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10 web design trends you need to know in 2024

Discover some of our favourite web design trends for 2024 and how they can help your brand steal the show overe the next year.

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Design for the web is always changing and evolving. 

That might give you the impression that trends in web design are unpredictable, but in fact, most current web design trends rise organically as priorities, as users and the web itself changes and grows.

While there are some fundamental principles of good web design, for 2024 we're already seeing the next phase of design trends taking off. And many of these popular web design features are not due to the whims of digital agencies, but driven by user interactions.

In 2024 we're seeing less and less distinction between website design, development, UX and content creation, as agencies aim to deliver websites, apps and systems that provide excellence across the board.

This means big changes not just in the way websites look, but how they're planned, created and built too.

So we're taking a look at some of the best web design trends for 2024, including:


1 - AI in web design

2023 was all about the rise of AI, and in 2024, we're going to see more and more agencies make use of AI tools in their website projects.

AI can take on a huge number of roles in the digital space, but it's important to make sure you're using it constructively.

While AI can be a hugely useful tool, it's not without its shortcomings, so make sure you know when and how to make the most of it.

AI generated imagery

One of the key areas that AI can help with, is creating bespoke imagery for a website. This can solve a huge number of problems for projects where bespoke imagery can't be affordably sourced, or where the client requires something unique.

AI image generators can work off a number of different briefs, from selected styles, word prompts and examples.

AI in website and content planning

Another area where AI can be really valuable, is in planning content and website hierarchies.

Using AI to plan out content can help ensure that you're covering essential themes and messages. But the nature of AI does mean that you need to be careful how much you rely on it.

It's important to remember that AI is not actually all-knowing! While it's incredibly intuitive, it can only work with the information it's been given. So if you ask it to create a website structure for an industry where most websites aren't well planned, you may end up with something that isn't quite up to standard.

For example, if you ask ChatGPT what pages you should have on a plumbing website, it'll suggest the following:

  • Home Page
  • About Us
  • Services
  • Contact Page
  • Testimonials/Reviews
  • Blog/Articles
  • FAQs
  • Gallery/Portfolio
  • Special Offers/Promotions
  • Credentials/Certifications
  • Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Now, this is probably an accurate list of what most plumbing websites actually have - but it's not necessarily a good structure. For example, having a Testimonials page isn't great for UX - you're much better off incorporating testimonials organically through the website where they can have the most impact.

AI can be a great starting point, particularly if you're struggling for ideas, but make sure you're using it critically, rather than as a crutch.


2 - UX, Content Design and Design Thinking

I know what you're thinking - how can planning be a new web design trend? 

But how you plan out your website is actually a huge factor in design, from creating UX driven features, functions and styles, to planning out how your content needs to be displayed.

UX design

UX or user experience design isn't really a trend in 2024 - in fact we're including it in this article as an example of a term that has become synonymous with website design.

In most cases, that's a great thing. UX should be the driving force behind website design so all good web designers should be UX designers.

However, it has led to a bit of a rise in people calling themselves UX designers without the efforts to back it up.

A great way to find out whether your agency is really providing you with a UX-driven website design, look for the following:

  • Did they do or ask for any SEO research before they got started?
  • Did they create or ask for content, or a content plan?
  • If they're building you a system or web app, did they provide an interactive wireframe of the functions and features before approaching the design?

If the answer is "no" to all of the above, chances are your designer isn't quite as focused on UX as they'd like you to believe.

Remember, UX isn't just visual, it's about planning the customer journey. That means there has to be something substantial behind each design decision that gives the user something that they want or need. 

None of that can be achieved without knowing the content, the structure and the marketing strategies that should be driving your website design.

Content design

Content design is the process of creating the right content for a user, which sounds very simple, but is actually a very in-depth process that involves a lot of research, planning and user experience expertise.

Content design is incredibly valuable, as it gives designers the structure they need to create interesting, creative designs that complement the messaging and user journey.

It also means you're considering the SEO and UX elements of your website from the very start of the planning process, and building that into both the content and the design.

Content design lays the foundations for the rest of the team to build upon, from the designers and developers, to the SEO and marketing team, and a great content designer has to consider all of these elements when planning the content and structure of a page.

But with this foundation, it enables you to keep the user's experience in focus through every part of your project. And as we've already discussed, with UX being the absolute cornerstone of modern website design, it's easy to see why content design is becoming so significant as a future web design trend.

Design thinking

In short, design thinking is about how we come up with creative solutions for problems, and is particularly significant when you're designing web apps or systems. 

It's actually a term that's been used for over 40 years in computing, usually in terms of creating user interfaces, but as UX becomes a more and more significant driver for both users and Google, design thinking is becoming an essential part of how we approach website design.

That's why we favour bespoke web design over templates, as it allows us to plan the user interfaces to solve our clients' problems from the ground up.

Design thinking means planning out website goals, content, features and functions before turning them into visuals, and will give you a great foundation for a successful project.


3 - Headless CMS

One of the latest web design trends for  2024 will be a big swing away from traditional website development platforms, in favour of slimmer, more streamlined solutions.

This means a move away from website builders like Wix and Squarespace, in favour of decoupled or headless CMS options like Payload, or moving from a standard Wordpress set-up to one which uses a static site.

What is a headless CMS?

A headless content management system (or CMS), separates the content you create from the way it's displayed. It's perfect for those who want a straightforward way to manage their website content without worrying about the technical details. 

Unlike a traditional CMS, where the content and its display are tightly coupled, a headless CMS focuses solely on the content, providing it to the front-end system via an API.

This decoupling also means that any future redesigns of the website can focus solely on the front end without requiring any backend functionality to be redeveloped.

What is a static site?

Much like with a headless CMS, a static site enables you to decouple the front end of the website from the CMS it's using.

That means that if you want to continue using an off the shelf platform like Wordpress, but don't want to have your website slowed down by the code overhead, a static site can be a great alternative.

You can still manage content and updates through Wordpress, but when changes are made, these are then pushed through to the static website via an API.

This enables you to still use the platform you prefer, but without having to run all that additional code on the front of your website, making it much faster to load and use.


4 - Retro and Memphis design

You may not have heard of memphis design, but you've almost certainly seen it somewhere! This style was established way back in the 80s, and involves bright colours and abstract graphic shapes to create fun, engaging visuals.

In the past few years it's become a hugely popular website style, and has featured on some of the most popular website designs.

Memphis design elements are a great way to introduce graphics around, underneath and over other parts of your design such as text and images.

It's also a great way to tie together different sections of a website, and maintain a fantastic visual flow as you scroll.


5 - Unique Navigations

A really interesting development in future website design trends is a move towards unusual navigation styles.

With website accessibility being such an important factor, you may find this quite surprising, but in 2024 we'll be seeing more and more websites taking a unique approach to navigations.

Full screen navigations, replacing your traditional grid of text links have been rising in popularity for the last few years, but now we're seeing even more unusual styles.

These include:

  • In-image navigation, where images or icons direct the user to different pages and content
  • Scroll navigation, where you scroll to access buttons or links
  • Interactive navigations, where on-page content changes and evolves as you move around and interact with the website

Balancing a highly creative navigation style with usability and accessibility is always a challenge, but in 2024 we're expecting to see more websites taking it on.


6 - Scroll effects

I know what you're thinking - scroll effects are hardly a modern web design trend, they've been around for ages!

Well, they may have been around for a while, but these are not the clunky scroll effects of 2014. In 2024, scroll effects are much more sophisticated, and can be used for a range of different styles.

As more and more websites and apps are built mobile first, scrolling has become less of a feature, and more of an essential element of design.

This has created a trend where designers are thinking about the scroll experience as much as any other element of the design.

Scroll features are now a common way to introduce interactivity to a website, to add a level of texture to design, and even as a method of navigation.


7 - Illustration

Realistic photography has always played a big part in modern web design. Whether clients have opted for stock images, taken their own or used a photographer, the vast majority of pictures have been based in realism.

But now we're seeing more sites moving away from this style, in favour of using sketch style illustrations, 3D imagery and line art. 

Sometimes these are used as the only image style on site, sometimes they're part of the background elements, and sometimes they're used alongside and even over realistic photography.

This trend enables designers to change up ordinary images, breathing new life into them and making them feel unique.

The rise of AI generated images has also fed into this trend, as people are more easily able to create bespoke illustration-style images.

Illustration in web design
We combined illustration and photography for our client Sadie May Studios

8 - Text only headers

In the last couple of years, typographical design has become more and more popular - and in 2024 it's still going strong.

Text only headers are when designers move away from imagery and visuals, and look to create unique and innovative typography styles. 

Sometimes that's as straightforward as a bold font. Sometimes it's a more intricate text-based design. But, for both approaches, it's the typography that is the focal point.

In 2024, websites are taking this to the next level with kinetic, or moving typography. By adding motion and animation into font headers, it's bringing a new level of interactivity and interest to users, and pulling the eye to key messaging.


9 - Microinteractions

Microinteractions are the small, subtle animations and changes that happen when a user does something on your site.

They can be a special animation as someone completes a form, a transition in a gallery, or maybe movement that happens as you scroll. 

Great microinteractions improve the user experience functionally and emotionally, by guiding users to perform certain actions on the site, but also by making those actions much more enjoyable and memorable.

Microinterations in web design
This website for Balloon Monkey uses microinteractions to guide the user through creating their own balloon

10 - Dark mode design

Dark mode is a current website design trend that's definitely staying around in 2024. Dark design is a web design colour trend that allows users to personalise their website experience by deciding whether they would like a "light" or "dark" mode, and presenting the website or app in that style.

What is dark mode design?

Dark mode design is where a website or app is based around a colour scheme that includes a dark background. 

Many users find dark mode styles easier to read and interact with and giving people the option to switch personalises the user experience.

Dark mode can also minimise eye strain, particularly in low light, and even minimises battery use, making it a popular style for mobile apps in particular.


Web design that's bang on trend

We hope this has given you some inspiring website style ideas! While there are always brand new trends in website design, it's important to keep the key web design principles in mind and put your audience and their experience at the heart of your design. 

If you're looking to create a bespoke web design, product or app that's full of the latest website design trends and steals the show in 2024 (and beyond), we'd love to hear from you.

Get in touch

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Katie Austin

UX/UI Designer