3 Essential Design Trends, March 2020
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3 Essential Design Trends, March 2020


Color, heroes, and a new way to create design depth are what we are looking at this month.

Two of these three trends comes with some usability concerns but are a lot of fun to look at and play with. Would you take the risk of trying one of these design techniques? The third trend (up first in this list) is a new take on bold color palettes that shifts from some of the colors that have been overwhelmingly popular for a while.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

 

Warm Colors, Especially Reds

Warm colors – especially red tones – are back in!

As a point of reference, warm colors are vivid and bold and can sometimes be overwhelming because they can occupy and fill space will a feeling of fullness. Warm colors include reds, oranges, and yellows. They are all on the same part of the color wheel, which can be divided into warm and cool colors (blues, greens, and purples).

The nice thing about these warm colors is that they are bold without the same levels of brightness that have been popular for a while. They aren’t as overpowering as brights on smaller and darker screens and really set a different tone for the design that’s a little more serious.

Each of the examples below uses a warm (red) color palette in a different way.

Skull & Roses uses a red and purple (warm and cool) palette to create contrast and fun gradients and color.

Amanda Braga uses a full red monotone color palette for the about page of her portfolio site. It’s bold, in-your-face, and demanding of attention. Even the photo has a red color cast on it.

Catalyst uses pops of red with gradients to draw you into the 3D geo shape in the hero image. It creates a sense of motion and excitement for the event.

 

Full-Screen Heroes

An oversized hero image is nothing new. But hero headers that occupy the entire home screen are.

The trend also seems to come with another new element — no obvious navigation or need to scroll (although it’s often there). The result is a trend with super clean designs, with the possibility for design or usability challenges.

This trend works for one reason: Thanks to mobile usage, people are getting more accustomed to (or trained) to scroll. Small screens make it a way of life and this trend is relying on that to work.

But, will users know what to do and get past the homepage?

Can you find the visual cues in these examples?

The Island has a fun full-screen video loop and has a right-hand scroll bar as a visual cue and a tucked in scroll icon on some screen sizes. A hamburger navigation menu can also help you find what you are looking for in this clean design.

Wayout looks cool, but doesn’t have a scroll feature on screen. The phrase “And there’s more” is all you get to encourage looking further into the design. (There’s no navigation menu either.)

Ubisoft uses a full screen video that you get a glimpse of within text elements. There are no obvious scroll cues (and there is a scroll), but the hamburger icon is a visual cue that there’s more to the site than just a homepage.

 

Neumorphism

This trend is one that is a mash up of popular web and app design techniques that’s starting to show up most commonly in app concepts.

Neumorphism (or new skeuomorphism) can be traced to an analysis by Michal Malewicz of Hype4 who did a nice deep dive into what this trend is (and isn’t) and how it works for designers. Neumorphism seems to be most popular when designing card-style interfaces.

The style can be identified by use of inner- and outer shadows to create an illusion of softer shapes that seem to lift off the background canvas.

Here’s how Malewicz describes it:

A Modern / Material (upgraded) card usually is a surface floating on top of our perceived background and casting a shadow onto it. The shadow both gives it depth and also in many cases defines the shape itself — as it’s quite often borderless.

While this trend has a cool, fresh look, it does come with some challenges. Primarily those issues deal with accessibility and contrast.

Either way, it’s a fun take on moving away from completely flat concepts to something with more depth, particularly for app-based interfaces. Time will tell if this trend really lifts off or not, since it is still in its infancy.

Want to play with neimorphism on your own? You can try this fun little CSS generator.

 

Conclusion

Of this month’s trends, the return of warm colors is especially nice. Red tones are inviting and interesting and a good shift from the super brights that have been so popular.

The other trends each present their own usability challenges, but have high visual interest. Could you see yourself using them in projects? (A portfolio, maybe?)

What trends are you loving (or hating) right now? I’d love to see some of the websites that you are fascinated with.





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20 Freshest Web Designs, January 2020
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20 Freshest Web Designs, January 2020


Each month we roundup the freshest website designs released in the previous four weeks, all with an eye-out for hot new ideas.

January 2020 is picking up where 2019 left off, with lots of animation and even more bold, bright color schemes. We’re also seeing an unusual number of luxury sites this month, and as always there’s a strong set of startups trying to break into the market. Enjoy!

 

Plink

To take on giants like PayPal, you need a compelling brand and a simple message, that can also wow with its first impression. Plink hits the nail on the head with its 3D animation.

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Madame Turfu

Are you wondering what 2020 will hold for you? Why wait to find out when Madame Turfu can predict the future with this wonderfully fun set of digital tarot cards.

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Nathan Taylor

What’s not to love about Nathan Taylor’s playful site? There’s so much to explore and do, but our favorite part is the different lighting modes.

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Meatable

Selling Meatable is a tough prospect; it’s real meat, grown in a lab instead of taken by animal slaughter. The simple step-by-step site does a great job of explaining.

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Sussex Royal

Whatever your view of Harry and Megan, there’s little doubt that their website oozes class. For a promotional site that isn’t actually selling anything, it’s a strong presence.

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Emotive Feels

This fantastic manifesto from design agency Emotive Brand illustrates an A–Z of potential brand emotions with simple animations that would grace the cover of a Bluenote release.

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UNREAL

Swiss design agency UNREAL’s site is a wonderfully chaotic love affair with web animation. It’s the type of site we can click around for hours, enjoying the sharp transitions.

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Kate Jackling

Sometimes the best design takes a step back and allows its subject to bask in all the attention. Kate Jackling’s site does this, letting her gorgeous photography take center stage.

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Helias

Helias has fully embraced the blob trend with a flood-filled area of color supporting each of its various products. It’s appropriate, engaging, and breaks up the formal grid well.

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Klokki

Sometimes the hardest sites to design, are the ones for products about which there’s very little to say. Klokki is one such product, but its site is bold, confident, and persuasive.

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Jonnie Hallman

Jonnie Hallman’s simple résumé site benefits greatly from the household names he’s worked for. We really like the details, like the way the monogram changes color as you scroll.

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eaast

eaast is a design and development partnership from Paris that’s fully embraced the Memphis style. Their simple site proves you don’t need years’ worth of work to sell yourself.

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Pantheone Audio

Proving that elegant scrolling is still very much a thing in 2020, Pantheone Audio uses the scroll to seamlessly navigate a luxurious site with a complex grid underpinning it.

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Leaf

After decades of the best a man can get, the half of the species that shaves daily seems to be obsessed with reinventing the process. Leaf taps into that simple marketing approach.

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Mociun

Most sites that sell jewelry miss the spirit of the pieces by focusing on the financial value. Mocuin gets it right with an on-trend color palette and stunning product photography.

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Jon Way

Jon Way’s portfolio features work from over a decade of art direction. There’s a clear, consistent aesthetic thanks to a lovely ‘static’ effect that plays across the whole site.

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Kota Yamaji

There’s some amazing work in Kato Yamaji’s portfolio, but what really strikes home is the amount of color he manages to squeeze in.

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Robb Owen

We’ve seen lots of animated vector avatars over the last couple of years, but rarely do we see one with as much personality as Robb Owen’s. The cursor tracking makes it feel real.

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Glasgow International Festival 2020

The Glasgow International Festival takes place between 24th April and 10th May 2020. Its site features some distinctly celtic typography, and tons of bold color.

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Megababe

Megababe is taking on the beauty industry with a range of body products that are insanely popular, and as positive as its super-confident sales site.

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