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New Web Design Trends for 2022

Keeping Up with a Rapidly Changing Industry

December 14, 2021 | Posted in: Web Design

The Internet is a constantly evolving collection of websites, apps, and devices. Even in the scope of one year it can be incredible to watch how various technologies improve. The platforms and code languages behind websites receive updates in the same way as smartphone apps and operating systems. As new versions are released, websites enjoy greater performance and developers gain flexibility. Just keeping up with those changes can feel like a full time job!

A vast majority of modern websites are built on a content management system (“CMS”) like WordPress and utilize a combination of four or more code languages. Additionally, all websites are hosted on some sort of server that will run its own operating system (like Apache or .NET) with various applications behind the scenes that also receive periodic updates.

Where are all of these incremental improvements taking us?

As we look forward to 2022, a few trends can be seen across almost all website platforms, code languages, and applications:

1. Easier Editing for Non-Savvy Users

A universally prevalent focus of content management systems is making it easier for people who aren’t fluent in code to edit website content. “No code” and “low code” tools are constantly getting more sophisticated and less buggy. Web designers can put together highly custom layouts and designs, then use a CMS like WordPress to allow their clients to edit blocks of text and swap out featured images. Even though the code behind the scenes is as complex as it’s ever been, the front end editors are becoming surprisingly intuitive.

2. New Levels of Visual Design

With drag-and-drop editors bringing up the “minimum standard” that a non-technical employee with a few hours of time can accomplish, it creates a natural push behind everyone upstream to elevate quality. Subscription-based platforms like Wix and Shopify have done an impressive job constructing professional-looking templates that anyone can buy and mess around with. For professionals, just producing a good website will no longer be enough. Brand-centric and robustly custom designs will move from client wishlists to absolute requirements.

Another factor elevating design is the rapid improvement of internet speeds, screen quality, mobile device processors, 3D design software, and internet browsers. A few years ago we rarely used video and now we find ourselves weaving video into all sorts of places. Today’s mobile phones and networks can load a (properly formatted) background video nearly as quickly as a static image.

3. Smoother Integration across Major Platforms

Today’s business owners expect their website to unite an ecosystem of disconnected digital services. Tying everything together has become a must-have feature. Gone are the days of the “online brochure” and today we find small business websites serving a more central role, often as the main hub that connects all of the different digital platforms a company uses. Formerly siloed and external activities like email blasts are now expected to connect to online checkout, website traffic, and more.

If you find yourself shopping for a CRM, credit card processor, or other service, be sure to check their list of supported website platforms. Connecting compatible services together has gotten much easier while integrating less-established platforms is becoming less feasible. Major brands are constantly stepping up their security and authentication requirements for accessing data, plus their feeds (APIs) have become bigger and bigger over time.

4. Playfulness from Brands Large & Small

As a society we are a long way from the days of truly formal attire at work and continuing to move in that direction. The global pandemic normalized makeup-free workplace conversations over the sound of barking dogs and crying babies. If you look at fashion, consumer product names and workplace culture, every aspect of the world is becoming less traditional and more informal.

Lululemon is selling pants with an elastic waistband for $130
Tesla named the world’s fastest production car after the movie Spaceballs
Google employees work from neon colored beanbags
Jack Dorsey hasn’t shaved his beard in …years
A digital coin named after a dog recently traded higher than Keurig Dr Pepper

Trends of “casual” and “playful” are already able to be seen within web design and marketing in general, but we expect to see them really shine in 2022. New leading-edge websites are starting to channel the same resistance to uppity and over-serious posturing that’s occurring across popular culture. The 2010s minimalism trend was design language for “we aren’t trying too hard.” Over the next twelve months we can expect designers to start communicating “we aren’t taking ourselves too seriously.”

5. Emphasis on Inclusivity

Last but certainly not least, modern culture is prioritizing diversity, inclusiveness, and representation. Brands are taking that to heart and making sure their websites reflect an understanding and appreciation for today’s social climate. Newer designs tend to feature a wider array of stock image actors and digital graphics that have undefined races, genders, sizes, etc. We expect this trend to continue strongly throughout 2022. Popular culture always resonates through design.

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