The Hottest Web Design Trends 2022

What’s effective today and what will we take with us into the future?

Erik Messaki     |       August 14, 2022

Web design trends by Outcrowd

Why is it important to follow trends? Trends are not only about the present. They form the image of the future. Marketing and design trends are interconnected, and their dynamics are in sync. So it pays to be an attentive viewer!

Let’s take a look at 2022 web design trends that will definitely keep in 2023. They have one thing in common: they all do their job.

As we study the examples and draw inspiration, let’s keep in mind that each trend is effective in its own marketing realm. Design choices must be based on the company’s positioning and the needs of the audience, not on the mere fact that it’s the trendy thing to do.

Yolo — Web Design for Ecologically Sustainable Development by Outcrowd

1. New Minimalism

2022 saw a new wave of minimalism that strives to stand out from the competition and grab the user’s attention. The trend includes bold, vivid, bright colors and a lot of “air.” This helps emphasize the essentials while maintaining visual clarity. The content looks gorgeous and exciting, but at the same time simple and easy to understand.

TABU by Hrvoje Kraljević for BORNFIGHT STUDIO®

Clean, clear, and vivid minimalism remains popular in branding, as well. This is where it truly shines. A minimalist design with lots of air and bright highlights is an instant attention-grabber that makes the brand look fresh and relevant.

The new minimalist design is enhanced when it’s tastefully contrasted against a dark theme.

Kohaku Bot — Dark mode — Mobile App by Tran Mau Tri Tam for UI8

But all this doesn’t mean that soft-colored minimalist design is dead. For some businesses, a vivid palette with bright elements is simply inappropriate. They continue to use minimalist monochrome designs, although increasingly often enhanced by bright splashes of color.

Here’s a good example:

A new way of cross-border payments by Cuberto

2. Neo-Brutalism

Brutalism seems to feed off a fountain of youth since it began back in the 1950s. Over the decades, the style has evolved, constantly updating itself to stay relevant. Neo-brutalism is perfect for brands that promote creativity, boldness, edginess, and novelty. Need an instant eye-catcher? Give neo-brutalism a call. (Be careful, though, because it may upset the aesthetic gatekeepers.)

So what’s the secret behind this trend’s longevity? The brutalist style implies something that is raw and unpolished, a bit rough around the edges. The viewer has a subliminal desire to improve upon it, to finish the job. This engages the viewer emotionally, and the picture gets imprinted on their mind, along with the information. In marketing, that’s invaluable.

Brutalist design requires a high degree of professionalism. The designer must be keenly aware of the thin line that separates the viewer’s desire to improve from the impression that they’re just seeing a botched design beyond any improvement.

Task Management Landing Page by Bogdan Falin for QClay

Digital neo-brutalism is minimalist and bold. It relies on roughness and “visual shocks”: high contrast, rough shadows, conflicting colors, simple backgrounds, asymmetry, and unedited photos. Neo-brutalism is fond of standard bold fonts, preferring readability over eye candy.

Studio / Designer — Website by Tomasz Mazurczak for STUDIO

Here’s an example of a neo-brutalist website:

3. Engaging Interactives

Based on importance alone, this trend should be topmost on any list. As technology progresses, interactions between humans and digital products increase. Engaging interactions have become so much more than just a responsive interface. Today, it’s already about psycho-physiological communication. Engaging interactions aim to affect all human senses: vision, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and kinesthesia.

This trend aims to help the user come in contact with the product and feel real sensations. The most relevant content is the one that triggers an emotional response and the corresponding physiological reactions. A video of a steaming hot pie makes the viewer salivate while chasing a virtual opponent gives them an adrenaline rush.

Engaging interaction is also a substitute for physically touching the product: it’s an opportunity to rotate the object and see it from different angles, zoom in on the details, choose the size, model, and color.

Tactile sensations during interaction are not fingers tapping the screen. It’s a mental contact between the user and the virtual world, it’s the enjoyment of playing a game with elements of design, and it’s a realistic feel of their surface and texture.

Engaging interactions enable users to customize the interface to their taste and manage it at their discretion.

Engaging interactions include all types of virtual communication, not only with other people but also with the software itself. The more responsive and understandable the interface, the more engaged, committed, and loyal the users.

Engaging interactive design is our present and future.

4. Focus on People and Storytelling

2022 has highlighted the fact that storytelling and emotional photos of people elicit a lively response from users. As far as minimalism goes, the most popular trend is using expressive photos of people accompanied by a short text: a memorable slogan, an impressive excerpt from a larger narrative, or a quote from a story.

The main screen is not cluttered with long reads. The story unfolds laconically and gradually as the user scrolls down the page, through highlighted images, headlines, videos, or animations. Alternately, the user can click to find out more details.

Expressive photos of people are also used as effective visuals to attract attention.

Vultura Entertainment Brand Identity by Halo Branding for Halo Lab 🇺🇦

This trend also includes large banners under the top menu on the main page. It’s the first thing users see on the website, instantly engaging their emotions.

Scrollytelling is a close cousin to storytelling. It’s a gradual visual narrative. These days, people increasingly tend to scan their eyes across the page without really reading it or getting to the end of the story. The scrolling process itself is also tiring. A story that unfolds before the user’s eyes like a controllable movie is a great solution.

Scrollytelling is perfect for presenting sizable narratives, such as a description of the company or product, scientific data, or any cognitively demanding content. It’s especially good for learning and memorizing new information.

The principle of “abridged” scrollytelling is successfully used for displaying selling propositions. It’s a way to quickly and effectively showcase the product’s advantages and convey the most salient information.

5. 3D Graphics

The 3D graphics trend is definitely a keeper since it’s one of the best tools for retaining user attention. 3D images are perceived as realistic, no matter how fantastical their shapes are. A shape that has volume is eye-catching and mesmerizing. The user spends more time on the page just to admire the design.

Far from losing steam, the 3D trend has even found its way into branding. An animated 3D logo grabs the viewer’s attention and holds it much longer than a conventional 2D image.

6. Abstract Illustration

Another 2022 trend was using illustrations with abstract geometric shapes. They are widely used as primary images for websites and apps, social media posts, and packaging designs.

Abstract illustrations are so successful because of their attractive vividness and contrast, visual aesthetics, and minimalist simplicity. They act as color highlights and add superior visual clarity to the overall design.

Abstract illustrations and geometric shapes have also been used in branding. Their role here is similar: drawing attention to the brand name through color and form.

DSM — Hero Header v3 by Tran Mau Tri Tam ✪ for UI8

7. Oversized Typography

What makes this trend special is that the typographical elements here are independent. The fonts are not used merely to convey information. They make up an important part of the page’s visuals, shaping the design and acting as powerful visual highlights in their own right.

The advantage of oversized typography is that it goes well with many design styles. Large bold fonts are good for both minimalist and maximalist designs and their combinations. They harmonize perfectly with thin and fine fonts, emphasizing their elegance with their brutality.

Another benefit of oversized typography is the ability to reduce the use of images on the website, cut loading times, and improve mobile usability.

The important thing is to choose fonts that are easily readable and fit the branding concept.

In conclusion

We have been following design trends for several years. Year after year, we see the same thing: the best trends survive and remain in the next year, except with new solutions added. The best ones are those that work toward the project goal and help garner a large audience. The stuff that gets left behind is not necessarily outdated; it’s just that it doesn’t work toward the goal as well as it used to.

We have reviewed the most popular trends. Here’s what we have this year and what will continue to inspire us tomorrow:

1. New Minimalism;

2. Neo-Brutalism;

3. Engaging Interactions;

4. Focus on People;

5. 3D Graphics;

6. Abstract Illustration;

7. Oversized Typography.

Use the trends but don’t let the trends use you!