20 Upcoming Web Design Trends & Website Inspiration for 2022

by Feb 9, 2022Featured Article, News

The new year is here, and we’re exploring upcoming web design trends for 2022. Take a moment to think about the websites you’ve seen over the last few months. There is probably a handful that stuck out to you based on their user-friendly interface and appealing layout. The same goes for websites with a terrible user experience — they stick with you and might even leave you with a negative feeling about the brand.

After gathering modern website examples and performing our own UX research, we started to see patterns. In today’s vast and saturated online world, an amazing user experience and creative web design aren’t just nice extra things to have; they’re expected and necessary for a website to be successful.

We took the time to highlight the 2022 website design trends making a major impact in the online world. It’s important to highlight the skilled design work that caught our eye, and we’ve included a few examples created by our own award-winning web design team. Follow along as we share web design inspiration and offer insights about emerging 2022 website design trends.

1. Mirco Animations Add Depth to Web Design

While small animations are nothing new to web design, we expect this trend to increase in 2022. Subtle movements bring a website to life, which in turn can give visitors a more interesting experience. These micro animations and designs can also be a great tool to emphasize important areas of a page and direct the user’s attention accordingly.

When our creative team put together a new web design for ASK Resource Center, an organization that advocates for families of children with special needs, we used micro animation on its homepage to subtly illustrate the communities they serve.

2. Illustrated Web Design in 2022

Web pages that replace photography with illustrations are becoming a popular design trend. One of the main reasons is that illustrated images typically have smaller file sizes and load faster than photography. With Google’s continued push for quick load times through its Core Web Vitals page experience measurements, more web designers and developers are looking for ways to speed up web pages.

Illustrations can also be a great way to portray a concept that may be more difficult for a photo to convey. Web pages that focus on a service or a cause and don’t have specific product images can benefit from well-crafted illustrations to convey an idea.

Finally, a custom, unique illustration that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the web can be a fantastic way to capture users’ attention and imagination. Spending the extra time and budget on a high-quality, original illustration, not just a recycled stock illustration, can benefit greatly.

The recent Firewatch video game website uses bold but simple illustrations to capture the game’s feeling. As a bonus, parallax animation adds a fantastic depth effect as the user scrolls down the page.

3. Dark Mode and Low Light UX Web Design Trends

Some companies are beginning to offer dark mode versions of their website, and we believe this website design trend will continue to grow in 2022. Dark mode, night shift and other low light user interface options provide users with a low-contrast site or app that is easier to look at in low light environments. On their website, Brazilian design studio estudio/nk uses a sticky light-to-dark switch that appears on each website page, allowing users to toggle between light and dark versions as they scroll through different pages. Our team believes the popularity of dark mode toggle switches on websites could lead to more black and white web designs in 2022.

4. Monochromatic Web Design Trends

Monochromatic website design is a trend gaining traction recently, and we expect this to continue into 2022. This style can produce a clean, simple appearance and causes elements containing color to draw the user’s attention. This design can be highly effective if your organization focuses on generating interaction with an important call to action.

Online insurance solution Lemonade uses monochromatic design to effectively create an attractive design and push users toward important information and actions.

5. Modern Minimalism: Simple Web Design Inspiration

Not only is modern design aesthetically pleasing to look at, but many modern website examples offer a simple and streamlined user experience. This New York-based cleaning company, Oboosho, has a very minimal design that shows off their fun, playful brand.There are no flashy features to distract visitors from achieving their goal of finding more information or booking an appointment, and it’s easy for users to find relevant information on this site.

This website also uses a variation on the hamburger navigation, a common UX web design trend for mobile websites. While we don’t always recommend this navigation style for the desktop version of a web design, it certainly enhances the minimalist effect of this simple website.

6. Storytelling and Interactive Web Design Examples

Interactive website elements have become increasingly popular, and this user experience animation trend will only continue to be at the heart of responsive web designs in 2022. Consumers spend more time on websites that utilize responsive and interactive features. Unfortunately, UX design trends like this can be expensive and time-consuming to implement. Our web design team hopes to see more automated development processes emerge, ideally slashing costs for clients who want unique, interactive features on their sites.

Explore a great example of user interactivity our web design team created! On Igor’s Nexos Intelligent Disinfection landing page, users can scroll to see a visual explanation of the Nexos ultraviolet room disinfection solution. This responsive web design is not only visually appealing and informative, but it also keeps users on the website longer and increases brand awareness.

7. Clean, Neomorphism Design Trends in 2022

Neumorphism graphic design has emerged from the foundation of web 2.0 skeuomorphism design and flat design. Essentially, neomorphism delivers a clean, subtle visual look that remains consistent throughout the design. It’s essentially a monochromatic style that relies mainly on shadows and slight color changes. This can allow the user’s attention to focus on important content while minimizing any threat of visual clutter.

While this style is arguably very visually appealing, it can produce user experience issues if not handled correctly, since it lacks contrast in elements like buttons. Because of this, many UX professionals suggest avoiding this style. Still, if handled correctly, neomorphism web design can produce a wonderful look that feels incredibly fresh and clean.

The neomorphism web design style looks to be growing in popularity in 2022. However, this style is even more popular in app design, as seen in this smart home control app design by Igor Lutsenko.

10. Embedded Videos for Engaging Homepages in 2022

Using a video on your website homepage is one of the best web design trends for 2022. Blue Compass web designers and developers used embedded videos when creating the new McAninch homepage. These video clips showcase McAninch employees, equipment and projects and give you a sneak peak into what a typical day may look like. When users visit the McAninch website, the videos grab their attention and help them understand the McAninch brand before they continue scrolling down the page. We recommend using videos on your homepage if you’re creating a new website in 2022.

11. Gradient Color Schemes: Colorful Website Inspiration for 2022

When Instagram rebranded in 2016, people definitely noticed the new gradient logo. It was so different from the popular style at the time, but their decision to modernize gradients impacted design as a whole. Gradients have now become more popular among creatives when searching for new website design inspiration. Recognizing the popular trend, ColorSpace has created a website with gradient designs that also functions as a tool for generating gradients and color palettes making it simple to generate your own unique design. We expect to see more and more gradients incorporated in new website designs in the next year, among other 2022 website design trends.

13. Modern Website Examples Showcasing Scroll-Triggered Animations

An interesting UX design trend that’s become more popular in recent years is scroll animations. This type of web design showcases visual design talent and front-end development skills, and it also increases time on page and engagement. Our experts created Igor’s new website design to encourage users to scroll or click through the page layouts to see Igor’s service lines. As long as the animations don’t take away from your goal or confuse users, this 2022 web design trend can be a highly effective way to make it easier for users to convert. We expect features like this to appear among responsive design and UX trends in 2022.

14. Cartoon Characters Trending in Web Design

Illustrated characters continue to be a prominent trend for homepage designs in 2022. Characters unique to your web design add flexibility through thoughtful placement and positioning to create a memorable experience. Plus, who doesn’t love a great cartoon character?

Another value add from illustrated characters is they can even point to a call to action button without looking too cheesy, as this great character does in the Mille et Un Fund web design.

Finally, since clean illustrations often load quicker than photos, this style can be great for page load time.

15. LARGE Attention-Grabbing Titles: Supersized Web Design Inspiration

In our rushed society, users appear to have less time to spend on websites. For this reason, design is adapting to include large, bold titles, and shortened messaging to capture audiences attention and decrease the time to convert. The larger heading tags are usually paired with smaller sub-text copy if more information is needed, which is similar to the minimalism approach. Austin Eastciders demonstrates this alliance of font sizes throughout their homepage design and utilizes video to showcase the different occasions to enjoy their tasty ciders.

16. Attract Attention With Abstract Shapes in Web Designs

Another web design trend we are loving is the use of abstract shapes. We have begun to see brands use more unique shapes that adds a level of intrigue for users. The elje group does a great job of incorporating abstract shapes and graphics that resemble a lava lamp to keep users interested. Notice this company has integrated a few 2022 web design trends, including modern gradients and diagonals in the intro when you load the page!

17. Dynamic Landing Pages & Responsive Web Design in 2022

Some of the most interesting modern website examples use dynamic, responsive landing pages. Keeping users engaged on a simple, static landing page is difficult, so adding responsive web design elements such as animation and interactive features can keep users engaged on the page longer. Check out the water ripple effect on this website for Los Angeles web design and marketing firm Weberous. The interactive and animated page elements are great examples of using creative ux web design trends to make a boring landing page more dynamic.

18. Detailed Footers Will Set Web Designs Apart in 2022

Over the years, website footers have often been overlooked or left out of the overall web design – until now. A web design trend making a splash are ‘footer boosts.’ What was once just used to provide contact information or a signup form has transitioned into a space to include additional elements of the homepage. 360gardalife has done a fantastic job showcasing this trend. As you can see in the image above, they have incorporated extra elements in the footer space, and it now feels inclusive to the overall web design.

19. Designs With Depth and Dimension

Our designers developed this website full of drop shadows and varying colors to add depth and give this mortgage hub site a more complex look. We believe flat designs that appear 3-dimensional are more visually appealing and will sometimes lead users to the next step of the sales process. Some of the most common flat design 2.0 techniques to add more depth to web designs include using drop shadows, gradients or two-tone color schemes like the website design inspiration example above.

20. Creative Color Branding as a 2022 Website Design Trend

Another 2022 web design trend we are loving is the multiple color branding look. Companies like Camden Town Brewery are moving towards a new website design that is branded based on page or product, and the color changes when the user navigates and interacts with elements on the page. This web design helps the user navigate through the site and builds subconscious associations with products or service pages solely based on color cues. Check out their great site for color branding web design inspiration!