Your website is a virtual extension of your aesthetic practice. If you are planning to revamp it in the coming year, stay on-trend with these hot design ideas.

The New Minimalism

Minimalist design has been a standard for more than a decade. Recently, there has been a move toward more creative, colorful, feature-packed pages. Yet, mobile migration demands even more simplistic elements. The solution is a new era of minimalism.

Asymmetrical design with large image to the left balanced by small menu and links to the right; uses decorative font and curved lines

Subtle animation with gradual zoom effect applied to still images in the slider (screenshot A shows how the image loads, screenshot B shows the transition after a few seconds)

More is less, but less doesn’t have to be boring. The classic minimalist design is a flat page with plenty of white space. There are few elements on the page, usually just the essentials presented in bare-bones fashion. That design is getting an upgrade, adding color to the white space and presenting the essential elements more creatively.

Components of modern minimalism include:

  • Typography. Think bigger and bolder headlines, creative fonts, and words as decorative elements. Expect to see creative designers push the boundaries in typography, with curved, broken, distorted, 3D, or multi-color text.
  • Color. You can eliminate clutter without leaving a blank. Fill it in with non-distracting background images, colors, patterns, or even subtle animation.
  • Depth. Simple shadow effects can bring a flat icon to life, and parallax scrolling where elements move at different speeds when scrolling can bring an entire website to life.

Asymmetrical design with large image on the right balanced by text on the left; uses color gradient to fill the “white” space

Minimalist design with essential buttons at the edges and few featured links occupying most of the body; background is enhanced with a static image at the top, and shadow effect giving depth to content blocks; rather than a harsh divider line there is a soft curve which features a subtle wave animation effect

Creative layouts

Traditional website layouts were designed for large-screened desktop computers and adapted to mobile. Make sure that your new design is similarly adaptable or create separate versions for different types of devices.

Some of the most popular include:

  • Split-screen. An image or large headline is on one side, with content on the other.
  • Broken grid. Elements are seemingly scattered across the page. They often move, animate, or enlarge with mouse overs.
  • Asymmetry. This often involves a single standout graphic, positioned off-center. Smaller, strategically placed elements on the other side bring a sense of balance. It can be a good way to draw attention to a specific area.

Minimalist design softened by rounded corners and circular icons

Split screen design featuring testimonials on one side with procedure links on the other

Websites in motion

Animation is in. However, it should be used carefully, because distracting and cluttered designs are out. Auto-playing videos disrupt the user and slow the page, but static thumbnails fail to catch attention. These are being replaced with fast-loading, animated preview clips.

Other examples include:

  • Micro-animations. Small moving elements, usually in the page background or header.
  • Interactive design elements. Responsive buttons, auto-opening menus, before/after photo comparison sliders.
  • Parallax scrolling.
  • Transition effects. Images that fade in and out; menus that slide into place.

Contact page adds a touch of personalization be detecting the user’s time zone and adding an appropriate greeting of “Good Evening”

Broken grid style layout gives this image gallery depth, with the appearance of overlapping photographs

Make it Personal

We’ve been hearing about AI (artificial intelligence) for a while, and the technology is advancing rapidly, providing a wealth of opportunities to customize a viewer’s experience. Examples include chatbots to provide interaction even after business hours, geo-targeting to adjust content based on the viewer’s location, and elements like a message that displays “good morning” or “good evening” depending on the time.

Creative layout uses irregular and circular shapes, as well as positioning the small rectangular image at an eye-catching angle

Minimalist design features one procedure at a time in the hero (above the fold) slider, and uses soft gradient to fill “white” space in the header

Go with the flow

We will also see fewer sharp lines, jarring color contrasts, and hard edges, with a more natural flow of elements. However, apply this with caution, because something that blends too well may become camouflaged. You want some things to stand out, but not “jump out.”

Good design elements include softer geometrics (circles and ovals, boxes with rounded corners), irregular shapes (natural forms, subtle abstracts, artistically distorted shapes), and fluid lines (waves, gentle curves, styles that mimic handwriting).