If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that having a digital presence is more important than ever. With COVID-19 changing the landscape of our world, the internet has become an even more vital part of business livelihood. That being said, it’s important to make a positive impression on the web in order to drive traffic to your business and continue to build revenue during these trying times. Great design is one way we can stand out from the crowd online. That’s why we’re going over some of the most exciting design trends of 2020 that we plan to implement on our own website and the websites we build for our clients.
Why is Design Important?
A lot of people believe the function is more important than design. Nevertheless, that is simply not the case. With more and more people spending a majority of their time online, aesthetics are becoming increasingly important. No one wants to wade through a poorly designed site when they could easily head over to another site that is built more beautifully. On that same note though, people also don’t want to wade through a beautifully designed site that functions poorly. The point is that both function and design are going to become equals this year. We are all going to start taking a more Apple-centric approach to design, which is to say function and design will be equally regarded during the building phase of a website.
So what design trends do we find to be the most exciting here at The pursu agency? Here is a list of some of the web design trends that our team of experts will be focusing on in our projects throughout the rest of the year.
1. Collage-style Imagery
This collage style design trend overlaps realistic photographic elements with more abstract shapes or patterns. This trend gives designers the opportunity to explore their creativity and create scenes that are unique, different, and other-worldly. Otherwise, boring brand photos can be transformed with the simple addition of creative elements, adding personality to websites that are traditionally stuffy (think tech or finance.) This trend can lend a supporting hand in the overall visual strategy associated with a brand. Clients who have this trend incorporated into their website design can expect their site to be unlike anything else available on the internet.
2. Oversized Fonts
More often than not, you may have ended up on a website this year where the text is the first thing that grabs your attention, not the imagery. That’s because oversized fonts are in. Messaging is taking a priority over visuals in 2020, and big, bold fonts put visual emphasis on messaging. Keep in mind that large fonts mean that messaging should be shorter and to the point. Fluff is out, simplicity is in.
A fun way we have found to incorporate bold type into our website designs is through the use of a marquee. This text feature was recently added to the Salient theme by Theme Nectar, which is the main WordPress theme we use at The pursu agency. It incorporates bold type, scrolling text and imagery to create a compelling visual story that will wow your users.
3. Ultra-Minimalism & Whitespace
Simplicity in design is making its way to the surface in 2020. Less is more in web design these days! Since we’re all spending way more time online these days, a straightforward approach to design if now being favored over an intricate one. Rather than bombarding users with a huge influx of information, thoughtfully curated experiences are being favored instead.
White space is a design tool that assists in this goal. It helps balance more intricate design elements and improves the visual communication on a website. White space helps improve the readability of your website. It also helps users understand the information they’re taking in as they navigate through your site. Overall this leads to better user retention and conversion because they don’t have to spend as much time trying to understand the message you are communicating with them.
4. Accessibility (Finally) Becomes Mainstream
Website accessibility means that websites are made in a way that provides reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. For a long time website accessibility has been an important part of the web design process for large organizations. Think large corporations, government services, or publicly funded institutions—all these sites have legally been required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you. High profile ADA compliance lawsuits are making it clear that pretty soon all websites will be required to meet ADA compliance. If Beyonce can get sued about ADA compliance issues on her website, you can too. This means ADA compliance is becoming necessary, not just a bonus that’s nice to have.
This means we’re all going to have to change—both clients and designers are going to have to accept that ADA compliance is not going away and, no, you can’t afford not to have it. This inevitably will affect pricing among the web design industry, and create a new paradigm for how sites can be built.
As much as we as designers want to focus on the visual elements that really make a website stand out, we are going to have to accept that it should not be the sole point of focus when we build websites. We are going to have to consider how our designs affect those who view visual formats differently than we are used to. We can’t ignore this segment of the population and we must also give them an equally good experience as their visual-friendly counterparts.
For example, new ADA guidelines require that screen contrast between colors is at least 4.5:1. This ensures that visually impaired users can read all of your links and clearly see your logo. After all, what’s the point of having a beautifully designed site if a portion of your users can’t even see it?
While being able to view a visual design is considered “normal” in the design industry, we must work to shift this narrative and consider those that visual design is not normal for. That way, we can shift to communicating to everyone rather than the majority. Inclusivity is in and we all need to do our part to make it standard in our respective industries.
Applying 2020 Website Design Trends to YOUR Site
Trends may come and go, but one factor stays the same: your business website should be easy for your users and serve your business goals. Pairing those objectives with beautifully executed design is what really makes your website stand out from the crowd. Take a look at our work portfolio for more inspirational ideas on how to balance form and function.