As the new year enters, it will bring with it an interesting mix of website trends that offer new and improved ways to design websites. These new trends address several large scale scenarios and issues such as accessibility, UX, and responsiveness.
We will be taking a close look at 5 of them and demonstrate how to execute them with the help of 10 pre-built websites from BeTheme.
BeTheme is one of the world’s most popular and highly-rated WordPress Themes with 268,000+ sales, a 4.83/5 star-rating, and a well-deserved reputation for putting beneficial and effective design trends to good use.
5 New Web Design Trends for 2023
Before they can create digital experiences that users will find more appealing, web designers first have to look into larger issues that can impact these experiences, both positively and negatively. Only then can consequential design trends, like the following ones for 2023, be put forth.
1. Hoverable Iconography
One of the leading web design priorities is to create interfaces that are so intuitive that even those who may be unfamiliar with them can confidently interact with them. Web designers can at times, however, take shortcuts that have the opposite effect and create obstacles that make accessibility more difficult.
This is particularly true with iconography. The meaning of some icons is indisputable; partly because of their designs, and partly because of their familiarity.
For example, the three icons on the BeBiker 4 website for
- Shopping bag/cart
As long as the same icons are used from site to site, users have no trouble recognizing their meanings.
On the other hand, less frequently used icons can be tricky, as they can be misinterpreted or not understood at all. An ingenious method of avoiding problems that may be associated with using unfamiliar icons is to include hover-triggered helper text in a web design when or where it will be helpful.
An example of hover-triggered helper text is demonstrated on the BeJeweler 2 site:
In this case, helper text is useful when users hover over product icons, and even more so when they hover over variant swatches. A proper use of text will leave no room for misinterpretation and will boost user confidence in the website content going forward.
2. Greater Emphasis on Social Proof
It takes an element of trust to build a relationship, whether it is personal or professional like a brand can have with its clients or customers.
In today’s world, the initial touchpoint between a brand and its potential customers occurs on a website, and it is at the website where trust building needs to begin. In 2023, web designers will address this need to initiate trust building in two ways, by utilizing social proof, and by the use of trust marks.
There are several ways to incorporate trust builders on websites and one that appears to be particularly promising is illustrated in the BeDoctor site in which both a page on the site and a section on the home page are dedicated to genuine customer testimonials and/or reviews:
Note the three different types of content use for trust building in this example:
- an overall customer satisfaction rate
- a customer testimonial
- an average customer rating.
The latter type could be linked to a ratings platform like Google or Yelp.
A business that has just gotten started may not have a wealth of testimonials, a satisfaction rate, or an average rating to share. In this case, a use of trust marks would be the way to go.
A security seal could be one form of a trust mark, an example being an icon placed next to a “Checkout” button to assure visitors their transactions will be secure. Yet another approach is demonstrated in the as BeMarketing 2 website:
The asterisk next to the headline’s claim is used to boost credibility and trust by expanding it down below to direct the visitor to a page that provides proof to the claim.
3. Responsive Design Trend Examples
Responsive design requirements have been easier to accommodate than in years past. For one thing, web designers have come to know and understand the rules. In addition, the majority of WordPress themes are designed to be responsive.
As is the case with many trends, once we think there is little more to learn stagnation can set in. Responsive design websites usually provide users with good experiences, but they could be made to be even better.
That’s about to change in 2023 as designer will once again start paying more attention to responsive design; specifically, how to address mobile-specific obstacles that still exist.
See how the BeLanguage 4 pre-built website has made changes in navigation design for example:
Why? To better accommodate mobile users needs and habits.
Take the BeFurnitureStore approach for example. Whereas the desktop display would feature a familiar multi-level header design, the account, cart, and favorite links on the top bar now appear on the sticky bottom bar.
While the above changes may at first glance appear incremental, they do remove some of the friction and obstacles mobile users face, and should web designers choose to continue to revolutionize the mobile web experience good things are bound to happen in the years to come.
4. Digital Shape Texturization
Many years ago, skeuomorphism was all the rage in the web design world. This trend had a definite place in web design because most users were still on a learning curve and “real world” textures and depictions played an important role in helping them navigate their way around.
As the using communities web experience matured, skeuomorphism began to be looked upon as distracting rather than helpful and eventually fell by the wayside as a design trend.
Digital texturization in itself was not, and is not, a bad idea, however. It has simply become more subtle, yet strategically important. The BeRenovate 5 website is an excellent example of this latest trend:
The rounded shapes and lines in the background accomplish a couple of important things. They soften the overall image slightly, and they make it visually more interesting. And, they do not add clutter.
BeCoaching 3 is a good example of how digital texturization can be put to strategic use; in this case to draw visitors’ attention to a certain area of a page:
The consistency in texturization of the two shapes used throughout this one-page website serve their purpose admirably. They help direct visitors’ eyes to where you want them to go.
5. Supplemental Video
Different users have difference preferences in the way they ingest content online. Those who enjoy taking the time to read something will be attracted to blogs, those who would rather watch or listen tend to prefer video posts or vlogs.
Trying to please both user types by trying to deliver both visual and text can quickly get out of hand and make a website cluttered, difficult to navigate, and subject to slow loading speeds.
The home page of the BeBusiness 6 site features a full-width video section that’s impossible to miss:
A video section doesn’t have to take up half a page either. A small cutout in the hero section of BePregnancy turns out to be a very effective way to present a video:
The familiar “Play” button alerts visitors that there is something to watch. It’s their choice of course, but in the above case it likely enjoys wide usage.
While using video sparingly effective can be viewed as an art form, it has practical uses as well as it helps improve loading speeds and is a favored alternative to autoplay backgrounds and sections.
What Do You Think of These Website Design Trends?
More often than not, web design trends address superficial website design changes that are geared more toward gaining user interest and leading them toward a desired result. In 2023 the focus is shifting more toward trends that will improve the web as a whole as they address accessibility, responsiveness, trust building, etc.
These new trends are not simple matters. The good news is, you don’t have to face a steep learning curve to put them into practice when you use BeTheme to build websites because they’ve already been accounted for in many of the 650+ pre-built sites included in this WordPress theme.