16 Top Design Trends for 2022

April 25, 2022

Every year, the significance of a Web site’s having a high-quality, up-to-date user interface (UI) and user experience continues to grow. Since more and more people seem to be almost perpetually drawn to their phone or computer, a Web site’s ability to create a positive brand perception and capture someone’s attention and interest is crucial to generating sales leads and online revenues.

One way to help influence potential customers’ buying patterns is by optimizing a Web site’s design. By delivering a seamless, enjoyable user experience, a Web site can bring a company one step—or perhaps several steps—closer to a sale and help a company gain a significant competitive edge. Let’s consider 16 top design trends for 2022.

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1. 3D Effects

That visitors are attracted to visual content is no secret. In 2022, 3D effects could help your site to stand out from the crowd. In a largely two-dimensional world, presenting three dimensions can maximize user engagement and bring prospective customers ever closer to placing an order.

2. Informal Writing

Short, simple, conversational copywriting attracts prospects more than ever in 2022, especially when users are on mobile devices. Short bursts of easy to understand text keep visitors engaged. So edit out industry jargon and complex sentences.

3. Artificial Intelligence

You can use artificial intelligence (AI) to create a more personalized user experience. This can help increase orders—especially for related and alternative items. By analyzing a user’s browsing and buying history, a Web site can make relevant and perfectly timed product or service recommendations.

4. Form Simplification

The more work a user must do to submit a contact form, the fewer new contacts a company makes. Creating simple forms, with large form fields for mobile users, is a simple, but highly effective way of boosting sales inquiries.

5. Dark Mode

In 2021, a single custom Web design was enough to satisfy users. Now, in 2022, you’ll need to create two custom Web designs to give users the option of switching to dark mode, as shown in Figure 1. Dark mode has gained traction because it can save battery power, relieve eye strain, and make sleep less elusive when users use their phone or tablet at bedtime.

Figure 1—Switching between light mode and dark mode
Switching between light mode and dark mode

Image source: Shutterstock

6. Mobile-First Design

Mobile Internet usage now exceeds desktop usage, so keeping mobile users happy is job number one. Your goal should be to make browsing, searching, shopping, and interacting seamless—and every bit as robust as what users can do on a desktop. Mobile design quality has become a significant Google ranking factor for search-engine optimization (SEO). Check out the YouTube video “Mobile-First Responsive Build #1 - Introduction,” by The Net Ninja, in Figure 2.

Figure 2—Mobile-First Responsive Build #1

7. Online Chat

A big part of providing an excellent user experience is providing an online-chat capability. This is no longer a novelty. In 2022, users place high value on the availability and quality of online chat. Meeting this expectation is crucial not only for lead and revenue generation, but for customer retention as well.

8. Motion Design

At the leading edge of motion design are 3D effects. But video and other simpler types of animation are also highly effective in capturing user interest and maximizing engagement. Plus, because many organizations have not yet caught on to this trend, bringing more motion to your Web-site experience could create an important competitive advantage in 2022. To find out more, watch the YouTube video “Motion Design: Where to Start?” by Plainly Simple, which is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3—Motion Design

9. Page-Loading Speed

One of the surest ways to motivate your users to leave your Web site—perhaps forever—is slow page-load speeds. In 2022, this has become a major issue for two reasons. First, an increased emphasis on motion design and artificial intelligence creates more data-serving complexities, which could cause potential speed issues. Second, page-loading speed, similar to mobile-first design, is growing in importance as a Google ranking factor for SEO. No matter how pretty your page-loading indicator—Figure 4 shows some examples—people simply won’t want to wait.

Figure 4—Page-loading indicators
Page-loading indicators

Image source: Shutterstock

10. Personalization

Using artificial intelligence to generate product recommendations is one important aspect of personalization—but don’t stop there. A broadly personalized user experience, with features such as personalized headlines, personalized calls to action, and robust user-profile options, can strengthen your customer relationships and encourage additional purchases. In Figure 5, you can see the YouTube video “Introduction to Web Personalization,” by Webtrends.

Figure 5—An introduction to Web personalization

11. Privacy Policy

Privacy concerns among users continue to mount in 2022. Prospects and customers don’t want to risk having their personal information stolen, sold, compromised in any way, or used for marketing purposes without their permission. Implementing a user-friendly, user-focused privacy policy could make or break your lead and revenue generation.

12. Privacy Statements

However, having a great privacy policy is not enough. You must also display it to users in all the right places. Brief privacy statements should appear on contact forms and the order-submission pages of a shopping cart. All page templates should include a footer link to allow users to view the entire privacy policy.

13. Retro Design

Pastel colors. Geometric imagery. Distressed and distorted fonts. Nostalgia will be alive and well throughout 2022. Web sites with retro, ’90s-inspired designs, featuring everything from grunge to pop culture, have been catching on and will continue to be popular among older and younger demographics alike.

14. Realistic Photos

Staged, artificially enhanced photos are out. Realism is in. This is good news for companies with a limited marketing budget. But keep in mind that realistic photos should still convey the important features and benefits of your products, services, and company.

15. Simplification

Especially on mobile devices, less is more when it comes to UI design. In addition to simplifying your copy, eliminate any unnecessary design elements, font colors and styles, and anything else you can think of. Keep your message short and sweet. Mobile users have neither the time nor the inclination to cut through design clutter—nor to wait for all that extra content to load.

16. Voice User Interfaces (VUIs)

Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant were virtual strangers only a few years back. Today, they seem like members of the family. The popularity of VUIs means your Web site needs voice interactions, too. Fortunately, technological innovations are making their implementation easier than ever. 

Director of Content Strategy at Straight North

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Brad ShorrBrad leads content strategy at Straight North, a Chicago-based Internet marketing company that specializes in SEO and Web design. With decades of marketing, sales, and management experience, Brad has written for leading online publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur, as well as for the American Marketing Association.  Read More

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