Web Design Trends to Watch in 2024

This year, web design is undergoing one of the biggest sideway shifts in recent memory. Generational differences and the rapid advancements in technology like AI are massively shaping the online world. It’s a thrilling time to be at the helm of web design and development at boxChilli. The boldness of Gen Z’s new vision challenges the established norms of Millennial minimalism, ushering in an era of web design that’s rich in pop culture references, dynamic and full of immersive experiences. And frankly I’m here for it.

Before we take a look at the design trends for 2024, a word to the wise: incorporating these cutting-edge elements into your website’s design requires a keen eye for maintaining your unique brand identity and delivering a seamless user experience.

Remember, the foundation of every great website design is its performance. My design philosophy is in balancing interesting designs with established best practices. A stylish website is great, but if it takes an age to load, people won’t use it.

So, as we explore the forefront of the latest web design trends, 2024 will be about mastering the balance between form and function, ensuring our websites are not just a reflection of the times but are built to perform at their peak. Now, let’s take a look at what we’re seeing on the horizon.

Bold, Bright Colours

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Gone are the days of safe, muted colour palettes. At last. 2024 is witnessing a long-overdue embrace of bold, bright colours in web design. This trend is about making a statement, creating vibrant experiences creating websites that grab a user’s attention from the first glance.

As brands strive to stand out in a crowded digital marketplace, utilising a bold colour scheme can differentiate your website, imbue it with personality, and make it memorable. Colour psychology has a profound impact on web design and user interaction.

The strategic use of a bold colour palette communicates with the subconscious, influencing emotions and behaviours in ways we might not immediately expect. For instance, incorporating vibrant oranges and reds can stimulate feelings of energy and passion, making them ideal for call-to-action buttons or promotions. These colours are known to evoke excitement and urgency, subtly nudging users towards making a decision.

By understanding and applying these principles of colour psychology, designers can craft their web pages and experiences that capture attention and resonate on an emotional level, guiding user behaviour towards desired outcomes.

Web Designers Embrace Maximalism

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There has been a resurgence of 90s maximalism in web design, heavily influenced by Gen Z’s bold and expressive digital footprint. This marks a significant shift away from the clean lines and muted palettes that defined the previous era. I have to admit – at first I was less enthusiastic about this trend! But I’ve come around. Gen Z, known for its embrace of individuality and resistance to conformity, is driving a preference for web designs that are not just seen but felt, where every scroll unravels a new layer of storytelling.

Maximalism in 2024 is a canvas for creativity without bounds, where designers are encouraged to blend a variety of patterns, textures, and a kaleidoscope of colours to forge experiences that are as unique and bold as the audience interacting with them. It’s a deliberate move towards creating spaces that are visually stimulating and emotionally engaging, reflecting the complexity and vibrancy of the real world. Expect clashing prints and saturated colours that convey passion and energy. This trend is about pushing the envelope and daring to stand out.

Gen Z’s influence is evident in the way maximalism is used to foster connections and communicate values. For brands, it’s an opportunity to weave their stories into every element of their design, from bold typography that shouts their message to eclectic imagery that showcases their personality. Just remember – this generation values authenticity. Faking it won’t cut it. Get it wrong and you’ll give off more of a ‘hi there fellow kids vibe’!

The challenge of maximalism is in its complexity – it’s nowhere near as random as it may at first appear. To avoid overwhelming the user, each design decision must be intentional, with a clear understanding of how different design elements interact to support the overarching narrative. It’s about finding harmony in chaos, ensuring that while the design may be busy, it remains accessible and navigable. The goal is to create a journey that invites exploration without sacrificing usability, offering a seamless experience that is both enriching and enjoyable.

Maximalism champions a more inclusive approach to design, where more is more, and where diversity, in all its forms, is celebrated. As we move through 2024, this design trend also challenges us to think beyond traditional boundaries and embrace the possibilities of a more expressive, dynamic web. And it’s about time.

AI Integration – A Web Design Trend?

In my view, it’s slightly reductive to call the emergence of AI in web design a trend; it’s a transformative movement that’s reshaping how we conceive and interact with digital spaces. AI’s capacity to automate mundane tasks, deliver personalised user experiences, and – yes – to generate dynamic content is revolutionising the industry. Many in roles like mine are bemoaning how the technology is taking jobs away from artists and I agree, this is a genuine problem. However, I strongly believe this is a problem with how people are using the technology rather than with the technology itself.

Perhaps most exciting is AI’s role in the creative process itself. By suggesting layout improvements, colour schemes, and content, AI is becoming a co-creator in the design process. This collaboration between human creativity and artificial intelligence is producing designs that are both more efficient and more innovative. It’s as if we’ve unlocked a new level of creativity, one that’s augmented by the processing power and data analysis capabilities of AI. We don’t need to fear this.

Candid Photography

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Another web design trend I’m seeing in 2024 is more and more candid photography. Even fashion e-commerce stores are leading not with studio shots, but with mirror selfies taken by the models themselves. Candid photography, with its raw, unfiltered glimpse into reality, is transforming web design in a way that mirrors society’s growing demand for authenticity and transparency.

I feel like this trend is a reflection of a deeper cultural shift led by audiences who crave genuine connections in an often overly curated digital world. In my view, the rise of candid photography on websites is a powerful move towards humanising brands, making them more relatable and trustworthy in the eyes of consumers.

Incorporating candid shots into web design brings a level of depth and sincerity that polished, professional photos simply can’t convey. Spontaneous, unposed moments capture real life, offering a peek behind the curtain of perfection that social media and traditional marketing have long upheld.

This trend can help brands stand out in a saturated market. In an era where everyone is bombarded with content, the authenticity of candid photography can cut through the noise, offering a refreshing break from the norm. It tells a story that people can see themselves in, making the brand’s message more impactful and memorable.

However, embracing candid photography does require a delicate balance – it’s not about uploading your camera roll and calling it a day! While it’s important to showcase authenticity, it’s equally critical to ensure that the images align with the brand’s identity and values. Clearly not every candid shot will be suitable for every context, and the selection process should consider the overall narrative the brand wishes to convey. The goal is to enhance the user’s experience and connection with the brand, not detract from it with images that feel out of place or forced.

As we move further into 2024, I believe that candid photography will continue to be a significant trend in web design, driven by the universal desire for more authentic and meaningful interactions online.

Interactive Elements

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In my opinion, the evolution of interactivity in web design, especially in 2024, is a testament to how far we’ve come in understanding user behaviour and leveraging technology to enhance the digital experience. We’re no longer designing static pages to be passively consumed; we’re crafting immersive stories where the user plays an active role.

The incorporation of scroll-triggered animations, for example, turns the simple act of scrolling a website into a journey of discovery. Each scroll can unveil new content in a visually engaging way, making the user’s journey through the site feel more like a narrative unfolding. And think about it – this how we consume every other form of media. It subtly guides users through the site, highlighting key information and encouraging further exploration.

Gamification features are another powerful tool in the interactive design arsenal. By introducing elements of play, such as challenges, rewards, and leaderboards, we can motivate users to engage more deeply with the content. This not only makes the experience more enjoyable but can also foster a sense of community and competition, driving further engagement and revisits.

In 2024, the trend towards more interactive web experiences reflects a broader shift towards personalised and engaging digital environments. As web designers, our challenge is to harness these interactive elements creatively and thoughtfully, ensuring they serve the user’s needs and enhance the storytelling aspect of our designs. By doing so, we can create websites that are not only visually stunning but also deeply engaging, offering users a dynamic and memorable experience that encourages them to connect, explore, and convert.

Final Thoughts

Web design in 2024 is vibrant, innovative, and user-centric. As the Design & Development Director at boxChilli, I’m seeing firsthand the power of these trends in creating compelling digital experiences that genuinely engage audiences. For business owners, embracing these trends is crucial for staying ahead in the digital space. Whether through the bold use of colour, the rich detail of maximalism, the intelligence of AI integration, the authenticity of candid photography, or the engagement of interactive elements, the opportunities to innovate and inspire are frankly endless.

Remember, the key to successful web design lies in understanding your audience and crafting experiences that resonate with them. As we move forward into 2024 and beyond, let’s embrace these top web design trends, not just as design choices but as strategic tools for building deeper connections with our users. The future of web design is here, and it’s brighter, bolder, and more interactive than ever. And that’s a good thing for everyone.

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About the Author

Luke Keil - design director

Luke Keil

Design & Development Director

Luke’s day-to-day roles aren’t limited to only designing easy to use and functioning websites, but also managing the Design & Development teams ensuring websites are created and maintained to a high client satisfaction.

Luke comes from an extensive background of lead design roles and has been working in the industry since 2010. His many successful roles have covered a wide array of design industries from Branding and Packaging Design to Print Design, Web Design and UX.

In his spare time Luke likes to create illustrations for t-shirts and is aiming, in the near future, to restore old rusted motorcycles to their former glory.