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7 web design trends to know for 2017

7 web design trends to know for 2017

The web design trends of 2017 are really less about trends and more about ways to delight and surprise your site visitors. In a world where so many sites “look the same” and “follow the same patterns,” designers and developers are trying to find ways to break the mold and create something new. Whether it’s with the visual content on a site, a non-traditional layout, or some CSS wizardry, 2017 is all about adding an element of surprise to your site, in a way that’s not too distracting and still enhances the user experience.

Read all about the top seven web design trends you should know in 2017, then learn all about our free Design Trends email course!

1. Dynamic duotones

You’ve seen this trend before (think Spotify, circa 2015) but duotones have made a strong statement in 2017, and we think they’re here to stay. By combining stunning photography with bold, beautiful colors, designers are creating really gorgeous ways to include photos on their sites while also matching their branding – the perfect pair!

web-design-trends-2017-duotones Homepage by Seesaw

Why we like this trend: Duotones are eye-catching and a lot more unique that simply throwing a stock photo on your site. Even if you don’t feel like limiting an image to two colors, take the extra step to edit it in Photoshop to add something special to it.

2. Helpful gifs

When you think of gifs, you probably think of goofy memes and moments from your favorite TV shows. But they also have a practical use that’s becoming a popular web design trend in 2017: tiny tutorials. At their core, gifs are short moments of motion, so why not use that to show off your latest site design? From clicking through an entire site to focusing on the way a button animates, gifs are a great way to showcase what you’ve built this year.

web-design-trends-2017-helpful-gifs Site design by Claudio Guglieri

Why we like this trend: When browsing through a designer’s portfolio, sometimes it’s hard to get a real feel for what the full site design looks like or how the navigation feels. Using gifs to demonstrate the motion of a site is so practical and efficient, we’re surprised this hasn’t been a bigger trend in the past.

3. Photorealistic flat design

If you’re working with a whimsical brand and looking for a way to incorporate some photography, then look no further. Studio photography plus bright, flat backgrounds makes for one surreal web design trend in 2017. Think less about the whole scene and more about specific objects, then pair those with a flat, bright-colored background. The result will not disappoint!

web-design-trends-2017-photorealistic-flat-design A pattern we created here at Flywheel for our Simple SSL feature.

Why we like this trend: While it’s hard to describe bright colors and surreal design as “minimal,” there tends to be a lot of white space around elements when you create a photorealistic flat design. It’s a great way to keep a clean site design while adding that element of surprise.

4. CSS and SVG animations

Little moments of animation are one of the greatest ways to create a delightful user experience on your site. From full SVG animations to the tiny details in how a button behaves, CSS can help you achieve some really neat effects without too much work. These little moments of movements will surprise your users (in the best way!) and keep them clicking around to see what other surprises are waiting on your site.

Why we like this trend: CSS and SVG animations are fun, playful, and a delight to discover. Plus this trends offers so many options, from full animated site to a CTA button that shakes. The possibilities are endless!

5. Geometric patterns

Say goodbye to plain white backgrounds. 2017 is all about delighting your users with something a little different, like funky geometric backgrounds! You can use smaller shapes in lighter colors for a soft and subtle appearance, or really make a statement with big, bold patterns and a variety of colors. Geometric backgrounds are a great way to add a little texture to your site without overwhelming the design (unless you want them to, that is).

web-design-trends-2017-geometric-patterns A promotional piece from Studio-JQ

Why we like this trend: From simple stripes to crazy custom patterns, geometric shapes can offer just the personality your site may be lacking. They’re also great for repeating throughout your marketing efforts, like on business cards or in email designs.

6. 3D design

With virtual reality becoming more and more accessible and leaps more realistic, 3D design is making a major comeback in 2017. Even if the majority of your users aren’t wearing VR headsets yet, adding some 3D aspects to your site is one way to stay on the cutting edge of design this year. It’s also a great opportunity to design your way through a challenge – perhaps you could incorporate some VR elements while still creating an exceptional and useful site for standard users.

Why we like this trend: It’s just plain fun to experiment with! Incorporating 3D design into your site is still so new and fresh that as long as it doesn’t hinder user experience, you can’t really do it wrong. We’re all in this together to discover the best practices when designing for the next dimension.

7. Typography imagery

When you think of a specific font, your mind probably jumps to how it looks as body copy or a homepage headline. This year, break out of that mold and think of each character and letter as it’s own design element – what can they become? 2017 is full of designers experimenting with typography as background elements, illustrative pieces, and supporting site elements. Seriously, the sky’s the limit when it comes to typography this year!

web-design-trends-2017-typographic-imagery The homepage of Nurture Digital

Why we like this trend: Typographic imagery allows you to fully unleash your illustrative creativity. By opening up the possibilities for a character to be more than just part of a block of text, you’re breaking out of the box and finding new ways to use typography in order to customize your site.

web-design-trends-2017-free-course

Get more design trends with our free email course!

We’ve rounded up our top seven web design trends here, but we’ve also put together a free 14-day email course all about the design trends of 2017. We’ll dive into each of these trends (plus seven more!) to see why they work and how you can implement them on your own site. And the best part? We’re giving you the resources every day to help you do it!

Interested? Sign up for our free Design Trends email course here!

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