3 Essential Design Trends, January 2024

Carrie Cousins.
January 22, 2024

These three design trends are sure to help you generate some hot ideas in one of the coldest months of the year.

3 Essential Design Trends, January 2024.

Forget the cold, the web design space is hot with plenty of new trends taking root in 2024. From amazing animations that greet users on the homepage to intricate designs to cool curved lines, there are plenty of trends to be excited about right now.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month:

1. Extravagant Intro Animations

While it would be tough to make the case for a true loading animation – it’s often a clue that a site is heavy or loads slowly – designers are creating extravagant intro animations that are engaging and help draw you into the design.

These are different from the traditional loaders because most of these animations happen while there’s active content on screen as well, such as a link to follow or other content. These are not little spinners while you wait.

The other fun part of this trend is that these intro animations are detailed and often part of a larger scheme of animated content. The whimsical feel of this style is somewhat light and almost screams for you to interact with it.

Prand starts with quick motion that turns into a fun line-drawn style cartoon character. On the scroll it further animates into multiple degrees of color and shapes, ending with multiple variations of the bas graphic. It’s fun, creative and makes you want to keep scrolling.

Prand

Mattia Cuttini’s portfolio design opens with plenty of whitespace and a very direct call to action with a fun animated arrow and video player. But don’t worry, you won’t get stuck with this intro animation if you delay too long; it moves to a second animated version of the homepage with small elements that lead to portfolio items.

Mattia Cuttini

Sourcescrub takes a totally different approach with a more traditional homepage configuration – text elements on the left and an animated image on the right. The detail and motion in the image is like a kaleidoscope; you could start at it all day and not get bored.

Sourcescrub

2. Intricate Design Elements

Fine lines, detailed illustrations, and photos or maps with lots of information are some of the key visuals you’ll find with this design trend. The commonality is there is a lot to look at and digest as a user thanks to great levels of detail in these intricate design elements.

The thing that makes a design trend like this work is the unique nature of each different project. No matter what design choice you make when it comes to something intricate, it’s often a design that 100% belongs to you.

This level of detail can also speak to your brand or personality creating an interesting and authentic way to connect with users.

Orte der Bonner Republik has a super-detailed map paired with an almost equally detailed photo in an almost brutalist style. The simplicity of the white and black color scheme with the complexity of the map brings everything together beautifully.

Orte der Bonner Republik

Concept Capers takes almost the opposite approach of the first example with bright colored illustrations on a card game. The animated cards are there to help you buy an actual card game featuring the images on the screen. The intricate detailing with each of these illustrations – individually and collectively – make this a fascinating website design but also make for a lovely card deck.

Concept Capers

Guillaume Cazes uses a portrait sketch to lead his portfolio website. The merging of a face an robotic elements showcase an amazing level of detail in the black and white drawing with plenty of things to look at as you stare into the face of the human behind the work in the portfolio.

Guillaume Cazes

3. Curved Lines

This is one of those fun website design trends that pulls from simple geometry to help create additional visual interest for projects. In this trend, curved lines are used in either the background or foreground to facilitate visual understanding of the content on the screen.

These lines can come in various shapes, sizes, and configurations. The only real commonality is the use of curves.

To maximize the impact of this trend, make sure your curves serve a purpose in the design. Do they help facilitate eye-tracking? Do they match your brand colors or style? Do they add a visual element where the design may be lacking?

Unganisha uses curved lines and color to help add something to what might otherwise be a too neutral, not quite interesting image. The curved lines have a width similar to the headline typeface, bringing the elements together better.

Unganisha

Stella Grizont uses a bright yellow line behind her image to bring a little something extra to the design. The bright yellow accent color kicks up the design elements a notch with an injection of fun into the otherwise blue and white color palette.

Stella Grizont

Catalyst Clinical Research almost hides its curved lines behind a couple of card-style text boxes but their placements and color help add depth to an otherwise flat homepage design. The curves are elements pull from the smaller icons in the cards and navigation, which helps pull all of the parts of the design together.

Catalyst

Conclusion

Which one of these trends is your favorite? How will you implement some of these elements?

Remember, you can start small and add on to existing website designs with some of these techniques to refresh current content without a full site redesign. Have fun and good luck!

Carrie Cousins

Carrie Cousins is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in the communications industry, including writing for print and online publications, and design and editing. You can connect with Carrie on Twitter @carriecousins.

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