The goal of every uniquely designed web page is to explore current technologies to create eye-catching concepts that greatly improve visual appeal and user experience, while simultaneously expressing the brand personality of the business or product.
Creative and experienced web designers apply a variety of techniques to express a couple or several of these set fantastic design ideas. They help to more effectively get across the main ideas of the message to the site visitor.
Essentially, the focused and dedicated web designer determines and chooses a web design idea or style that best suits the brand expression. But it doesn’t have to mean sticking to just one particular style; multiple unique web design ideas can be merged into a fine mesh.
Importantly too, web designers carefully select templates and modern webhosts, such as WPEngine, DigitalOcean or A2Hosting that provide a good layout grid to make applying these innovative techniques easier and more accurate.
Here are some of the fantastic web design styles that are currently dominating web technology and which you can explore for your next website design or re-design.
1. Cartoons and illustrations
Cartoons and illustrations have a way of bringing life and playful vigour to a web design. Since web design is a creative activity, just as much as drawings, they belong in the same real and work together very well to express messages and concepts better. This, incorporating cartoons and illustrations into a web page is one of the most creative and aesthetically pleasing techniques to present a brand’s message on the web.
Cartoons and illustrations can be hand-drawn or vector-based and the variety of styles is only limited by the web designer’s imagination.
2. Two tone colour
On the surface, suggesting using a two-colour tone in your web design doesn’t sound inspiring. But that’s only you apply it with a creative ingenuity.
Using a two colour tone in an imaginative and innovative way will allow more focus on other design elements on the page such as the layout and typography and on the whole make the site more inspiring.
This web design concept also makes the content more attractive to the visitor’s eye, as it fuses well with the minimalistic design style which naturally increases the user’s attention to the site message.
3. Dimmer tones
The use of darker, dimmer colour tones was another creative concept that dominated the web design space in 2016 and is set to continue. Designers played with multiple colours on web pages, but there was also a subtle shift towards less brighter shades.
Gradually, web designs dominated by white space became less and less popular in favour of shades and gradations of grays, patterns and textures. It’s now common to see websites that have a darker expression, where gradations of dimmer colours such as black and gray are fill the background to create a mood that bothers on gloom and bizarre.
Everyone’s immediately familiar with this concept as it’s purely associated with realism. It resonates well with the audience and has an extra appeal to the page contents or messages. It’s a fantastic way to enhance and draw focus to the page elements, especially when it’s used as a large background image.
Transparency enhances the readability and focus on the texts on a page when placed above images. The technique also allows a part of the image to be visible below the text so the web user can still, to a large degree, see and appreciate the full image.
Transparency is now a more widely used concept in web design, with the use of IE6 declining and techniques of creating transparent PNG files in IE6. In fact some website owners allow it to be heavily applied on their sites.
6. Beautiful typography
Ultimately a good choice of typography helps enhance readability of texts on the page, but creative and experienced designers know how to use it as a major design element to increase the aesthetic appeal and user-responsiveness of the page. So, ultimately also, great typography is an artform and can be creatively used to more powerfully communicate a message or an idea.
With web tools such as Typekit, web designers can now arrange typefaces on web page or use mage replacement techniques to tweak the look or effect of any font.
7. Textures and patterns
The right types, colours and shapes of textures and patterns can help add the right depth to a web design. The most common application of this technique is to use it as big background image or smaller, repeated images.
8. More in-depth background and patterns
Modern web designers now use more of a variety of backgrounds and patterns in their work, including stripes, dots and dashes.
The most commonly used ‘backgrounding’ technique is the grid pattern, which is taken in web design as a “frame” for the other elements of the layout. Using the parallax principle, these other elements are moved over the grid and arranged in a chaotic manner.
Using natural concepts in a web design creates a connection with the environment and inspires a feeling of being simple and practical. It also evokes an organic character about the page.
10. Abstract artform
The abstract artform is a very creative technique as it gives the designer the freedom he needs to explore his artistic instincts. It can appear shapeless or with a form and meanings are interpreted or attached according to the viewer’s perspective. It could even have no meaning at all and simply used to achieve an eye-catchy visual effect on the design.
As a result, abstraction is the most dynamic creative design technique as it often means each design takes on a more unique and memorable character. Creative and experienced web designers can apply the abstraction technique to achieve stunning effect on the page.
11. Retro design
Retro is coming back too in a fairly new design style that’s mostly used on web pages selling antique products or services, or that originates from the early 20th century to the 1970’s era. It gets more interesting as the designer has to creatively infuse bits of modern UX techniques whilst to interpreting the old.
The objective of minimalistic web design style is to eliminate fluffs and flowery design elements to streamline focus on the basic elements of the page in a simple and attractive way. It helps to keep off potential distractions and narrows elements to their most basic forms.
And it’s a style that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, as it was a natural design reaction to all the ‘noise’ and excesses that dominated the web both in web designs and information flow.
And if the aim of goal of your website is to showcase your portfolio of creative works, minimalism is your best bet to clear all the distractions and focus the reader’s attention on what’s important.
13. Flat design
Flat design is a variety of minimalism that emphasizes usability. It uses clean, free spaces, bright colours, crisp edges and flat or two dimensional drawings.
Microsoft was one of the pioneers of the flat design concept to its interface. Instead of recreating a real-life element, such as a calendar, as a small, realistic drawing, flat design uses apps with a simple, icon-like interface. Rather than bringing elements of real life to images, flat design demonstrates a clear distinction between technology and concrete objects.
14. Single page design
Single page designs aren’t a new favourite, but its continued use shows most users find it more practical and convenient.
But that doesn’t suggest it doesn’t have its own drawbacks too, just as other web design trends. However, with our every shortening attention span on the digital space. The single page design style caters well for this user behaviour particularly where hundreds and thousands of websites spring up every day.
It should, however, be noted that the single page design concept doesn’t fit every website style or vision. To use this style to great effect, make sure the objective of your website is well defined and matches the concept. Your contents can as well fit in conveniently and practically, and your design layout is interesting.
15. Contrasting typefaces
One other web design trend that has been featuring strongly since 2016 is the pairing of typefaces to achieve stronger contrast — as compared to the previous style of pairing soft, harmonious headlining fonts.
The contrasts were further enhanced with other creative variations in the typeface elements such as size and colour. At other times, or in combination, large and stylish typefaces were paired with simple, geometric fonts; or geometric typeface headers were used with serif fonts in the paragraph or body of the message.
For a long time, symmetry defined web designing, but that rule is now being broken for a more innovative and dynamic asymmetric layout styles that are not perfectly balanced.
17. Card design and grid layouts
This dynamic grid style was first popularized by Pinterest and has continued to dominate web design trends. Its uniqueness is in the way it manages to create a mood of simplicity, organisation, flexibility and responsiveness.