That’s why it’s more important than ever to incorporate modern web design into your marketing strategy. But what modern web design trends are on the horizon for 2023, and how can you use them to freshen up your site?
Keep reading for 10 modern web design trends you can steal for inspiration this year! Need more modern web design and digital marketing inspiration?
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1. Custom illustrations
Illustrations breathe life into your brand and website. When it comes to illustrations, modern web design for 2023 pulls inspiration from print publishing and other traditional art formats.
Gone are the days of cookie-cutter stock images, with websites incorporating custom illustrations into their modern web design in 2023.
Custom illustrations not only make your brand unique, but they also add a level of brand awareness when your custom illustrations speak to your brand’s style.
Example: Take a look at the art of renowned illustrator Alice Lee, for example. She’s designed custom illustrations for popular brands like Macy’s and The Washington Post.
The header of her website shifts with your cursor as you move your mouse across her homepage.
Her art has helped spark a growing trend of custom illustrations for brands that look like they came straight out of a storybook.
And with increased coding capabilities, illustrations continue to evolve beyond 2D design. Even now, digital designs pull in 3D illusions that add another layer of depth to the Internet. For example:
- The slow change from one color to another with gradient shading
- Digital cut-out styles that mimic designs cut out of layers of paper
- 3D cursor interaction that users can’t help engaging with on your site
2. Full-page headers
Full-page headers are the way to go for modern web design in 2023.
Web designers can implement header variations, but a popular setup involves adding key text or call-to-action (CTA) buttons to the left of the header with eye-catching images on the right. This is because readers tend to focus most of their attention on the top-left of your page.
Example: Discord’s website providing a voice and text chat app for gamers is a good example.
Discord exhibits a fun and quirky image to the right of their header and highlights the benefits of their paid service to the left.
Their CTA buttons are clearly marked and tell viewers exactly what they need to do to get the added experiences. Scrolling down, you’ll find that Discord groups site elements into cards, making their information sleek, easy-to-find, and easy-to-read, while keeping the fun element.
You can see how websites like this one generate a feeling of playful sophistication.
3. Paralax scrolling
Paralax scrolling is another modern web design trend for 2023. One version of paralax scrolling allows you to expose more of the site each time you scroll — like the site is telling a story.
Example: Take a quick peek at this Goonie’s story site to see how paralax scrolling makes the content fun and interactive.
Background video can also incorporate into dynamic scrolling, where the video only plays when users scroll. You can also use this technique to trigger animations and make your images appear like magic.
4. White space
Modern website design is heading back to minimalism with the trend of purposeful white space, much like in print magazines.
Like natural currents, white space helps move visitors through your site pages, flowing from one element to the next — and it creates a visual hierarchy where no element distracts from the whole. The breathing room white space provides allows viewers’ eyes to rest.
It also aids comprehension by defining relationships between page elements. When two elements are close together with little white space in between, human eyes will view them as one unit.
On the other hand, if two elements are further apart, your eyes will view them separately.
White space allows visitors to identify your site’s hierarchy.
And they use white space to find the most important information on pages, so knowing how to use white space on your website will help improve your site’s user experience (UX).
Example: Take a look at the white space in Myles Nguyen’s digital portfolio as a web and interaction designer.
See how it leads you right to all the important bits? The amount of white space he leaves his modern site design lets your eyes travel comfortably, giving you lots of places to rest. This modern web design example redefines minimalism with thoughtful use of white space.
5. Playful cursors
Modern websites often feature cursors that make viewing pages a new experience.
Implementing playful cursors on your site in 2023 can be as simple as changing the cursor shape or as complex as coding cursor-triggered animations.
Either way, your visitors will have a great time engaging with unique cursors.
Example: Paolo Fornasier has an awesome cursor set up on his online portfolio. The cursor displays different photos with a rippling animation and a piano tone when scrolling over the vertically aligned text of the navigation menu.
Because of the playfulness of the animation, users easily spend a couple of minutes floating their cursor over the navigation menu. Your cursor doesn’t have to be as complex as this one, but adding a unique element to your cursor is sure to add some spice to your website.
As a bonus, this example also features another modern web design trend — sound!
6. Increased focus on UX/UI
Modern web design trends focused on humans in 2020, and this will become even more important in 2023. Your site’s UX must be smooth, uninterrupted, and engaging in 2023. This means:
Web designers wrap functionality with creativity to create a great UX, leaning into clean design while still being creative and unique in all the right ways.
The top web designers throw a bit of untidiness into the white, sterile world of technology. Hand in hand with UX, your site’s user interface (UI) must be intuitive in 2023. This means:
- Voice-enabled interfaces
- Image captions
- Video transcriptions
- No distracting elements
- Balanced motion design
Level up your site’s UX/UI by:
- Providing visitors with easy-to-read content and easy-to-use interfaces
- Hitting their aesthetic sweet tooth
It’s also important to note that mobile surfing will get bigger in 2023 vs. 2021. More than 50% of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and that number is expected to rise.
For a website to have a successful modern web design in 2023, all of its elements need to translate flawlessly to both desktop and mobile. Mobile responsive animation and videography will become increasingly important for web design.
Example: Take a peek at Chobani’s sleek mobile design.
Chobani provides mobile users with a sleek, fully responsive design that makes full use of white space. Their content is easily scannable with eye-catching, mouth-watering pictures of their products.
With an easy-to-click CTA banner across the bottom of the screen, Chobani sure knows how to pull in their mobile audiences.
Who wouldn’t want to sign up for exclusive yogurt offers?!
7. Grid design
Modern web designers will continue to play with grids in 2023 — and an asymmetric layout will likely become even more popular.
Example: Jingqi Fan’s online portfolio displays how functional an asymmetric layout can be. His site exhibits plenty of white space and a minimalist style that highlights his project images, while the asymmetric design keeps his site fresh, exciting, and engaging.
Many top modern web designers use CSS Grid Layout to bring all the capabilities of print layout to the web. Also known as Grid, CSS Grid Layout is a 2D grid layout system for Cascading Styles Sheet, a coding language that describes the layout of an HTML site page.
Grid allows modern web designers to create layouts for complex responsive web design more easily and consistently across browsers.
Not to mention, it also allows you to effortlessly create a clean, organized aesthetic.
CSS grid layout still has a way to go before it becomes compatible with all interfaces, but it continues to gain momentum as a top web design trend for 2023.
8. Image headers
A lot of modern websites designers are playing with using an image as their entire header — and it’s proven to be pretty trendy. Not only does a full-image header make a statement, but it engages users immediately.
Example: Check out how Adidas uses a bold image to draw users in. It helps that the image is Beyoncé.
The contrast in this full-images header is strinking, clean, and unique — and features two CTA buttons that guide users to the next step in their site exploration.
9. Impactful, engaging stories
Finally, modern websites in 2023 will shine at telling stories. For users to really connect with your site and your brand, it’s crucial to learn how to tell compelling stories in your content and advertising campaigns. With classy website design and a compelling story, your site is sure to delight and inform your target audience.
Example: Every Last Drop’s website is the pinacle of story-telling websites.
In an effort to raise awareness for water waste, this site tells a story that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on site visitors.
To tell the story, Every Last Drop uses paralax scrolling — another trend that we identified! This might just be the trendiest website around!
10. Color trends in 2023
Modern website design trends and modern web designer explores color pallets, and every year there’s a new popular color for the web. In 2019, it was blue, in 2020, mint, in 2021, light gray, in 2022, pastels such as pale turquoise. According to PANTONE, the color of this year is Viva Magenta 18-1750
For 2023, trend forecasting company WGSN and Coloro named A.I.
Aqua, a tech-inspired shade of blue, their color of the year for 2023. Overall, Venngage predicts that online color pallets will become more muted in 2023.
Gradients are a trend continuing from 2021 into 2023, and designers will likely continue exploring the depths to which they can take design with gradients. And because gradients cover a range of colors, they’re perfect for targeting a broad audience.
Make sure that you research the psychology behind colors before generating a new color palette for your company. It’s important that your colors match your brand. Some smaller web design trends within colors will likely continue from 2021 into 2023.
It seems that:
- Soft, cool colors (blues, teals, and greys) = Information and backgrounds
- Bold, warm colors (reds, oranges, even greens) = Calls to action (CTAs)
Example: Check out Trello’s website for project collaboration and organization software.
This website is a great example of incorporating muted color pallets and gradients into a smooth, illustrative design. They even highlight their CTA in a bright color!
Being smart about color combinations, selecting colors that work together, and staying on-brand are all crucial to benefitting from this web design trend.
Hungry for more modern web design inspiration?
Here are some of our favorite modern website design examples to inspire you.
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