Web Design Trends For 2023
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Since - at the time of writing this article - last year's article “Web Design Trends for 2022” is easily the most read article of 2022 on Elevenfour it's rather not a question if I would write an article that takes a look at the trends for next year.
Again: Please don't take this too serious.
Color of The Year 2023
Screenshot pantone.com Viva Magenta, Color of the year 2023
Another year, another color of the year. For 2023 the people at Pantone decided that the color “Viva Magenta” (#bb2649) will be the color of the year. Or to put it more precisely “PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta”. But remember to pay otherwise your Photoshop files might turn black whereever you used that color.
In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family, and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.
Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to original matter. Invoking the forces of nature, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.
Reconnecting to original matter? Welome to the Matter-verse.
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
At this time I had to check if I included something I found when doing the research for last years article. But I didn't include it. Before last year's PANTONE color was anounced I found some fashion website that claimed that the fashion color would be a magenta, called Orchid Flower (#a0346c). Just for the fun: Their (main) color for 2023 is Digital Lavender (#b2a6ce).
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Clean, Minimalistic Style
Minimalism - we've had this already, right? Well, yes, it's not really a new thing.
The idea with this is that this design style will not use patterns, decorations and ornaments - except for elements that are used around the product that features the design. A good example is this screenshot of a packaging design for Breezy.
Screenshot of the Breezy design by Matjaz Valentar
High Contrast Designs
Another not so new trend. I've touched this trend a little bit last year when talking about Y2K-aesthetics. The Screenshot of the Hydrogen Framework website had elements of this. Which also offers the chance to mention that this is new and also retro (I've heard the 70's are en vogue again).
The idea is that the designs have highly contrasting elements of pure white and pure black or contrasting colors. Some people might also refer to parts of this design trend as Neubrutalism.
The thing with this trend is: It sounds really easy but it's really hard to get it right. The problem that's the easiest to spot: You can cause eystrain really fast.
Examples of designs that work:
Screenshot of the KretCard Landing Page design by Adalahreza
Screenshot of the Gumroad home page
And then there's the famous redesign of The Verge - rumor has it that they lost more than 1 million page views after their redesign.
Screenshot of the The Verge home page
Maybe an unpopular opinion: I don't hate their redesign. But looking at their source code makes me shiver.
I recently heard someone say: “Sans-Serifs make a huge comeback in 2023.” and I'm like “They've honestly never been gone.” And another person said: “Serifs will still be around in 2023.”
And both statements are correct - for obvious reasons; because how could they not.
But when I look back a last year's article: We've seen serifs that were rather quirky. More recently some of these serifs became rather some kind of a mixture between a sans-serif and a serif. As you can see with Mango and Bulgari by Sans and Sons.
Screenshot of the Mango landing page
Screenshot of the Bulgari (font) landing page
But as of last year: These “new” serif typefaces are rather used for logos, huge headlines etc.
Motion design is getting more important than ever before. Greetings from the ever decreasing attention span (of humanity overall).
One big part of that is - for obvious reasons - video. But there's also animation of either the whole site, parts thereof or micro interactions. Here are some video examples for you:
Audio plays a more important role, too. Be it that websites integrate a feature that reads an article aloud (please stay away from bad artificial voices they're always uncanny) or that you can initiate your websearch through voice commands. The latter has been around for some time through smart home speakers etc. but that's no longer limited to these.
If you build websites this trend might be important from the web dev point of view since it will be even more important to write semantic HMTL and mark those parts in your articles that contain text in other languages.
AI Driven Design
A huge trend that has only just begun is AI driven Design - or to use a more accurate description: Design driven by machine learning. Other than marketing there's no reason to call this articifial intelligence, because it simply isn't that.
The rise of tools like Midjourney, Open AI (Dall-E 2, ChatGPT) and others made one thing clear: Machine learning quickly improves and has come to stay. Will it take your job away? No, not for now. But it might be able to improve your workflow in that it quickly can generate images and texts that you can use as a first draft for what you're trying to achieve.
Here are some ideas of what you could use these machine learning tools for:
But be aware that these tools do have their downsides. One of these downsides is copyright infringement since these tools learned by just scraping a ton of images, text and code that was created by human beings. And then all it does it just replicating and mixing the things it has learned. Some artists are understandably rather unhappy about that - to put it mildly.
And I've heart that one of these tools when asked to comment the code it had just written did as it was told. That's good. But the bad thing (or maybe not?) was: it even commented the copyright notice from someone whose code it had originally scanned to learn from.
The other thing: Even if they're called Artificial Intelligence they're not intelligent and don't exactly understand what they're doing. Three legged person anyone?
And sometimes sometimes create nightmares for some people as this tweet by iJustine shows
Further Shake Up of Social Media
While we're over on Twitter: I guess we'll also have to talk about this. Even though it's not exactly design related and even if you might have read and heard everything about it. Unless you've been living under a rock or something like that; if you have The Verge has you covered.
When Elon Musk bought Twitter in late October of 2022 we've been shown once again: Social media platforms (at least of the size of something like Twitter or Facebook) DO NOT belong in the hands of one single person; as the ban of journalists, people who are not of his opinion and the blocking of posting links to “competing” platforms have shown.
Last year I wrote about how the personal website is getting more important than in the years prior. Turns out: I wasn't wrong about that. Just a few days ago I've learned that there's a website that's built to share personal sites. You can find it (because where else) at https://personalsit.es/ And maybe you might want to bring back blogging.
If you're looking for a new social platform and would be prefer a decentralized open approach then you might want to take a look at the Fediverse which is exactly that. The most known platform there is Mastodon (which is like Twitter but also it's not) and then there's something which you could compare to instagram before it became all about stories and reels: Pixelfed.
You can also find me in the Fediverse: I'm on Mastodon (@elevenfour, @ReneLeege and @WoltHub and on Pixelfed (@elevenfour and @rene.leege).
And if someone told you that the Fediverse is complicated: It is not. It has a learning curve, yes. But so did Twitter and Facebook and even Instagram. There are still some features missing but once you understand the basics of how it works it's as if you've never used anything other before.
Staying on top of trends can be overwhelming. And when creating a modern digital product you don't really need to follow every new trend. What's most important: Create a good looking user experience and have fun while doing it. And if you have been: Thank you for reading.