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2019 web design trend alert: fluid design
As fashions change, so too do design trends—and websites aren’t exempt. If you can remember what websites looked like just ten years ago, you’re almost certainly picturing a lot of square shapes, divided into columns and rows of various sizes. They were consistent and, well, boring.
Over the next decade, creating a website became more and more accessible allowing for more and more lousy design to leak through, but also some genuinely stunning ideas. The idea that information had to be presented all at once in clear columns is a thing of the past. So what comes next?
The buzz word of 2019: fluid.
Fluid design includes a few factors, such as the use of shapes and layout. It uses these elements in a new way, considering the user experience as a priority. This approach wasn’t the case when websites first started to become a point of reference for customers, as they were clunky, overloaded with information and difficult to navigate.
The word fluid brings to mind movement. Fluid shapes aren’t necessarily moving, nor giving the impression of movement. Fluid shapes are just anything that doesn’t fit your basic geometry. They borrow a lot from nature, whether that’s the shape of a leaf, a pond or a broken piece of glass. While triangles, squares and circles all still have their place in design, particularly when used in a novel way or to create symmetry, 2019 is the year to move forward.
Incorporating fluid shapes into a website creates a more natural feeling. The site feels trusted while simultaneously building intrigue—it leaves a user wanting to know more. Not only that, but it helps to stand out from the competition by providing a look that nobody is expecting.
And the layout?
The idea of a fluid design also considers fluid layouts. Previously, we had been told that things need to align and be in nice, neat grids. You can use circles and triangles, but they still need to fit these grids. It’s why all the design programs come with grids in the first place. But why?
It seems obvious, but a design that doesn’t strictly align to a grid allows a lot more freedom. In the words of typographer Robert Bringhurst, “By all means, break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately and well.”
There’s a reason why grids were so popular in the first place. They allow the user to find information quickly, they’re pleasing to the eye, and they keep everything neat. While the fluid design is a great step forward, it’s important to be careful with it and always break the rules beautifully.