The future of web design: what does it hold? 2024 promises amazing innovations and trends. We explore together 8 of the most compelling insights, changes and creative directions that are shaping the online design landscape for this year.
1) Bento grid
Immage from Freepik
To understand the bento layout trend, one only has to think of the traditional Japanese bento box, a lunch box with tidily divided compartments, each containing a different dish. Bento design templates are inspired by this concept and offer a visually appealing and organised way to present content and functionalities on websites.
A bento layout uses a grid structure that divides the content of a website into different sections or compartments. Each section serves as a dedicated space to present a specific feature, facilitating navigation and information absorption by users in an intuitive and visually appealing manner.
2) Multiplanar scrolling
An example of GSAP multiplanar scrolling
Usually, as the user scrolls a web page, content moves in a linear direction from the top to the bottom and remains confined within the vertical axis. The concept of multiplanar scrolling, however, is revolutionising this dynamic. Under this new mode, as users navigate, they may come across content that also moves laterally along the horizontal axis. This system is similar to movements in a classic Mario game, with both vertical and horizontal movements.
Multiplanar scrolling engages the movement of content in depth along the z-axis, an uncommon concept until now. However, it is expected to become more widespread in the coming years. Imagine content pushing backwards as a new element moves to the foreground in its place. Or, the gradual exit of a previous piece of content as a new one emerges from the background.
3) Kinetic typography
Kinetic typography fundamentally means the production of letters or words that move on the screen (typo animation). In kinetic typography, letters and words can zoom in and out, move faster, dissolve wildly or turn to dust. The creativity of animation is practically unlimited.
It is often used to convey an idea and therefore the choice of font becomes paramount to bring the text to life and engage the user in a more dynamic and exciting way.
4) AI-generated images
Artificial intelligence-generated imagery is becoming increasingly popular for the creation of striking, unique and surprising images. This impacts the ability to offer personalised experiences to users.
Rather than presenting the same content for everyone, using artificial intelligence to generate customised graphics through user data and design systems, sites will now include dynamic and changing material, adapted to individual preferences, offering unique and relevant designs for each user.
5) Vibrant colours and gradients
We have now entered a year that wants to move away from serious styles now perceived as boring and will instead embrace creativity and playfulness. This is going to be reflected especially in the way colours and gradients are used.
With the reintroduction of styles such as brutalism in web design, we will see a bold use of colours with bright, luminous and saturated colour palettes being employed to create immediate and memorable visual impacts.
Gradients, on the other hand, have been visually appreciated for several years now. In 2024, the combination of vibrant colours in gradients, combined with an emphasis on textures, will create a feeling of movement and vibrancy, capturing users' attention and adding a fresh touch to the overall visual experience.
6) Dark mode
An increasingly popular trend in recent years and perceived as a 'nice to have' until now is the dark mode, which will become mandatory in 2024. This mode, which uses a dark colour scheme for interface design, will no longer be an optional choice but will require commitment and attention in its implementation.
Dark mode offers a modern and elegant aesthetic. Dark backgrounds and light text create a strong visual contrast, emphasising the content and providing a feeling of depth. You can apply this style in various contexts, from mobile applications to website design and software platforms. In fact, many native and mobile apps already offer light or dark mode and allow flexible interchangeability between the two modes. In addition to being available from settings, apps must also have a logic whereby light mode is shown during the day, dark mode at night.
7) Evolving typography
Typography is undergoing a real evolution that sees designers experimenting in terms of layouts, sizes and colour palettes, as well as integrating dynamic and interactive elements.
Through 2024, we will see it as a leading player on screen, becoming an active design element that enriches the aesthetics and overall appeal of a site. Blending classic and modern fonts and using bold, oversized typography, along with experiments involving text overlays and the combined use of different media, are just some of the aspects we will be looking forward to this year.
8) No code builders
Rather than a design trend, this is a trend in the tools used, and we are talking about no-code tools for building websites or applications. For the past few years, we have been witnessing the spread of no-code tools that enable the creation of websites or applications without requiring programming skills.
Webflow and similar platforms have already radically changed the landscape in 2023, and it seems that this trend will gain even more momentum in 2024 thanks to the evolving functionalities they offer. Designers can now create complex websites, with interactive animations and sophisticated layouts, without having to write a single line of code, offering greater creative freedom and opening the door to realising more innovative projects in a shorter time.
Such a trend allows anyone with a creative vision to realise their project online without the barriers of traditional programming. And with the constant addition of more and more advanced features, we expect no-code builders to become even more central to the web design landscape during 2024.
As we have seen, 2024 promises to be a year of big changes in the world of web design, where a number of trends are redefining the way we conceive and interact with websites and applications. Starting with the advent of the bento grid layout that favours flexibility and modular structure, to the involvement of AI-generated images that bring unique visual scenarios to life, the online design landscape is evolving in surprising ways.
Multi-planar scrolling provides a more dynamic and immersive browsing experience, while the bold use of vibrant colours and gradients brings a new visual vitality to sites. Dark mode is no longer just an aesthetic option, but is emerging as a key element in enhancing the user experience in various contexts.
Typography, transformed into an active design element, is demonstrating an unprecedented evolution, becoming a protagonist on screen and adding a distinctive touch to every project. And finally, the emergence of no-code builders opens the doors of creativity to anyone with a vision without the need for in-depth technical skills.
Together, these trends represent a drive towards more accessible, engaging and customised design, embracing technological innovation and limitless creativity. As we move into 2024, we expect these elements to not just be passing trends, but to become fundamental pillars that will shape the future of web design, offering increasingly extraordinary and engaging digital experiences for users.