It’s important for us at Dogwood to stay up-to-date with the latest web design and UX trends that will shape the digital landscape. As one of our clients told me in a video chat recently, our previous design work is why they chose to work with us at Dogwood. Our ability to stay on top of the trends and yet also realize what are just “one-hit wonders” has really set us apart. With all that in mind, here are some things we believe you’ll see in web design and UX trends moving forward.

Dark Mode

Dark mode, which switches website backgrounds from white to black and text from black to white (or other light colors), has become increasingly popular in recent years. Its benefits are numerous, including reduced eye strain, creating a sleek and modern look, and potentially saving battery life on devices with OLED displays. This has led to an increasing number of websites and apps adopting this feature.

One of the main drivers of the dark mode trend is the increased amount of time people spend on digital devices. According to one study, Americans spend an average of almost 7 hours per day on their devices. With such prolonged exposure to bright screens, it’s no wonder that many people experience eye strain and headaches. By incorporating dark mode into website and app design, users can make their digital experience more comfortable and less straining on the eyes.

Another benefit of dark mode is its aesthetic appeal. An increasing number of users prefer a darker and sleeker look compared to the traditional light mode. This preference is especially true for millennial and Gen Z users, who are often considered to be more design-conscious.

Dark mode can potentially help users save battery life on their devices, particularly those with OLED displays. OLED displays have pixels that emit their own light, meaning that when a pixel is meant to be black, it is simply turned off. This means that when using dark mode on a device with an OLED screen, the device can potentially save battery life by turning off pixels when they are meant to be black.

To optimize a website for dark mode, designers should consider carefully the colors they choose for their site. They should also consider the contrast between the text and background colors to ensure that the text is still easily readable on a dark background. Additionally, designers should consider offering a toggle switch that allows users to switch between light mode and dark mode.

The popularity of dark mode is likely to continue to grow, as more and more users look for a more comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and battery-friendly digital experience. By incorporating dark mode into website and app design, designers can cater to the changing preferences of their audience, while also providing a more user-friendly experience overall.

Ultra-fast Loading Speeds

An ultra-fast loading speed generally refers to a page that loads in less than one second. This requires a combination of factors, including optimized code, lightweight design elements, and a high-performance server. Achieving such a fast loading speed is no easy feat, but it’s becoming increasingly necessary to meet user expectations.

At Dogwood, we’ve partnered with providers such as WpEngine and Pantheon to provide top-of-the-line managed servers. Beyond server speed, there are other factors that we still have to consider as we build sites to keep them fast including a clean and lean codebase. The results of these fast speeds help with at least the following items:

  1. User experience

Users have little patience for slow-loading websites. If a site takes more than a few seconds to load, they’re likely to abandon it and move on. This means that providing an ultra-fast loading experience is crucial for retaining users and keeping them engaged. By reducing load times, designers can create a more seamless and enjoyable user experience.

  1. Search engine ranking

Google and other search engines use website speed as a ranking factor. In other words, faster-loading websites are likely to rank higher in search results than slower-loading ones. This means that ultra-fast loading speeds can help improve a website’s visibility and attract more traffic.

  1.  Conversion rate

Ultra-fast loading speeds can also lead to higher conversion rates. If a user can quickly access the information they need on a website or complete a purchase without any interruptions, they’re more likely to convert. This means that faster-loading websites can be a more profitable option for businesses.

Custom Illustrations

Custom illustrations have been gaining popularity over the past few years, and we can expect to see more of them used in web design and UX design in the future. Custom illustrations are unique and engaging, helping brands stand out in a crowded digital space.

One of the main advantages of using custom illustrations is their ability to visually communicate ideas and concepts in a unique and memorable way. Unlike stock photos or generic graphics, custom illustrations are specifically designed to meet the needs of a particular brand, product, or service. They can convey a brand’s personality, create a sense of authenticity, and help brands establish a more lasting impression with their audience.

Custom illustrations can also help make a brand more relatable and approachable, as they often reflect the style and tone of the brand’s messaging. They can help add a touch of humor or playfulness, making the brand more appealing to a wider audience.

To optimize the use of custom illustrations in web design and UX design, it’s important to consider a few key factors. First, the illustrations should be consistent with the brand’s overall messaging and personality. Second, they should be designed with the user in mind, making sure that they help promote clarity and accessibility for the user. Finally, they should be optimized for different screen sizes and devices, ensuring that they render smoothly across all platforms and devices.

Another critical consideration is the role of animation in custom illustrations. Animation can help bring illustrations to life, making them more engaging and interactive for users. Animation can help create a sense of movement and flow, leading users on a journey through the website or app.

By using unique and engaging illustrations, designers can create a more visually appealing and memorable user experience that helps establish a brand’s personality and tone. To optimize the use of custom illustrations, designers should consider their impact on the user, the brand’s messaging and personality, and the role of animation in creating a more engaging and interactive experience.

Dynamic Scroll

Dynamic scroll has become the norm for web design and UX design in recent years. This design trend allows users to scroll through a website while interacting with elements that are dynamically triggered by the user’s scrolling behavior. Dynamic scrolling can create a more engaging, exciting, and interactive user experience, which has led to its widespread adoption by designers.

One of the main reasons why dynamic scroll has become popular is its ability to create an immersive and layered experience for users. By interacting with different elements on the page as they scroll, users are immersed in the content and experience a sense of depth and interactivity. This can create a more memorable user experience and help a brand stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

Another reason why dynamic scrolling has become common is that it helps designers to showcase content in a more engaging way. In many cases, designers need to present a lot of information on a single page, such as a landing page or product showcase. Dynamic scroll allows designers to present this information in an organized and engaging way, without overwhelming the user with too much information at once.

To optimize the use of dynamic scroll in web design and UX design, designers should focus on creating content that is easy to navigate and interact with. This means using clear and intuitive design elements that encourage users to engage with the content. Designers should also consider the importance of responsive design, ensuring that the dynamic elements of the page adapt to different screen sizes and devices.

Designers who use dynamic scroll should also pay attention to the performance of their website. Using dynamic elements can sometimes slow down the loading speed of a page, which can impact the user experience. To prevent this from happening, designers should optimize all design elements for faster loading times, use caching and other performance-enhancing tools, and consider the impact of animations and videos on a page’s performance.

By optimizing the use of dynamic elements, designers can create a more memorable experience that helps establish a brand’s personality and tone. However, designers need to balance the need for engaging content with the importance of website performance, ensuring that users can access dynamic content without sacrificing speed or reliability.

The web design and UX design trends that will shape the future are all about creating a more immersive, interactive, and user-friendly experience. From dark mode to dynamic scroll, these trends will help websites stand out and create a lasting impression on their users.

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