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Website design6 min read 7 website design trends for 2019

Find out about some of the latest trends in website design and learn what factors are influencing those trends.

January 30, 2020Joshua Pease, Web Designer/DeveloperMichael Morris, Senior Graphic Designer

Just like that time you saw a middle-schooler wearing an outfit you wore years ago in high school, many website design trends come back around. Staying on top of these trends can help you appear more relevant and current to your audience. It can also help you communicate with people in a more human-centric way.

Two factors driving website design trends in 2019

Any number of factors can influence website design trends. Right now there are two major outside catalysts that are having significant effects on how organizations communicate with their audiences. These aren't unique to healthcare, but they're definitely affecting our industry.

Accessibility has moved front and center in the design community. It is part of a larger trend of designing products and websites to be as inclusive to as many diverse users as possible. We are now at a point where accessibility is not a Band-Aid or after-thought to be solved after a site is completed.

Take the idea of curb cuts. They're designed for wheel chair accessibility and to help the impaired, but they help so many others as well. Think of the mom with the doublewide stroller or the delivery person pushing a handcart laden with your favorite beverages. That is what designing with accessibility in mind should accomplish.

Technology is also breaking down walls in design. We are currently in an age where you can walk into a brick and mortar store and walk out with a sandwich just by logging in to an app. All without anyone scrambling for loose change or figuring out if their card is swipe or chip. The barriers between digital and physical are breaking down. Design trends are helping push this blurring of barriers even more.

Each of the above factors are helping push for a more humanized, customer-centric approach to design, and how we communicate with the world around us.

Here's a look at seven design trends that accessibility and technology are inspiring.

What are the top website design trends for 2019?

  1. Custom illustration.
  2. Asymmetrical layouts.
  3. The resurgence of serifs.
  4. Conversationalism.
  5. Motion.
  6. Flat design.
  7. Omnichannel design.

1. Custom illustration

In a sea of slick graphics, overly abstract icons and sharp fonts, illustration can help an organization stand out. People are inundated by stock photography. For this reason alone, organic shapes and handmade nature of illustrations have a better chance at drawing the eye.

Custom illustrations also help humanize a design, communicating on a direct, relatable level. Major brands such as Mailchimp, Slack and Shopify have been clueing in to this fact, and the adoption of this trend seems to be only growing. With its focus on building personal relationships with patients, the healthcare industry should be taking note.

Source: Mailchimp

Source: Slack

2. Asymmetrical layouts

Grids are everywhere. Most websites and publication designs are anchored to the grid. But breaking out of that box can be powerful. A trend that is picking up steam for 2019 is asymmetrical layout. By avoiding the predictability of a grid design, asymmetry encourages people to engage with content at a deeper level.

Asymmetry gives you more flexibility to balance the importance of content with how the eye naturally moves over the page. This can make the content more accessible by creating a clearer and more logical information hierarchy.

Source: Stripe

3. The resurgence of serifs

For years, the Silicon Valley aesthetic of sleek and efficient design relegated serif fonts to the likes of libraries and financial institutions. But serifs are back in a bold way. While there is still a push for tidy sans-serif fonts, they are quickly gaining reputation as lifeless and tame. Savvy organizations are using big, beefy serif fonts to lend their branding character, intelligence and humanity—qualities that healthcare companies would do well to emulate.

Using serifs is also a great way to clarify design and help distinguish hierarchy in your messaging. It contributes to increased usability via ease of reading, and understanding content order. These are important factors when looking at accessibility.

Source: Nathan Riley for wandr

Source: Medium

4. Conversationalism

More and more businesses are moving away from a mass-market approach to customer interactions toward more personalized design and communication.

Typeform, for example, has created a fantastic way to gather data that feels like chatting with a good friend over coffee. And Slack sprinkles healthy lifestyle suggestions into its workspace, reinforcing the point of view that its customers are people, not just workers.

Technology is playing a large part in making this conversational approach viable for more organizations. Companies are now able to tailor online experiences to individuals on a one-to-one basis. Examples of this include using IP addresses and browser language settings to localize content and using referral links to reinforce name recognition.

Source: Typeform

Source: Slack

5. Motion

New browser capabilities have opened the door for more advanced uses of motion in everyday design. Many think that motion is a needless distraction. But, if used properly, motion can help unify the overall relationship between design elements, alert a user of available actions to take, and help bring focus to important areas of a design—all things that are great for accessibility too!

Source: Google Materials

Source: Final via Ramotion

6. Flat design

Flat design isn't new, but it certainly isn't going away. In fact, one could say flat design is maturing and finding its stride. In a knee-jerk reaction to skeuomorphism, the idea was to go as flat, simple and stylized as you could. The problem is the detail and intricacy that can be lost with this mentality. Google's push with their Material Design ethos, among other factors, lead to a more balanced view and usage of flat design that includes depth in an intelligent and meaningful way—contributing to the impression of something you can touch. This exemplifies a mindset that benefits the end user—an approach that makes people feel comfortable and communicated to on their own level.

Source: Crane via Google Materials

Source: Base UI for Sketch

7. Omnichannel design

Technology is blurring the lines between physical and digital solutions. Omnichannel design is a result of this migration to communication across multiple channels. Companies are spending more and more resources creating a unified marketing front that transitions as seamlessly as possible from the digital to the physical experience.

Source: Disney Parks

Take Disney for instance. You can book a Disney trip via their responsive website; plan stays, experiences and eating locations via their app; and use their Magic Band program to interact with the park and its facilities. All of this completely centers on the user and their experience from beginning to end. It's truly an omnichannel mindset whose best practices could be adapted by the healthcare industry to help communicate more directly, more often and more effectively to the end user.

Is a website redesign on your list for 2019?

Not all of these trends are a fit for every healthcare organization. But the factors behind this "human-centric" direction are definitely worth paying attention to.

If you're looking to redesign your healthcare website in 2019, our team can help you find the right approach to help you reach both the people in your community and your marketing goals. Give us a call at 888.805.9101 or email us.