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7 of our Favorite 2019 Design Trends

January 15, 2019
Nic Goodrich
Nic Goodrich
Visual Designer
Erin Askew
Erin Askew
Senior Art Director

Happy 2019! To kick off a brand new year in design, we are looking ahead to see which design trends will shape the last year of the decade. Overall, we’re seeing the constant evolution of technology and how it’s pushing the limits of what we as designers can do–and it’s pretty darn fantastic. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite design trends for the new year:

 

1.  Micro-interactions and integrated animation

Small motion elements help contribute to a more enjoyable and interactive user experience. There’s a level of satisfaction and reinforcement the user gets when they click a button or hover over an object and the website responds with movement. It makes users want to engage more and to put it simply, it’s just fun to see things move! Check out:

Featured content: Maradji

 

2.  More video!

Integrating video into backgrounds has become exceedingly popular, and it’s no surprise why–it grabs your attention! Using a video in the hero section is a great way to leave a memorable impression on the user as soon as they land. It can also be a clever way to add interaction and storytelling throughout a site. It’s no longer contained to the traditional “video box”. Video has broken out of its canvas and is being used in some truly creative ways. A brilliant example is “Velux” and how they utilize video as a narrative tool. Check them out as well as a few other great examples of using video below:


Featured content: Velux

Featured content: Merçi-Miçhel


Featured content: Toggl

 

3.  Bright, vivid color palettes

Color is one of the most powerful elements of design. It has the power to grab your attention, affect emotions and mood, and influence conversion decisions. This year the trend continues with a shift towards the use of bright, vivid, and radiant colors. These vibrant palettes command the user’s attention and help to focus and guide them through the experience. Here are some of our favorite colorful examples:


Featured content: Malika Favre


Featured content: Radical Everything


Featured content: illo xmas

 

4.  Natural, organic, fluid shapes

The trend towards softening up the hard lines of the online world continues. Using organic shapes with smooth, fluid lines offers a nice contrast to the grid structure of web design. This trend began popping up in 2018 and it seems to be picking up traction as users and designers alike are drawn to the friendly, playful quality of these design elements. Below are a few examples of sites with more natural shapes:

Featured content: Baunfire


Featured content: The Second City Works

 

5.  Return of the serifs

Serifs are back! And we appreciate the change up. We are seeing serifs reappear in the form of headers and large type. It looks fresh and new, and provides some quick sophistication and contrast. Here are a few of our favorite examples:


Featured content: Easys

Featured content: Mailchimp


Featured content: Slack

 

6.  Speed and Optimization

Users (ourselves included) do not wait around for sites to load. At ROI, we are constantly testing and analyzing drop-off rates and the stats speak volumes. Google also prioritizes rankings for faster-loading sites. What this means for design is a trend towards creating leaner, more optimized web design. Here are some sites that do this well:


Featured content: Phase


Featured content: Box


Featured content: Ellevest

 

7.  Chat bots

With the improvement of AI, chat bots are becoming more and more popular. And let’s face it–we are a text driven society. When given the choice to interact with a bot or place a phone call to customer service, most users are going to choose the bot. We’ve already begun designing for these scenarios here at ROI and our bet is that the trend will only ramp up in the next year. The bots are becoming smarter, more personalized, and are continually learning from our interactions. It’s a brave new world. Here are a few great examples:


Featured content: Bluescape


Featured content: Insomnobot-3000


Featured content: Adrian Zumbrunnen

 

2019… here we come!

2019 is a year of technology-driven design. New tech is enabling us to make faster, smarter, and more vibrant designs. It also begs for some contrast to the slick, super minimal and somewhat cold designs of the past with a return to serif fonts and a continuation of organic, softer shapes. 2019 is going to be attention-grabbing, but thoughtful and backed by data and AI. Frankly, we’re excited, and you should be too!