In the web design and development industry, trends are always changing. It is always going to hard to predict the web design trends for 2017. Old trends become obsolete and new trends are always on the horizon. Designers are always trying to come up with ‘the next big thing’ that will separate them from the crowds and make them stand out as a champion. As an enthusiastic freelancer in this industry I have been checking out what is new and expected for 2017. Keeping my finger on the pulse is extremely important to ensure my designs and styles don’t become ‘yesterdays news’. 2017 looks set to become an exciting year for new design trends. There are reams of design trends that could be possible but i have collected a few trends i feel will be prominent and successful in 2017.

Widespread Use Of Parallax Design

Parallax design creates a sense of depth within a site. The background generally moves slower that the foreground, creating an effective gliding motion as you scroll through a site. Here is an example of a simple parallax site. When the parallax mechanism was introduced, this is how it was used in sites.

Simple Parallax

The site’s background moves at a different speed to the foreground. Parallax isn’t something new these days with more and more sites picking up on it’s effectiveness. I predict more and more web designers in 2017 will be making use of this mechanism and will build on it to create a more spectacular user experience. I came across two sites that use parallax design in two different ways to great effect.

Impressive Parallax

This is a strong, obvious use of parallax that creates a fast-moving, engaging experience.

The Boat - Use of Parallax Design

‘The Boat’ is a story from author Nam Le. This site uses parallax design to tell the story to great effect.

Intrigue is generated with the dynamic use of illustrations and elements popping into the screen at the right moments of the story. This is an example of the extreme use of parallax that we can maybe expect more of in 2017.

Mobile First, Desktop Later

Now that mobiles are officially the most used device to connect to the internet, it stands to reason that the importance of designing sites to fit mobiles will also be on the rise. Companies are realising this and more and more sites are now designed with a ‘mobile first approach’.

Mobile First Approach

In 2017 i think we will begin to see a switch in focus on the whole idea. We have become used to designing for desktops first, then worrying about what the site looks like on mobile after. As the above diagram illustrates, we will soon all be focused on designing sites for mobiles first, then tablets and onwards to laptops and desktops. This shows that the method of design fluctuates depending on the important facts and figures at that time.


This is a new design trend that excites me. The use of motion to a separate element within a static image. This is a fantastic way to provide life to a still image and create mystery, intrigue and dynamism. A great feature of cinemagraphs is that they provide the interest and intrigue of a video, without the added bandwidth meaning they won’t be a handbrake to your site’s speed.

Cinemagraph Example

Again, this technology isn’t new, but I expect to see more and more companies impressed with this and request to have this feature on their site. Check out the cinemagraph homepage for more examples of this groundbreaking addition to web design.

Bespoke Illustrations

The popularity of using stock images on websites is gradually fading to make way for bespoke illustrations. Illustrations made specifically for a site adds unique appeal. If you can do these yourself or you know a talented illustrator, you will have an advantage over those that can’t or don’t. Designers can express themselves more when given a blank canvas, creating an opportunity to explore more avenues than ever before.

Bespoke Illustration

Bespoke Illustration

I predict more and more sites will be making use of bespoke illustrations so if you are a talented illustrator, the coming years could be your time to shine.

Big Bold Typography & Vivid Colour

Using bold typography and vivid colour is becoming more and more prominent in todays web industry. Big bold colour can inject energy, warmth and more feeling into a site and can make it stand out from the crowd. You begin to appreciate the colour more and begin to associate that colour with a company.

Vivid Colour

Bold Colour

Typography is something else I feel will grow in the next year. It is no longer a case of just using the same body font just in h1 or h2 tags. Google introduced many fonts for designers to use on their projects and this took typography that step further. Next year I expect to see more of the bold, brash typography that invokes emotion and sets the tone right from the off.

Bold Typography

Card & Grid UI

The card user interface has been a popular way to help separate text and images into categories to help clarify the information for the user. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Google have all made use of this user interface (UI). It is a clean and tidy way to display lots information information at once. Designers can also add filters to help the user find what they are looking for by categorising the cards into groups. The card UI has been extensively used in shopping sites like Amazon and Asos. I predict this clean design will become more prominent in your average website of 2017.

Card Grid

I believe there will be some creative designers in 2017 looking to build on this design strategy.

Unique Grid Design

Here we see the creator has played with the grid style to create this unique design. The images overlap each other but when the user hovers over an image, it becomes on top of the pile and captures the users eye. This could be an example of things to come in 2017 in terms of unique grid design.

To Conclude

In the ever-changing environment that is web design and development it can be hard to predict exactly what will happen in terms of design trends. We could possibly see many more trends like the extensive use of prototyping, a stronger adoption of videos or storytelling. Things may change between now and then. But the aforementioned are a collection of trends I feel will show themselves to be great in 2017.

Contact Craig Sapsford

(header image from forbes)