11 web design trends you need to know

March 16, 2023 - Frédérique Biau

9 minutes

As you may know, at SiteW, we are curious...

And above all, we are passionate about web design. 🎨

So we pay attention to trends and new developments in the industry to create a design website. And, as we also like to share, we want to tell you what we found, concerning the latest design trends, that are coming for 2023.

So, here we go, for a round-up of the major graphic trends of 2023! 👀

Design trend #1: nostalgia for the early days of the internet

This year, the Y2K style will continue to gain popularity.

Lately, there has been a resurgence of this style. This is true in all fields, from fashion to music, from decoration to painting.

Obviously, this trend is reflected in the design and the web.

How to use the Y2K look in your design projects?

Y2K-inspired designs are less simplistic; they use long text and mix fonts to create an eye-catching layout.

In the early 21st century, fonts were simple, often sans serif, and sometimes visibly pixelated.

Back then, pages loaded slowly, so uncomplicated, text-centric designs with lots of white space were the norm.

Web design trends

Image source: Webdesignmuseum.org

Funny cursors

If you were already on the internet in the late 90s, you may remember seeing cursor effects: your mouse pointer would turn into a cat, smiley face or alien. 👽

A fairy dust or a ghost trail could also appear with the slightest movement on the screen.

In 2023, expect to see this kind of effect again.

Pixelation as a stylistic effect

Pixelation was originally a technological constraint, but it has become a sought-after trend with the resurgence of Y2K style.

It has been used in fonts, icons and images to add a distinctive visual touch.

Where to find inspiration?

There are some great resources to find inspiration.

Use the Wayback Machine to look through the web archives, or to track the evolution of a specific website's design over the years. 👇

For a sharper selection, the Web Design Museum exhibits screenshots of iconic designs from the early days of the internet.

graphic trend

Graphic trend #2: unique fonts

With text-based designs taking over in 2023, we should see a rise in custom fonts and handwritten typography. It's a trend that will take hold in 2023.  

No specific style should dominate. As this trend is non-conformist, designers are incorporating their own personal touch, drawing inspiration from anything and everything.

Font software such as BitFontMaker, FontStruct and Calligraphr offer you different ways to create, download and use an original font.

If you have some mastery of design tools, you can design custom typography. But also digitize your own calligraphy (that you have created with pencils, a pen or paint).

Unique fonts

Web design trend #3: template sharing

More and more, web designers are sharing their resources, in order to grow their community or increase their reputation. But also in order to make the web a more pleasant place to exchange.

They offer all kinds of templates: posters, calendars, tables, models of all kinds...

At the same time, we can see more and more that offering free content is an important growth vector for a company. 

With the rise of the metaverse, illustrations reminiscent of this world are in vogue, with 3D illustrations and Claymorphism leading the way.

3D images have been a trend in web design for the past few years. But it was only a style concept.

Today, dimensionality is becoming more and more important, pulling users into cyberspace, with animations, full-screen effects and multi-layered illustrations.

In 2023, 3D illustrations are making a comeback in web design.

Whereas in the last few years, flat design has been the dominant trend.

3D modelling tools such as Adobe Substance 3D or Blender make 3D modelling a child's play.

3D illustrations

Image source: Peter Tarka

The metaverse, an emerging web design trend

The metaverse is a concept, an interactive digital space and a new online world.

It can be controversial, but that means it is increasingly present in our lives.

As Internet users have become accustomed to online spaces and virtual reality, the metaverse will become an increasingly important component of the visual language in 2023.

We've seen sites taking their inspiration from the metaverse to create a general 3D design.

This includes everything from illustrations, backgrounds, cursors, animations and effects and even text, to attract the user’s attention and make the site more interactive.

Claymorphism, a real trend in graphic design in 2023

Claymorphism creates a dynamic and unique experience, showing illustrations that feel tactile and authentic.

Many internet users may have a strong emotional attachment to these visuals, as they grew up watching movies like "Wallace & Gromit" or "Coraline".


Image source: Avatar.design

On our side, we expect claymorphism to be popular in 2023, as it combines 3D and the cartoonish figures that have been popular in web design in the last years.

This year, in 2023, we will surely see more "just for fun" interactions, which have no other purpose than to enrich the user experience.

This allows users to play on the website, which makes their experience memorable.

Animations don't need to be part of the main navigation of your site to be effective. In fact, sometimes it is better if they are not, and if they are more anecdotal, to obtain a subtle effect.

Top web design trends

Loading animations were very popular in the early days of the internet. Then they fell out of favor for a while.

Recently, many web designers have started incorporating loading screens into their designs again, and this trend will continue in 2023. ⌛

graphic trends 2023

Image source: Majo Puterka

This resurgence is due to the growing popularity of interaction, animation and immersive experiences.

Loading screens allow you to engage with visitors and communicate your brand or personal identity.

In addition to this, users hate waiting for pages to load, and animations make this moment less painful.

Web designers no longer need to spend days choosing their color palette to achieve perfect harmony, while maintaining a balanced contrast. 🌈Colour palette of SiteW

Take inspiration from color palette suggestions.

💡 For example: tools like Canva or SiteW allows you to generate your own color combinations.


Web design trend #8, more quality content

In 2023, more and more companies will use subscriptions to offer exclusive content and create premium experiences.

Integrating paid content into your strategy gives you more control over your community and allows you to be paid for your value.

The concept of Web3, which has gained popularity in the last year, is based on the decentralization of the data.

More and more content creators will want to take advantage of the independence of owning their own content portal. For businesses, it allows them to create revenue directly from their own website. Which is not a luxury in these times of inflation. 💲

Focus on video content

Include a short video introduction to your site, as part of the 2023 web design trends. 🎥

Users like short videos, and they have a higher retention rate. When done correctly and professionally, they have a strong impact, and make a great impression.  

Meta has launched its Make-A-Video AI system, while Google recently introduced Imagen Video, a video generation system.

In a nutshell, both software programs allow you to generate short videos based on AI technology.

Imagen Video

Trend #9, lighter and more efficient websites

It's not a myth: the speed of your site affects its SEO and the opinion of your user.

Lightweight, fast websites optimized for user experience will become more common in 2023.

Users are wanting great navigation. This is largely due to the fact that they increasingly use their mobile devices.

The trend towards lightweight websites allows them to get what they need, and enjoy browsing the internet.

Technologies like WebP images and techniques like LazyLoad allow you to add media, without harming the user experience.

Trend 10, more intentional notifications

Historically, companies have used notifications as a tool to sell. They have the power to entice consumers to buy, whether it's alerting them to a bargain, presenting a new product or a new feature.

This year, more and more sites will use notifications to communicate with their users. Consumers want these to be more authentic and useful. 💬

They should logically become more creative, to interact with users and provide them with relevant information.

Digital design trend #11, customizable experiences

With the rise of personalization, more and more websites will allow everyone to choose their own browsing experience.

By 2023, digital platforms will adapt to users' needs and preferences.

Features such as dark mode and sound effects can make a site more user-friendly for people with specific needs.

Digital design trend

💡 People like their preferences to be recognized and their expectations to be fulfilled.

The web is an interactive place, and has been since its inception. Web designers have always enjoyed creating immersive experiences and creative games.

We now have the technology to allow people to participate in shaping their own experience, not only in the metaverse or Web3, but also in their daily use of the internet.

You can create engagement on your site, through animation and fun.

It is also possible to add features to turn your website into an exciting journey, a learning resource, a place to share, or just a fun place to hang out.

Modern websites are living spaces, where designers and users find new ways to interact.

At the same time, we think this is a delightful way to experience the internet.

You now know all the web design trends to come in 2023. So let yourself be inspired!

And above all, never forget, as Coco Chanel said so well: "fashion goes out of fashion, but style, never".

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Frédérique Biau
Editor and translator
I am passionate about science fiction, new technologies, writing and art in general. I started my career as a Cultural Manager. It is with pleasure and enthusiasm that I am a writer and web translator with 9 years of experience. ✍️

Last update: March 16, 2023

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