Web Design Trends 2023 featured

What to Expect from Web Design in 2023: The Top Trends

Laura Holton

USA

08.08.2023.

Brush stroke 9

Web design trends are constantly changing — to take advantage of new functionalities, reflect new aesthetic trends, and provide a better user experience. This means websites that looked ultra modern just a few years ago now feel outdated. For this reason, it’s important to update your website on a regular basis. Knowing the web design trends for 2023 will enable you to create a site that users enjoy interacting with and that appears high in the search engine results.

1. Virtual Reality

Every year sees advances in virtual reality (VR). The technology has now become a major trend in web design. For example, you use VR to provide users with tours of places, put custom designs on your products, and even attend live events. Some websites have features that visitors can access with VR headsets.

2. Augmented Reality

Similar to VR is augmented reality (AR). The difference is that, rather than creating a completely virtual world, AR places virtual objects into the real world. In terms of web design, it is particularly useful for ecommerce sites. For instance, users can see how a product would look in their homes.

3. Responsive Web Design

Websites should already have a responsive design to provide an optimal experience to users no matter their screen size. In fact, a lack of responsive design has a negative impact on SEO. Designers in 2023 are taking extra steps to ensure their webpages appear correctly on any device. Many are achieving this, for example, with the CSS grid layout, which allows designers to split the page into rows and columns. This is also ideal for websites that want to use asymmetry in their designs to achieve a contemporary appearance, such as for creating modern-looking ecommerce stores or to show previews of blog posts in a less rigid format.

Another way websites are focusing more on responsive design is by making sure navigation is user friendly on mobile devices. Since most users scroll with their thumbs, certain places on the screen are easy to reach, others require stretching, and some are hard to reach. Web designers are now taking this into account when designing navigation, adding menus, and placing call-to-action buttons. By reducing the small frustrations that occur when a website is slightly awkward to use, they provide a better user experience.

4. 3D Illustrations

Three-dimensional illustrations have been gaining traction over the last few years, but this trend is reaching new levels in 2023: it’s now about engaging users with the images. Advances in technology and 3D content libraries are making it easier for designers to incorporate these images into their websites.

A particularly popular way of adding three-dimensional images to webpages is with parallax scrolling. This is when the background image moves at a slower speed than the foreground content as the user scrolls down the page, which gives the impression that the media is three-dimensional. Although it’s a simple technique, it can be highly effective — since it causes users to pay more attention to what they’re seeing.

5. Progressive Web Apps

Users enjoy the experience of having an app, but they don’t necessarily want to download an app from a business they know little or nothing about. Progressive web apps (PWAs) are solving this issue by giving users the experience of an app on a website. There are many advantages to PWAs, including:

  • They appear in search results and contribute to a website’s SEO
  • They work offline or with a slow internet connection
  • Users can download the apps if they wish — this is something that sets PWAs apart from traditional web apps
  • They are accessible using a direct URL — another difference from traditional web applications
  • Data is encrypted

6. Conversational User Interfaces

A basic chatbot provides users with options or requests information via forms, then presents the most relevant results. A conversational user interface takes this a step further by encouraging a conversation with the user. You can expect to see more of this on websites in 2023 for applications like search, support with purchases, navigating to the area of the website users want, and performing other actions. In addition, chatbots can now use information the website has about a user to personalize the experience and even encourage upsells or cross-sells.

7. Virtual Assistants

Websites are also beginning to use virtual assistants. These are more advanced than chatbots because they use natural language processing to understand semantics and can perform tasks rather than just providing users with information. Plus, they are sometimes hidden from view — unlike chatbots, they don’t need an interface. Including a virtual assistant makes a website more powerful, as it becomes capable of carrying out simple requests to reduce the amount of human involvement needed to provide customer support.

8. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Chatbots and virtual assistants are just one-way websites are incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into their designs. Other uses include:

  • Assisting with writing complex code
  • Artificial design intelligence to create e-commerce websites that suit the preferences and needs of users
  • Providing suggestions to improve SEO
  • Testing for vulnerabilities
Web Design Trends 2023

9. Voice Activation

Although voice activation is becoming increasingly common in many aspects of our lives, it has been mostly absent from web design — until now. More websites in 2023 are adding voice-activated interfaces, which allow visitors to search using speech rather than just text.

10. Fun Interactive Elements

To keep users on their sites for longer and to develop a playful brand image, some sites are now featuring interactive elements that serve no purpose other than to add some fun. Simple ideas that enable users to play on their websites include moving objects around or triggering an animation.

11. Nostalgia Aesthetic

Every year, a different decade from the past is trending. Although it’s usually a decade from between 30 to 50 years ago, 2023 is definitely about celebrating the 2000s. The nostalgia for this decade has reached web design, with many sites using a Y2K aesthetic. Of course, it’s important to combine this with modern functionalities — because websites from 20 years ago were far from pleasant to use! Most designers are just picking one element to incorporate into their websites, such as:

  • Pixelation of fonts
  • Retro typefaces — usually sans serif or monospaced
  • A mixture of fonts on the same page
  • Custom cursors, including with animated effects
  • Text layouts with large amounts of whitespace

12. Instant Loading

In 2023, we are seeing a continuation of a trend that has existed for several years now: fast-loading webpages. Today, users are unwilling to wait hardly any time at all and loading times are a key ranking factor for SEO. Ideally, websites should take no more than two seconds to load, but the faster, the better. A website with a one-second load time has a conversion rate three times higher than one with a five-second load time and five times higher than one with a 10-second load time.

One way to speed up websites is with smart content loading. For instance, lazy loading means the browser only downloads visible content and it waits until the user scrolls down before it loads content not yet on the screen. This avoids loading content at the bottom of the page that most users won’t ever reach.

Another option is to use loading animations. These were common in the early days of the web, then they fell out of fashion, and now they are trending again. Well-designed, modern loading screens don’t make users feel like they’re waiting for content — the animations engage users, begin explaining what the site is about, and develop branding.

13. Custom-Made Fonts

Businesses already use font choice as part of their branding, but an emerging trend is for companies to create their own unique fonts. Web designers can use font generator tools to adapt existing styles into something new or create their own letters from scratch. They tend to take inspiration from places that have meaning to the brand.

14. Micro-Animations

Rather than animating entire images, websites in 2023 are featuring more micro-animations. This maintains fast load times and it draws users’ attention to a particular area on the page, such as to help lead visitors to where they should go next. Although micro-animations have existed for a while, designers are now using them thoughtfully rather than for the novelty. For instance, micro-animations are appearing in many ecommerce sites to show products in action, such as clothing on a moving model to show fit.

15. Dynamic Content

Websites are taking extra steps to personalize content for individual visitors to improve conversion rates. There are a couple ways to achieve this. The first is to base the content on the user’s location, which is useful for businesses that want to offer information about the branch nearest the user. The second is to utilize users’ previous behavior on the website, such as by showing users products and services they previously viewed or by presenting similar content to what they interacted with before.

16. Premium Content

Although it makes sense for businesses to offer premium content, many are only just coming to this realization. Premium content consists of both memberships and gated content. It may have a monetary cost to access or just require a user’s contact details (which the business can use to generate leads).

17. Dynamic Forms

It’s difficult to strike the balance between asking for sufficient information from a lead and keeping forms short enough for users to feel compelled to fill them out. A simple solution appearing on more websites in 2023 is dynamic forms. These request only the information a business needs and doesn’t already have about a lead. For instance, the first conversion may just ask for the user’s name and basic contact information, such as an email address. The second conversion may require details about the lead’s company and request a phone number. It’s easy to achieve this when forms are linked to a CRM.

18. Useful Notifications

Users have grown so used to notifications that are pure sales tactics that much of the time they just ignore them. Useful notifications, though, can engage visitors and help them feel that the website wants to provide them with something of value. Such notifications could include an offer for a product or service the user has already shown interest in, a tip when the user is completing a task on the website, or the chance to sign up to receive news updates.

19. Gradient Backgrounds

Perhaps without even realizing it, you encounter websites that use a gradient for their background all the time. The transition from one color to another provides depth and visual interest. It’s particularly useful for pages that have detailed images and where adding something more would make the page feel cluttered. An added advantage is that a gradient feels more sophisticated than a solid color. Designs in 2023 are more complex and customized than ever before.

20. Web Accessibility

Creating a website that’s accessible to everyone doesn’t just show a commitment to inclusivity — it makes business sense. When features make a website inaccessible or difficult to use for some people, the site experiences a higher bounce rate and missed opportunities. As more businesses begin to realize this, web accessibility is taking off. Search engines are also paying more attention: ADA compliance boosts a website’s SEO.

There are multiple ways to improve accessibility, such as:

  • Adding alt text to images — this alone contributes to SEO
  • Choosing contrasting colors for the text and background
  • Using the correct headers to help screen readers — headers are another factor that contributes to SEO
  • Only using PDFs when necessary — HTML is more accessible
  • Identifying the default language on the page and adding markup to highlight any other languages
  • Making fonts large enough to read comfortably — some users may be unaware they can increase the size of the font themselves
  • Never turning text into images
  • Including plenty of white space

21. Customizable View

Related to accessibility is the chance for users to customize how a website looks for them, such as the option to switch to dark mode. In fact, customizable views have many more applications than just accessibility. For instance, designers can allow users to view the most appropriate information for their needs, like by toggling between certain types of plans. Some websites even allow users to change colors to suit their preferences, which helps visitors feel like they’re interacting with the site.

22. Micro-Interactions

Some micro-interactions were already common on websites, such as links changing color after users click them. In 2023, you can expect to see a greater range of micro-interactions, all designed to draw users’ attention to an element and make the website feel more engaging. Examples include color gradients changing as the user scrolls down the page, an effect emanating from the cursor when a user clicks on something, and an element becoming animated when a user hovers over it.

23. Art Deco

Expect to see many websites in art deco style in 2023. An aesthetic that was originally trending between the mid 1920s and early 1930s, it is now back in fashion. It’s ideal for luxury brands, as it gives a sense of opulence. The color palettes almost always include gold and designs are bold, have an exotic feel, and feature repeating geometric patterns, which are relaxing on the eyes.

24. Unique Images

When websites rely on stock images, users start seeing the same pictures in multiple places, especially when researching a topic for which there are a limited number of suitable pictures available. This is one reason why businesses are now shifting away from stock photos and toward creating their own (or contracting a designer for the job). The other reason is stock images do nothing for your branding, whereas custom graphics can tell new visitors a lot about your company.

One example of unique visual content that’s popular in 2023 is data visualization. By presenting data in the form of graphs, maps, or charts, users are able to better comprehend the meaning. This also avoids the need for long lists of figures and detailed descriptions. It’s definitely true that a picture is worth a thousand words.

25. Fullscreen Hero Sections

A popular design trend in 2023 is making the hero section of the homepage full screen. This ensures visitors focus on the key message and are not distracted by other elements on the page. A typical design consists of a heading, a short line of text giving more detail, a call-to-action button, and an image in the backdrop. In some cases, however, full-screen hero sections are even forgoing an image, instead featuring text on a solid color (or gradient). This reduces potential distractions still further.

It may once have been possible to make a website yourself from scratch, but those days are long gone. Even updating your site to incorporate some of the current web design trends requires the support of an expert. A virtual assistant from myVA360 can provide you with all the graphics you need for your website. Our graphic design virtual assistants can help you choose your color palette, edit images you already have, create your brand logo, and much more. If you’re an established business, your virtual assistant will work closely with your marketing team to ensure your website matches your branding. Contact us to schedule a four-hour free trial.

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Are you looking to maximize efficiency and productivity in your business? myVA360 provides businesses with access to qualified virtual assistants who can save time and money. Get started today with a free trial and experience the great features that come with hiring a virtual assistant.

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