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Trends in web design, UI and UX

By M. Soutto

trends in web design
Trends in web design, UI and UX

When we consider designing the user interface (UI) for a website, we ask ourselves, should I follow trends? As we all know internet is very competitive and users visit a larger number of websites each day, nearly all of them now using a smartphone.

So the first thing we should know is: what user profile are we addressing? what websites do they visit? we should make a user profile and also be aware of the website designs that are trending at the moment. To do this, we will follow the principles of being "Universal", "Don't make me think" and "Rules can be broken but never be ignored".

Trends for web design are based on 3 principles

Whenever we begin to design the interface of a web project we take into account the three principles that we are going to explain in a simple way, as each one of these principles could be the subject for a whole blog post, or a book or several.

  • Universal
  • Don't make me think
  • Rules can be broken but never be ignored

Art is anything you can get away with.

Philosopher, critic and teacher Marshal McLuhan


Using universal design principles we can display a concept or message to our audience through images, shapes and colors.

If we factor in these principles and the design trends of the moment when we are thinking about designing a website, we will make sure to use a series of these universal design principles.

There are many ways to design a website, our designs are guided by universal design principles and keeping an eye on actual trends, but our focus is always on producing a web page design that makes user interaction with the website easy and pleasant and displays the website's content in an attractive way.

Some of the principles we will keep in mind:

  • The flexibility of a design increases the ease of use and performance of the design.
  • Elements that follow the reading pattern from top to bottom and left to right in web design strongly influence the perception of behavior, improve usability and reduce errors.
  • We will ask ourselves by applying the Pareto 80/20 Rule: what is the critical 20% of the design that drives 80% of the effects? We know that in any large and complex system such as a website, a large percentage of the effects are caused by a small percentage of the variables.
  • And always, we will avoid adding unnecessary complexities, for example in a website redesign we shall not only think about what we can add, we will also consider what we can remove; we will strive to avoid 'feature creep' (the excessive ongoing addition of new features).
trends in web design
Trends in web design, UI and UX

Don't make me think

This is Steve Krug's first usability standard, it is based on the tips on interactivity and usability that his book 'Don't make me think' has given us and that many web developers have taken into account to improve the usability of websites both on computers and mobile phones.

The user must feel comfortable navigating the design of the web page we have created, we do not want them to have to think what is this for? if I click this button, what happens? we want you to not have to think because we have developed an easy-to-use and intuitive web design.

As this book says, the answer to most usability questions is 'it depends'. And despite design rules, we sometimes may have to break them in order to surprise the user, but only if we have a good reason to do so. Which brings us to the next principle.

Rules can be broken but never be ignored

We perceive website designs from the perspective of our education and experience as web users. So it is a relative truth, and to say that a website design is good or bad is going to depend on our education and experience.

We must be open to different ways of looking at designs, we tend to admire symmetry but sometimes asymmetry is more beautiful than symmetry.

User Interface (UI)

What is a UI?

It is the medium with which a user interacts with a device, machine, computer, mobile, etc.

A set of images, designs and styles created to facilitate the understanding and use of the software used by computing devices. Therefore, it focuses on creating a beautiful style that is easy to use, the UI design would in this case be the graphical interface that the user uses to interact with the software, we can also find interfaces controlled by gestures and by voice.

There are three forms of UI:

  • Graphical User Interfaces (GUI): the user interacts using the visual (graphical) forms of the software on the device. GUI example would be the desktop of our computer.
  • Voice Controlled Interfaces (VUI): the user interacts with his voice. VUI example: Siri (Mac).
  • Gesture-based interfaces (VR): the user interacts with their body movements in 3D design spaces. A VR example is virtual reality games.
trends in web design
Trends in web design, UI and UX

UI is often confused with UX, but the UI is responsible for the design that is presented to the user and the feeling it generates. And this can influence the UX or user experience, the latter covers the entire spectrum of the user experience. If we think of a device as a smartphone, the device itself would be the UX and the software with which we interact would be the UI.

Good design is also an act of communication between the designer and the user, except that all the communication has to come about by the appearance of the device itself. The device must explain itself.

Cognitive Science Teacher Donald A. Norman

User Experience (UX)

What is a UX?

On a website, the user experience is the perception of how easy and fast it is to reach your goal within the website when browsing through the different sections and pages of the website. In other words, in web design it is what the user perceives when he uses the website.

Conclusion trends in web design

The culmination of a web design project following trends of the moment, is the reflection of the creation process using concepts and knowledge from different teachings and disciplines.

All website design must help the user not to make mistakes or make sure that they are minimal if they do occur and above all make sure the user can reach the goal of finding what he seeks in the shortest possible time and in an intuitive way, using design elements on the website that are universal and in tune with the trends of the moment.

As long as we have a good reason to do so we can break the rules. As the philosopher Marshall McLuhan said, "Art is anything you can get away with" and as Steve Krug said "Keep your spirits high... designing a great website or app is a big challenge".


  • Universal design principles. W. Lidwell, K. Holden, J. Butler
  • Don't make me think. Steve Krug.
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People. Susan M. Weinschenk.
  • Design elements a graphics style manual. Timothy Samara.
  • The Design of Everyday Things. Donald A. Norman

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Categories: Web page design

Tags: UI design, UX design, digital trends