: There are typographic trends every year, and 2017 looks to be the year of bold, simple type. This shift allows the content to reign supreme – with the large, easy to read typeface just calling a little extra attention. Maybe it’s just the writer in me, but I see 2017 as a year where typography plays a supporting role to fresh content.
  5. Subtle Motion: Everyone hates autoplay videos, right? They accost your sense of peace with audio you were not expecting and they are slow developing. But in this new year, the excitement of movement will be recaptured with subtle movement. No need for invasive videos and jarring audio – a simple color shift, understated animation, or soothing motion can bring life to an otherwise flat design.

This next 12 months should be exciting, and maybe a bit controversial as designers continue to debate the pros and cons of some disputed design elements. Will the hamburger menu make a comeback? Is 2017 the year flat design dies? Will the pastel trends of 2016 continue to dominate the color landscape?

Here at Fusion Group USA, we love to talk about this stuff because we love web design. If you’re in need of a new website or a refresh for your  old design contact us today to see how we can build a website that thrives in 2017 and beyond.

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