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Written by Caroline Cox on Jan 12 , 2022

From dark mode to Art Deco, these are the trends you need to know about before your next website redesign.

Here, you’ll find:

  • The year’s top website design trends
  • Examples of these trends in action
  • How to decide which trends will work for your site
  • Tips for what to avoid

The first time I created a website was in the early 2000s. I used the Angelfire platform to make a page for my neighborhood babysitting services. (What can I say? I had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted my own funds to spend at the mall.) 

Believe it or not (😏), website design has come quite a long way since then.

With millions of business websites online today, you can’t simply lean on pre-made templates to beat the competition. Let these top website design trends of 2022 inspire you to make your own site stand out from the crowd.

hawksem: website design trends blog

Your website’s whitespace doesn’t have to actually be white in color. Rather, “whitespace” refers to the area being free from images, graphics, or text. (Image via Unsplash)

1. Whitespace galore

There are a few tell-tale signs of an outdated or spammy website. These include: 

  • Too many intrusive pop-ups
  • Hard-to-find CTAs
  • Badly rendering on mobile
  • A cluttered design that makes your eyes unsure of where to look

Modern, well-designed sites, on the other hand, know having an ample amount of whitespace is key. 

Not only does whitespace make your site look clean, organized, and easy-to-navigate, but it makes the visitor less likely to get distracted from the reason they landed there in the first place. 

Of course, your website’s whitespace doesn’t have to actually be white in color. Rather, “whitespace” refers to the area being free from images, graphics, or text.

See where you can inject more whitespace on your overall site design, whether it be at the margins, between blocks of text and images, or both.

hawksem: site design trends blog

An iteration of our homepage used color blocking (in our brand colors) to make this video pop. (Image via hawksem.com)

2. Color blocks

Color blocking is an easy way to add some flair to your website while keeping things simple. Ideally, you’ve got a handful of designated brand colors that you use across your site, materials, social media handles, and collateral for cohesion. 

It’s best to pick a few lighter and darker brand colors so you have more options to play around with when it comes to design.

Ideally, your brand colors should be complementary so you can pair various shades together without clashing. This is where color blocking comes in. 

You can use color blocks to block off text, frame graphics and images, or as background elements that’ll grab your visitors’ attention.

hawksem blog - design

Mailchimp has featured hand-drawn icons on their website. (Image via mailchimp.com)

3. Hand-drawn text and icons

Thanks to technology advancements and the fact that it’s easier than ever to connect with a talented designer online, hand-drawn site elements have become a bona fide website design trend as of late.

We don’t mean hard-to-read text and amateur, Microsoft Paint-style sketches. Today’s hand-drawn text and icons look polished, artistic, and on-brand.

Designers will often use software tools to create hand-drawn elements, allowing them to be easily replicated and reproduced. Make sure you have access to your hand-drawn files so you can repurpose them on collateral, merch, social media, and elsewhere.

Pro tip: Social Media Today recently created a fun infographic predicting that the 1990s, grunge, and Y2K would all be returning website design trends this year as well.

hawksem - lazy loading

Here’s a look at how lazy loading works on Medium’s website. (Image via medium.com)

4. Lazy loading

As Google’s Developers blog explains, lazy loading is a design technique that means your website’s page elements (such as images, text, and videos) load as needed instead of all at once.

This can apply to elements that only appear on the page as you scroll, or placeholders that turn into images as you move the page. 

Along with being a stylish design element, implementing lazy loading can potentially help your website load faster, boosting your Core Web Vitals and SEO as a result.

hawksem dark mode twitter page

Dark mode proponents claim this design is easier on the eyes, saves your battery, and creates a better experience for people who are sensitive to bright light. (Image via twitter.com/hawksemagency)

5. Dark mode

You may already have this enabled on your smartphone, but dark mode isn’t limited just to mobile. Dark-mode design is basically a darkened version of a website’s layout, wherein the background is dark navy or black. 

This trend really caught fire a few years back when Google added it to Chrome and YouTube, and social media sites like Twitter did the same. 

Dark mode proponents claim this design is easier on the eyes, saves your battery, and creates a better experience for people who are sensitive to bright light.

While some sites allow you to choose between regular and dark mode, the level of coding involved here means it may be easier for you to try dark mode as your overall website style during your next site refresh, rather than trying to create two site designs.

Need more help with your website and other marketing content? Let’s connect.

atlanta speakeasy art deco website design

It makes sense that this Atlanta-based speakeasy went for an Art Deco vibe on their website. (Image via redphonebooth.com)

6. Art Deco style

Art deco motifs fit well with the geometric designs that have been trending over the past few years” –  that’s according to website building SaaS company Webflow.

As the saying goes, what’s old is new again. As far as making Art Deco design work in 2022, consider elements like clean, curving lines, delicately intricate patterns, and shades of metal like silver, bronze and gold. 

Bolé Road Textiles e-commerce website

Minimalist navigation is featured on the Bolé Road Textiles e-commerce website. (Image via boleroadtextiles.com)

7. Minimalist navigation bars

A navigation bar is like the beginning of a trail. You have a few different trailheads that’ll show you a few different types of scenery. 

But when you have too many trailheads, it can be difficult to know which one to choose — and you may just end up turning around entirely.

Keep this from happening with visitors on your website by keeping your navigation bar as minimal as possible. An easy way to do this is by having categories with drop-down menus to keep your site easy to use and organized.

For example: Instead of putting blogs, infographics, and your knowledge base in the top navigation, you can file all these in a drop-down menu under the “Resources” category. 

Squarespace leverages oversize font to make a bold statement.

Squarespace leverages oversize font to make a bold statement. (Image via squarespace.com)

8. Fun with fonts

From lager-than-life sizing to interactive to exclusive (aka designed specifically for the brand), experts like Designmodo report that, “in 2022, there’s no wrong way to do typography.”

These days, more websites are embracing font maximalism, some going so far as to swap out a hero image for text instead.

This is a great element to A/B test and see how your audience responds. Consider trying it out on a landing page and seeing if it resonates. You may be surprised by the results.

The takeaway

Whether you’re building a new site from scratch or conducting a total revamp of your existing one, being aware of the latest website design trends can help you determine the best way to proceed.

Your website is where many people get a first impression of who your brand is — by making thoughtful design choices, you can make sure you’re putting your best “face” forward.

This article has been updated and was originally published in June 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

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