July 15, 2024

Web Design Trends for 2010

With a new year on the horizon, it’s time to pack away the old, worn web designs and prepare for the brave, new face of tomorrow. Although trends don’t start and stop on January 1st, there is a definite shift from what we craved at the beginning of the year to what we are seeking tutorials for at the end of the year. Most of the time, this shift is subtle. It’s a perfection or re-interpretation of a currently hot trend. Trends help us evolve as designers. As we master the skills of design aesthetic, we continue to push forward to what’s next or what needs to be fully discovered.

Make no mistake about it, you will recognize the ideas behind these trends. Although this list isn’t a drastic departure from what was popular in 2009, it marks different trends that will be expanded upon and made better as a result. As you think of how you will incorporate new trends into your designs, focus on the main idea of each trend. Be encouraged to dabble into these trends so that you become part of the movement.

1. Oversized Logos/ Headers

Splash pages are so yesterday. To make an unforgettable impression on the visitor, the trend for 2010 will be oversized logos on an equally oversized header. These types of headers can take up the entire screen, but with one important note. Visitors will not need to click anything, just scroll down. Visitors often having a clicking phobia (due to years of poor navigation), so big headers do the job of a splash page without forcing your visitors to click anything.

Main Idea: Huge headers that make your visitors remember you.

2. Sketch/ Hand-drawn Design

Hand-drawn design is not exactly new on the horizon, but we all know that it is still on the fringes of web design. Many designers admire the style but are afraid to create their own sketches because of the “I can’t really draw” attitude. If you look at the most popular hand-drawn websites (and relative to other types of trends, there are only a few), you will notice that most of your fellow designers can’t draw. These designs are not exactly headed to an art museum, but they do convey a sense of whimsy, and blur the line between cold web and personal interaction– the ultimate goal of the internet. If you can doodle, you can sketch for web design.

Sketch in 2010 will become more elemental, and not as much the main focus of a web design. It will be used to personalize standard web copy in new and exciting ways.

Main Idea: Sketch becomes an elemental part of corporate design.

3. Slab Typefaces

Slab typefaces are relatively new, although they’ve been around for over 200 years in traditional media. To get a good visual definition of slab typefaces, think of the old Wild West “Wanted” posters. Those bold letters are slab typefaces. Slab typeface is commonly all capital letters and are bold and imposing. Many designers have shied away from slab typefaces in the past because logos and headers were smaller and more understated. However, combined with the trend toward larger headers, slab typefaces demand the reader to take notice.

Main Idea: Slab typefaces is used to bravely express who you are.

4. Typography

Typography is one of the most difficult trends to tackle which is why it will remain fresh in 2010. With all the cries for usability, web designers are afraid of using new and different fonts. The idea of mixing varying font sizes together is completely unthinkable. Fonts are meant to be explored, twisted, and molded to fit your purposes. With the correct placement, a website that utilizes Typography as its main design element will be more interesting to a reader than overloading the same site with tons of photos.

Main Idea: Typography is young, but will continue to be a part of web design.

5. One Page Layouts

One pay layouts challenge you to edit away what’s unnecessary. In 2010, this trend will move away from the quirky navigation and become more minimal in its approach. Think of these websites as business cards. These websites will be more of a one-stop-shop for how to locate you and your work on various other sites– your blog and your social media hangouts.

Main Idea: One page layouts will be more about personal profiles and less corporate.

6. Huge Images

A close relative to the oversized logo/ header, the huge image does much the same thing. It creates an visual impact that the visitor won’t soon forget. Unlike the oversized header from above, huge images are not part of the site’s branding. Instead, these images draw the visitor into your site, if not for their content then for their humongous size. In 2010, web designers will find themselves more comfortable using these big statements in their design to convey the site’s tone.

Main Idea: Huge images will be used to invite visitors in.

7. Change of Perspective

As we’ve discussed before, the desktop perspective has been done to death. 2010 will see a definite change in perspective to a more realistic view. There may also be a move toward side-shot aerial.

Main Idea: 2010 will play around with different perspectives.

8. Interactive/ Intuitive Design

Flash has seen better days. There was a time when you couldn’t visit a website without running into an annoying Flash interface. These days Flash is a lot more relaxed and much more professional. Although some designers prefer jQuery for forms and popups, Flash still has its place in design, especially when done subtly. Flash still has no equal to its interactivity. In 2010, web designers will move toward the more redeeming elements of Flash. Because the average visitor is more web savvy these days, designers will also create sites that are slightly more intuitive than in the past.

Main Idea: Interactive design will make a come-back.

9. Modal Boxes

Modal boxes are a trend that’s picking up steam and will be virtually everywhere in 2010. A modal box is like the popup’s more sophisticated older brother– it’s smooth, good looking and popular. Modal boxes are so easy to design and easy to use, making them the perfect solution for any designer concerned with usability.

Main Idea: Modal boxes will continue to pop up in 2010 designs.

10. Minimalism

Forget the old school minimal websites. Websites of 2010 will continue to feature lots of white space but with bold typology and surprising color schemes. Not all minimal websites will agree with the notion of black and white simplicity. Although minimalism is by nature muted, it will also showcase fresh colors. Minimalism isn’t cold, it’s warm and too the point.

Main Idea: Minimalism will venture into typology.

11. Oversized Footer

Oversized footers may be everywhere already, but 2010 will find them even more exaggerated. The footers of tomorrow will be less of an after-thought and more of an integral part of the design. Look for footers that feature contain random information, such as feed updates from various social media, daily polls, and Flickr feeds.

Main Idea: Oversized Footers will feature less important, but more personal information.

12. Retro

Retro designs are here to stay. Although a lot of the design community admires retro web design, it can be difficult to fully embrace this style without coming across “undone.” The key to retro designs is to be inspired by its tone and underlying playfulness. In 2010, retro design will be expanded as designers find new ways to honor vintage art.

Main Idea: Retro is new.

13. Intro Boxes

“Hi, my name is…” will find an even bigger stage in 2010 as designers recognize the beautiful simplicity of introducing yourself to your visitor. If you’re struggling with making a creative “About” page, the intro box will be your best bet. It forces you to condense who you are into a relatively small about of space. In 2010, intro boxes will push its own boundaries. Instead of the boring hello, designers will find new pick-up lines. And, instead of the left-flanked intro block, 2010 will see boxes in unusual placement, perhaps even in the middle of a page.

Main Idea: New ways to say “hello.”

14. Magazine Layouts

As more and more people migrate from the comforts of traditional press to online infotainment, designers are challenged to welcome them in with an easy transition. There is a move toward the magazine layout, where information is carefully organized on a single home page, giving the visitor an opportunity to explore as interested. The familiar layout will appeal to appeal to anyone who’s ever read a magazine or newspaper, but it will also be easier to use– no flipping pages! In 2010, magazine layout will become very huge for blogs in particular.

Main Idea: Magazine layouts will be used for infotainment sites.


Jacqueline is an award winning writer for hire and brand authority. Find her on her website, and follow her updates on Twitter and Google +.

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  1. Pingback: The Most Popular Articles of 2009 | Web Design Ledger


  1. Jay Reply

    Erm.. I think most of these have been trendy since late 2008, and some are even losing their trendiness (grungy hand drawn stuff)

    Good post, though I like a lot of the designs you listed.

    One thing you could mention that staticly placed “feedback” or “contact” tab to the left of the page. I see it everywhere!

  2. Rizwan Reply

    Hi, Like the article. Its a lot of observation. Many of these trends have branched out from the popular trends we saw in the earlier years. A couple of years back modal windows were fancy features but now everyone has them

  3. Toucouleur Reply

    I’m nearly think Julien Morel (twitter.com/heyjoolz) will be proud of being one of the top of Web Designer trends 🙂

    Nice selection by the way. It’s a shame Ma.tt is much more popular than Toucouleur.fr but I admit Matt & Julien’s work for this blog was impressive.

  4. David Reply

    Hmz… never heard of typology either.. can’t find much about it on google (well, loads, but not typography related). I thought I knew a bit about type, but never heard of that. Also have to agree with Jay that a lot of these trends have been around for a while now. Although a nice article, I think it might better just be called “design trends”.
    But thanks for the read anyway! =)

  5. Nate Reply

    Thanks, I was just looking for an article like this.

    So you think personal / random info will migrate to the footer, replacing site navigation stuff?

  6. B Reply

    Nothing there looks new or suprising, it’s all been here for a while. Stil , a very good article.

    PS. Hope the unoriginal “hello , i design beatifull websites” bit will go away soon…

  7. Jaspal Reply

    really a wonderful post … its really exciting to see the work and quality in design now a days. One page layouts & magazine layouts are my favorites

  8. Chris Reply

    I don’t think Flash will make a comeback anytime soon. Simple interactive solutions such as jQuery can accomplish what’s needed and they’re growing at enormous rates. Flash is closed..owned by Adobe..and the barriers to entry in learning Flash are a little high.

  9. ATL Reply

    Oh dear god…Don’t encourage people to do more “Hello, I’m a designer and my name is..” intros. So overdone and unoriginal.

  10. Joe Reply

    No disrespect, but I don’t think any of these will be future design trends, but quite the opposite. These are all being implemented currently across the web.

  11. Jim Reply

    You’re kidding me with this post, right? I can sum up your entire article:

    Web Design Trends for 2010: Same as 2009.

    Take a risk man.

  12. Dave Sparks Reply

    More of a round up of trends at the end of 2009, I’m hoping there’ll be something new by 2010!
    Still a nice post and round up of some currently popular techniques at least.

    My 2010 predictions – CSS3 stuff, gradients transforms, text shadow

  13. Jef Reply

    It looks like to be 2009 trends to me, except for the change of perspective trend, which I haven’t seen often on the web. But this is a good post, it is a review of all the website that we call “nice” 😉

  14. Tony Reply

    I completely agree with Chris – jQuery is more valuable than Flash. jQuery give you lots of options for fades/motion AND it works on MOBILE – which should be the #1 item on this list: DESIGN FOR MOBILE!!!

  15. Oggy Reply

    Great post. It will be interesting to see what trends develop. I’m currently working on a redesign, and i’m trying to be at the front of the trends. My current site just uses current web trends, but not very well. Now i’m trying to pretend web trends don’t exist, and design what I think will look good, and work. It’s a challenge, and tough not to fall back on what I know everyone else is doing. But I’m going to do it 🙂

  16. Derek Reply

    I completely agree with all your observations. The oversized plain-type headers I’ve seen a dime a dozen lately.

    I love checking out design trend lists; lets me know when I’m being creative and when I’m being subliminally influenced by the industry 🙂

  17. Leon Reply

    Awesome post! Love the ideas like the interactivity and emphasizing words in a text.. I don’t think crowleywebb.com is much of a good example though. Letting your visitors focus on the first word on the page ‘boring’ is a really bad idea and a real no no from communicative point of view.

    Looking forward to seeing more big headers.

  18. Kerry Rego Reply

    I am not a designer but I do manage my own site with a DIY editor provded by my host. I understand the aesthetic behind good design and this article gave me the right words to understand what trends I’m seeing. Thanks for the great examples and education!

  19. Mike Reply

    dont mean to beat a dead horse but as others have already stated, seen it, done it, over it.. same old stuff thats already “trendy”..

    P.S. Item number 11’s images are swapped from the sites they link to. might want to correct that one.

  20. Danny Reply

    These look more like the webdesign trends of 2008 – 2009… Honestly, the example sites have all been build in 2008 or 2009, and have no influence what so ever on the 2010 design trends.

    You’re also confusing interactive design with flash. Flash websites are usually less interactive than HTML websites. They move, can’t deny that, but do people interact with them more?

  21. Jason Reply

    Nicely put together, although as a few others have already said, I have a feeling that the concepts are more current than predictive. I’m pretty certain that a few of these concepts will in fact die off next year and we can already see a few examples of trending design concepts not investigated here that will almost certainly be big next year.

  22. Architela Reply

    I agree with some of the other commenters that it’s a good roundup of current trends — I guess the problem is that you can’t really predict the future. It will be interesting to see what actually happens in 2010.

    My predictions:
    UP: magazine-style layouts (for appropriate sites), UX and focus on typography.
    DOWN: Hello box (exclusively web designers’ own sites anyway??), retro, goth, slab, flowery flourishes, huge fonts and images.

  23. Jim Munro Reply

    Nice article. I appreciate the wrapping of trends that are going on.

    Maybe it will be the case that this list will become the list of trends to avoid if they are already “trendy”.

    It may be time to go in a different direction if everyone’s doing it.

    These are certainly some nice works that were new to me, so thanks for pointing it out.

  24. Darrel Reply

    “The fact that “typology” is on this list speaks volumes about the quality of article WDL produces.”


    I had high hopes for this place but it seems to have turned into a slew of “TOP 50” twitter spam posts.

  25. Greg Reply

    Well looks like all my client sites are going to be untrendy next year then.

    I can’t see any of those trends being any use when a clients site promotes valves, chimney pots, air conditioning units and other industrial products.

  26. Lawrence Reply

    Go minimalism, go!

    What is missing, though, is a point about design needing to fit on multiple types of gizmos out there. The challenge being to keep consistent and to have processes in place so that workloads don’t grow exponentially as designers try to adapt to different screen sizes, browsers, technologies, etc…

    Oh, and how about designing for.. data? As more organisations start making data available online designers will need to present data just as beautifully and usefully as other types of content. 2012 will be the year of the too.

  27. Cori Reply

    Great post!
    I just updated my website (after 7 years!) and coincidentally employed 6 of your 14 trends. Makes me feel good that I’m on top of things. 🙂

  28. Matt Reply

    Point 11 on the oversized footers is very true, and kind of relates to the oversized headers. Everything is going to be big and form its own vital part of the design. The footer though is something that is difficult to really get right, but when it is right, it makes you wonder how your design ever worked properly without it! It’s something that is definitely going to continue to improve and grow in popularity this coming year.

  29. matt Reply

    i think you hit on some, but a lot of what you have on here seems like last years trends, which might just mean not much is going to change?

    typography is definitely getting big. i’d also say that custom “post” designs are getting more popular, much to the likes of Jason Santa Maria, which I think is amazing, and a push in the right direction.

  30. Kristina Reply

    Hey there, great article. Especially about minimalism, it’s something I practice with my blog everyday.

    Just wanted to point out the links for the images in 11 are reversed. 🙂 Just thought I’d let ya know!

  31. Chris Reply

    Regurgitated content that tells no-one anything whatsoever about potential trends for 2010. It should have been titled ‘Go through a few cool looking sites and decide in an instant that the techniques will be trends next year’. But that’d be too long, and too boring, and, umm, very apt come to think of it.

    Sorry, but I just don’t see why this is titled as it is other than for cynical purposes to attract search volume and then disappoint or con visitors into thinking it is anything more than a bunch of ill conceived guesses that a 10 year old could have come up with.

  32. Arekibo Reply

    “Typography is young”, in what sense exactly? Your understanding of the subject seems to be that typography is simply the choosing of and use of trendy new fonts, go read a book will ya.

  33. Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing Reply

    Firstly, I am not satisfied with the title to this post…Creativity cannot be bound by trends…Out of the box ideas can’t follow trends; they have their own distinctive style…Secondly, if the talk is about new ideas for web designing in 2010 then I don’t agree with quite a few in the list…the modal boxes idea is quite old…Website design should be based on certain basic ideas which can not be dubbed as trend setters, such as minimalism,quick load time, intuitive navigation, minimising clutter and number of clicks…

  34. Cody Bills Reply

    Not a bad article, although it seemed a bit basic and the main idea section was useless. Maybe in the future link to related articles on each topic or link to a few sites that showcase this instead of just one thumbnail?

  35. DERRICK Reply

    You really out done yourself! I’m so new to this stuff, you make it so newbie like myself can easly wrap their heads around it, thanks! Happy New Years!

  36. mauco Reply

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. Looks like some of the trends are a spillover from late 2008/2009. Just goes to show that design in whatever format is a fad that comes and goes. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Robert Dall Reply

    With shear number of websites having passwords and programs like 1password gaining wide spread usage. I have found problems with the Modal Boxes sign in and the 1password programs.

    I hope solutions are found, I don’t mind the design but the functionally is a little left to be desired. . .

    Robert Dall
    Robert Dall.com

  38. Nathan Reply

    man love this post – good info – #8 is a good example of why i dislike flash- makes site slow and thus boring! lot of time wasted on too little info – sorry !

  39. Madalina Iordache-Levay Reply

    These are beautiful examples and I found some of them very inspiring, but I am not convinced about the trends nominated. To exemplify a trend you need more then one example. This article needs more arguments, analysis and examples to justify why the author believes these will be trends in 2010.

  40. Anders G Reply

    I agree, Madalina. I was expecting something more analytical, but this was a good and inspiring article nonetheless.

    As for the trends, believe (and hope) Web Typography is going to reach some new heights in 2010.

    Another thing I think we will see is more integration with handhelds, just as TampaWebDesign suggests.

  41. tejas Reply

    I am hoping to see a lot of differently style blog posts in form of blogzines, which closely resemble the print designs. It is saddening to see that the designer’s creativity (at least for their own blogs/sites) getting limited to a single template, however meticulously designed.
    We use different blog post designs on our blog at http://www.whitehatsweb.com/blog inspired by print designs. You should check it out – I think our pet pull quotes are going to become a rage soon. 🙂

  42. Feri Fras Reply

    Great Post… Yay! Your predict 78% same with me. Minimalism, Black and White, Typography. But I didn’t think about Over Sized Header and Footer…. 🙂 I think you’ll be true about it!

    (sory for my bad English)

  43. Tommy Kreuziger Reply

    I’ve been reading a few posts and really and enjoy your writing. I’m just starting up my own nintendo game blog and only hope that I can write as well and give the reader so much insight.

  44. Imokon Reply

    I agree with everything except Flash. jQuery, Mootools as well as CSS3 are evolving and reaching new levels of quality and ‘interactivity’. Flash will die out for many reasons – including the fact that it is a monopoly, and that it still hurts people visiting from areas with lower bandwidth and those on 3G (as we will be using our pc’s less and less). Flash is too bulky and slow. When IE6 is dead, all will be well for everyone as far as ‘pretty’ goes. the only time I use Flash lately is for sIFR, and thats temporary till CSS3 is more mainstream for corporate clients.

  45. Lori Reply

    I love the effect that cahnging the perspective of images has on the target audience. It gives you the idea that you are involved in the website. Give a feeling of whats more important.
    I loved it

  46. Beans Reply

    i like the oversized footers because it changes the height of the site and can be made larger to make the text and content centered vertically

  47. Ognjen Dujakovic Reply

    Very moving and refreshing. A lot of things seem to be moving forward to eye focused elements to draw maximum attention on great design. Goodbye boring web design and welcome new, shiny and full of ideas web design ! 🙂

  48. Monolith Multimedia Reply

    I really hope flash doesnt make a significant comeback. There is a fair amount of it today, and most of it is starting to be used less annoyingly. but if it becomes the new black again i fear many annoying headers/UI to come

  49. JJ Nold Reply

    I don’t agree with some of these speculations. While I do believe that design principles as a whole will always evolve and continue to push the bounds of what is unique design; I think that with the release of the iPad and IE9, we will see a migration away from Flash based elements and see more people placing emphasis on jQuery, HTML5 and CSS3 for interactive elements.

  50. Wetwilly Reply

    No but seriously? Are you kidding? Typography a 2010 trend? Minimalism a 2010 trend? Please study your topics before writing on it. The bauhaus talked about rationality in the early 20’s.

    This is by far the most stupid crap i’ve read for a real long time. Please DO NOT talk about what you don’t know.

  51. Nick Davies Reply

    As much as you make a good case, I disagree with your theory of Oversized Logos/ Headers. Users aren’t afraid to click, (granted, we all hate bad navigation) to find what they want. But as for the scrolling….If I walk into a supermarket looking only for soup, then I want to be able to look for the aisle sign that says soup. I don’t want to have to troll every single aisle looking for the soup. I do agree that the “splash page” has died or should die as soon as possible, but good upfront navigation will never be missed.

  52. Libby Gundert Reply

    Very good text. I’ve found your site via Yahoo and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your sites layout is really messed up on the Kmelon browser. Would be really great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

  53. JADE CLOWARD Reply

    Love the recap or reminder of keep-it-simple-stupid. Magazine/clean/white-space layouts are here. Homepages should be informative, attractive & easily navigated. These types of elements should get peope to come back to your site! *Visit us at http://clowarddesign.com Thanks. ~ Jade Cloward (Web/SEO Designer)

  54. Website Design Reply

    Sounds very similar to smashingmagazine trends for 2009?

    2010 is all about transparencies in design

    …also like your tip about perspective in design. 3d elements are great!

  55. Web Design Bristol Reply

    Hey, great blog post. Do you only write on here or do you write on other blogs to? Would like to follow your content.

  56. Chris Reply

    I’m not so sure about the continued use of over-sized headers, especially on one-page sites. Typography will surely dominate the list…maybe number 1? I think visitors are looking for more content, more white space (to make it easier to read), and stunning new ideas in the content…not bigger headers.

  57. Todd Reply

    I think Jacqueline is right on the money. Great article! Is WordPress going to remain popular, or is custom work where it is at?

  58. Website Center Reply

    Good question Todd. It seems that if clients can find someone who is talented enough to customize a wonderful website like many of the ones shared above, they will be much more impressed and ready to sign off on the design than a lot of the WordPress sites out there today. Great/informative post with incredible web examples. I really like Zach Klein’s clean simple site, personally.

  59. Mark Reply

    Great article, I have not long ago re-designed my site. It is interesting that things like large images and large logos/headers appear again, however it is the fact that this type of design is much more widely used in 2010 it just feels like we have seen it before. I love how great design can influence the main stream, I am having a think about the hello my name is box 🙂

  60. PharmerDon Reply

    Lots of great information and some beautifully designed websites. Thanks for this helpful article. Now I have to try to incorporate some of this into pharmacy website design.


  61. Chris - High End Web Design Reply

    Jacqueline, great post! You’ve made a really valuable and accurate list here– design trends with my clients in the past year have shown a shift toward the over-sized header images and footers. You’ve compiled really great ideas and examples here– a great read. I’m bookmarking you! Thanks– C.

  62. Trent Sanders Reply

    Love the article. For me the most important thing is that fact that we can now use HTML5 and CSS3…experimenting with everything that can offer. I feel that the technology will guide the trends. Now I just need an innovative developer…which I am finding harder and harder to find…hey don’t kill the messanger…just give me your number.

    Anyways…the expanded horizons with transitions and typefaces is incredibly vital to my trend setting this year. Great article…thanks for the quality post.

  63. Karan vyas Reply

    Thanks for the gallery here. I would like to know so corporate and business website designs also. For companies and organization, yes but not product showcase website. 🙂 I hope you will post some related to them also.


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