2024 is upon us!
Who’s excited? 🥳
While it’s a time for solopreneurs and web design agencies to carry out an annual review of how the year went, it’s also an opportunity to examine new trends in the field so you can improve on your deliverables.
We like the way Greg Isenberg, the CEO of the Late Checkout design agency, views them 👀 :
The future of web design is world design— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) May 27, 2022
Instead of designing a website, make it feel like a world
Add rewards, social and rituals to take part in everyday
You might want to take that as the first tip. Start designing worlds.
Essentially, you want to discover the future of the web design industry.
Don’t worry. We’re here for you as always. In this guide, we’ve put together:
- Future web design trends you should know about
- How they can help your business
- Skills web designers will need in 2024
Before we ride into the future, why do you need to get familiar with the upcoming drifts in the web design industry?
Table of contents
- Why does understanding the future of web design matter?
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Augmented reality (AR) & virtual reality (VR)
- Interactive UI
- Voice UI 🗣️
- Sustainability 🌿
- How will new technologies in web design affect my business?
- Top 5 skills for web design pros in 2024
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Why does understanding the future of web design matter?
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus may have been around before the internet, but his words still ring true today: “Change is the only constant in life.”
Web design trends change every year. And, since the digital market is a competitive space, you need all the information you can get to stay ahead of the competition and scale your business.
Being prepared for the future of web design can help you:
Offer premium services
Familiarizing yourself with future web design trends allows you to provide clients with more valuable services.
You’ll be able to improve the experience of web users, and as a result, you’ll offer better services. With this understanding, you can walk existing clients through what you’ve offered in the past and give reasons why they need to upgrade.
Charge more for your services
Is that a smile we see on your face?
If you offer premium services, you can charge more for your services as you will provide clients with better web designs but also helping them stay relevant and modern.
One thing about trends is that they often go by quickly, so you have to be prepared if you want to ride the wave.
Being unprepared doesn’t impress clients or prospects, and we’re pretty sure you’d like to avoid that.
To be considered an authority in your industry, you need to be proactive about knowing the latest trends while anticipating the ones that lie ahead.
This sends a message that you’re good at what you do.
Now, buckle up ‘cause we’re about to take off! ✈️
…see you in the future! 🧘
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Siri and Alexa are examples of popular AI. Maybe J.A.R.V.I.S. too, if you’re a Marvel fan.
While we may not have the technology to become Iron Man, we’re slowly getting there.
According to a recent report, the AI industry is expected to be worth more than $125 billion in 2025. 🤯
It has so much potential that some developers and designers are already leveraging it to improve the functionality and appearance of their websites.
Here’s what an AI-enabled website looks like, by the way:
Semantris is a machine learning-enabled word association game developed by Google. The website enables users to interact with AI models that mimic natural language.
During the game, the AI predicts words similar to what a user inputs. The AI has been trained on conversational text, which enables it to make that association.
Moreover, Google enables developers to integrate pre-trained AI models used by Semantris and incorporate natural language processing into their own websites.
That’s a great opportunity for devs, considering that AI and machine learning can help:
- Build websites
- Enhance your website’s search abilities
- Manage inventory
- Improve user experience
- Boost interaction with your website’s users
Through the emergence of AI-driven services such as:
- Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) System: With this system, AI tools can be in charge of the entire web design, including typography, visual elements, or other graphic representation.
ADI gathers data about your typical visitors, website analytics, and other necessary information. After collecting all of that, you’ll provide the AI with the website’s theme, color preference, and content to create a unique web design for you.
- AI chatbots: The introduction of AI chatbots to the industry is improving how users interact with websites.
They’re designed using advanced natural-language processing systems that carry engaging conversations.
AI chatbots can ask web users to provide more information on specific issues and solve simple problems. They can also find out if users require human assistance. This ensures visitors are never left unattended when they need help.
- AI recommendation and optimization tools: These tools leverage social proof to make buying recommendations for web users based on their interaction with the website.
You just need to add an AI extension or plugin (like Magneto) to the website, and it’ll start auto-suggesting for you.
- AI web design diagnostic tools: These assist in examining your web designs’ quality and performance. These tools collect insights on how to improve designs in real-time.
They sorta eliminate the need for A/B testing if you train the AI right.
It should be noted here that while using AI for your website will go a long way in improving the overall design functionality, it’s still not perfect.
Performance aside, another design trend that’s on the horizon is websites that offer visitors immersive experiences.
Augmented reality (AR) & virtual reality (VR)
If you’ve ever played a game in VR, you know the feeling: It’s like aliens beamed you to their planet.
Augmented reality integrates computer-generated content with a user’s real-life environment. VR, on the other hand, is a simulated environment where users can have an immersive 3D experience.
They’re both in the same class with the Internet of Things (IoT).
Until now, AR and VR have mostly been associated with gaming. More recently, other industries, such as healthcare, tourism, real estate, etc., have embraced it.
Now, AR and VR are also gaining popularity in the web design industry.
It began with WebVR APIs that allowed users to experience virtual reality with a headset and a compatible browser. That’s now been replaced by WebXR Device API.
This new API makes it easy to incorporate VR and AR applications into a website.
Aside from the fact that these technologies will become more popular, why do you need to incorporate them into your web design?
Well, it means a gripping and immersive experience can be designed for web users.
You can create websites for your clients where their customers see how products will look in their environment, try out products virtually before making a purchase, or visit a virtual store to see all the available products.
This is great news for your clients with e-commerce websites, but people in other industries can also benefit from AR and VR-based websites, as they can help enlighten visitors about a concept or service.
A good example is Scientific American’s website.
It incorporated VR to educate visitors on Coronavirus in a very engaging way.
This technology takes engagement to a whole new level. So feel free to add building AR and VR websites to your skill sets in 2024.
But if you want to keep visitors glued to your website, they’ll need to find it easy to interact with.
Another trend that’ll become more popular in the coming year is an interactive user interface (UI).
These UIs combine design, animation, gesture, and style to create a smooth experience for web users.
This technology helps users navigate your site more easily, as they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for quickly.
After all, you likely know how frustrating it can be when you cannot find the information you want when visiting a website.
In a way, an interactive UI can persuade visitors to stay longer on a website.
A study by Forrester shows that a well-designed user interface can increase your website conversion rates by about 200%
Additionally, a great UI gives websites an authentic, user-friendly feel that visitors find trustworthy and attractive. They’ll prefer to visit the website because it’s easy to navigate, has the information they need, and of course, is well-designed.
This Framer website is a good example of what an interactive user interface should look like.
Here, you can see a few dimensions of interactive design:
- Words conveying precise and clear information.
- Visual representation, such as images, icons, typography, and color palette, supporting the information being provided.
- An engaging layout
All of these elements assist visitors in performing tasks they need to do on the website, which, in turn, helps you retain those visitors.
Now, you don’t have to stop there! You can also make user interaction on the website much easier by making it voice-enabled.
Voice UI 🗣️
At first glance, voice and user interface might seem like a typo since the word ‘interface’ is usually associated with graphical or visual representation, but it isn’t.
Voice UI (VUI) is a new trend in the web design industry. It allows users to verbally search for queries.
So aside from typing queries on a website, they can speak to the AI, which displays their request.
VUI is going to be the future of web design because:
- Voice-controlled devices are becoming popular (like the Amazon Echo and Amazon Homepod).
- Voice search features are now available on almost all smart devices.
- Voice applications are accessible to people of all languages.
- It’s easy to use for people with disabilities
In other words, leveraging VUI in your web design will take your users’ experience through the roof, as they’ll be able to navigate the website much more easily.
One of the key things VUI also helps with is web security and personalization.
Voice biometrics tech analyzes a user’s voice fingerprint, which offers high security to voice-enabled websites. Think of it like a cybersecurity system of some sort.
So, depending on the type of website you’re designing, only visitors whose voices have been registered with the AI can access it.
With voice tech, users can simply ask for any information they need without having to type a bunch of words or click through several web pages.
One of the neat ways you can incorporate VUI into your website is by adding a tracker widget – a visual element that pops up on the website.
It collects a user’s speech, translates it to text, and carries out an action based on the user’s instruction.
Another key characteristic of VUI is that it ensures your website is easily accessible…and we’ll see more about this in the next trend.
If you own a commercial property, one of the qualities prospective tenants look for is whether or not the property is accessible to all their customers – especially those with some form of disability.
As a result, you’d be compelled to ensure your property has that feature.
The same principles apply to web design. Have you ever considered whether your website is accessible for everyone, not just your ideal users?
That’s what accessibility is all about.
It’s making your website accessible to all users. In this case, that includes internet users with:
- Slow network
- Cognitive impairments
- Hearing impairments
- Mobility impairments
- Visual impairments
- A mobile device
Ensuring your website is accessible will be a big deal in the web design industry.
It already is. Between 2017 and 2018, there was a 181% increase in federal court lawsuits on web accessibility.
But even if there was no legal compliance issue attached, adapting web accessibility improves the user experience of every web user.
It’s a good way to let your visitors know you value them and show your brand’s values. This dedication to accessibility will, in turn, improve your brand loyalty.
To design accessible websites, you should:
- Add alt text to images: These are text alternatives that describe the appearance of an image or graphic for people with disabilities (learn more about that here).
- Use clear language and fonts: Simple language allows users with disabilities or who speak other languages to navigate the site easily.
- Provide transcripts for video and audio content: Transcripts are the written version of what’s been said in the video or audio. It allows users to consume the content even if they can’t watch the video.
- Properly structure the web’s content: Use clear headings to break up the content into smaller bits for easy readability and to increase web accessibility.
- Apply high-contrast colors: Use colors with a high contrast ratio to ensure that all the elements on the website are identifiable, like black and yellow or white and black.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provide more information on improving your website’s accessibility.
With accessibility comes another responsibility that will be the future of web design – ensuring the website is environmentally friendly.
Guys, did you know that the internet has a massive impact on the environment? 😰
According to studies, it makes up 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions.
Another study showed that social media —scrolling through Instagram specifically — generated the equivalent of about 1.55 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per minute. Watching and hosting a live stream generated between 0.72 and 0.62 grams per minute.
Also, in 2018, routers generated up to 1.4 million tons of CO2.
The larger an organization’s digital footprint, which is achieved by launching websites or producing content, the more emissions are released into the environment.
Considering the number of internet users will only keep increasing, there’s a good chance that digital footprints will too, and so spit out more carbon.
How do you work your way around this issue?
The answer: sustainable web design!
It’s a web design strategy that considers people and the planet.
Sustainable web design longs for an internet that:
- Uses clean, renewable energy
- Is efficient and uses a minimal amount of energy
- Makes data easily accessible
- Provides valuable information and doesn’t exploit people
To design sustainable websites, you want to:
- Include only information your visitors need
- Reduce the use of video content
- Find a hosting service that uses renewable energy
- Use color palettes that are energy-friendly (e.g., summer-grass green and gray colors)
- Use web-safe fonts (like Arial, Courier, Georgia, and Verdana)
- Ensure all your websites (your main multiple-page website and also any single-page website, like a landing page) has a fast loading time
In the words of Alan Watts, “the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
At the same time, you need to know what the new changes mean for you.
How will new technologies in web design affect my business?
When new technologies are introduced to an industry, it usually means more business uncertainties than ever before.
What becomes of my business? Can I still keep doing what I’ve been doing and remain profitable?
But that’s one way to look at it…a better way is to think of the new gap that’s been created and needs to be filled.
So, what does that mean …
For web designers
It means you can up your skills and create more badass websites.
You could have new unique selling points (USP) as technologies arise.
Take, for example, the accessibility that we spoke about earlier on.
You can decide to retarget old clients or even new ones – explaining why they need to invest in web accessibility and how you fit in.
This could be the chance you’ve been waiting for to increase your current rate, and you’ll have good reasons to do so.
For businesses that use web design services
New technologies mean that your business website needs to get revamped from time to time.
So, you need to set aside a budget for that and perhaps make it higher than you’re used to because it’ll cost more to implement the services we’ve discussed.
And don’t worry about how much will be spent because the revamp will improve user experience on your website, which could lead to longer time spent on the site and, possibly, customer retention.
Anyway, to become one of the future web designers, you’ll need to up your skill sets. Let’s talk about some of them.
Top 5 skills for web design pros in 2024
If you’re going to leverage the technological advancements mentioned in this blog, there are skills you’ll need to familiarize yourself with. They include:
- Programming skills
- Knowledge of prominent digital tools
- Interaction design
- Communication skills
- Web server management
Let’s briefly talk about them!
While you may not need to be Chloe O’Brian from 24, you need to understand HTML and CSS – the foundational programming languages of web development and design.
Knowledge of prominent digital tools
To design a successful website, you need to be familiar with digital tools to help you create one.
If you want to create websites that users enjoy interacting with, this is a skill you need to learn.
An interaction designer must ensure the website is responsive and that the user’s navigating experience is seamless.
The designer will also need a design strategy to facilitate user interactions with the site or mobile app.
This skill requires experience with programming languages (such as HTML or CSS), animation software, and graphics or photo-editing software.
A web designer must communicate effectively with clients and colleagues, considering work is done remotely. To do this, you must think of yourself as a client and communicate proactively.
Ensure you ask clients to create a detailed brief before starting any projects.
Provide updates and ask what your clients think about the project as you progress.
A tool that can help you do this with ease is MarkUp.io. It allows individuals and teams to provide visual comments and reviews on websites in real-time.
Web server management
This skill isn’t a typical design aptitude. But since we’re talking about the future of web development, being familiar with what a web server is and how to manage it is a step in the right direction.
With this skill, you’ll be able to manage the server on which your website runs to prevent downtimes and quickly resolve issues that arise.
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, we’re cleared for landing.🛬
Be part of the future of web design
As you go through the arrival checkpoints of the new web design world, we’re sure you know which areas of website design you need to focus on going forward. Whether you’re a web designer or business owner, this is an important time for all.
Getting different stakeholders on board can be difficult, like all new endeavors.
But you can change that if you incorporate MarkUp.io into your design workflow.
Our platform allows you to share designs via links, so stakeholders see what they’ll be getting. They can then add contextual feedback on the designs.
Plus, it helps streamline all your communication on one platform. Try it out for free with our 30-day trial and get your clients committed to taking a step into the future with you.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Got more questions about the future of website development?
We’ve got you covered. If we don’t cover the question you want to ask, feel free to reach out anytime.
Q1. Will web design still be in demand in 2024?
Yes, it will. The world is going digital, and with more than half of the global population on the internet, more businesses will seek web designers to put them on the digital map.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of web designers and developers is expected to grow by 23% between 2021 and 2031.
Q2. Will web design be obsolete in the future?
No. That’s because most human activities are done online, from work to interactions, education, and banking.
As such, companies will need web designers to remain relevant and make their web applications more appealing to users. With the introduction of AI and automation tools, web designers remain an important part of the industry, as UX and UI tasks need the human touch that AI can’t provide.