In the early days of web design, a website was nothing more than a collection of static pages with basic HTML formatting. However, as the internet evolved and businesses began to realize the importance of having an online presence, website design became more complex and sophisticated.

To put everything into perspective, let’s walk you through the timelines:

  • 1989: Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web while working at CERN. The web was born without any graphics, just plain text.
  • December 20, 1990: The first website was created and hosted on NeXT computers by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau ( It was nothing more than a few texts and hyperlinks.
  • In 1993, The source code to this very website was released to the public, and it became an open platform for people all around the world to remodel and build upon. Companies, agencies, and organizations began using this platform to create their own websites, and the concept of website design was born.
  • January 23, 1993: The first web browser, called Mosaic, was released. It had a graphical user interface and made it easier for users to navigate and interact with websites. That was a major breakthrough in website design and opened up new possibilities for web developers.
  • 1994: Hot Wire (now known as Wired) created the first banner ad, launching the era of online advertising. It gave businesses a new way to market their products and services through their websites.
  • By mid-1994, there were approximately 2738 websites on the World Wide Web. By the end of the year, the number had grown to over 10,000. This exponential growth of websites marked the beginning of the modern internet era and highlighted the need for quality content.
  • Plus, websites had become more sophisticated and dynamic with the introduction of Flash in May 1996, which allowed animations and interactive features. That was a major turning point in website design and opened up new possibilities for user engagement.
  • That same year, the first version of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) was released, allowing developers to control the visual design and layout of web pages. That made website design more efficient and streamlined.
  • The introduction of JavaScript in 1995 allowed for even more interactivity and functionality on websites, making them more user-friendly and engaging.

Fast forward to today, websites have become an integral part of our daily lives. We use them for information, entertainment, shopping, and so much more.

We’ve seen the transition from basic HTML pages to dynamic, responsive websites that adapt to different devices and user preferences. And with the constant advancements in technology, website design will continue to evolve.

So, what are some of the design trends and techniques that have emerged in recent years, especially here in Kenya?

Integration of Artificial Intelligence to Your Website:

If you have yet to hop on the AI bandwagon, now is definitely the time. AI provides a more personalized and efficient user experience by analyzing data and adapting to user behavior. From chatbots to recommendation engines, there are endless possibilities for incorporating AI into your website design.

Here are a few ways to integrate AI into your website:

  • Chatbots: These are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users, providing real-time assistance and support. AI can go through your website’s data to understand your business, services, and customers and adapt its responses accordingly.
  • Personalized Content: AI can analyze user behavior, such as their browsing history and preferences, to provide tailored content and recommendations. That not only improves the user experience but also increases the chances of converting leads into customers.
  • Help Users Talk to You: AI-powered voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri can be integrated into your website to help users find information and navigate your site using voice commands.

Micro Animations and Interactions:

 Micro animations and interactions, also known as micro-interactions, add a touch of personality and playfulness to your website. These small, subtle movements provide visual feedback to users, making their experience more engaging and enjoyable.

Here are some ways to incorporate micro animations and interactions into your website:

  • Loading Animations: Instead of having a boring loading screen, consider adding an animation to keep users entertained and engaged while they wait for your site to load.
  • Hover Effects: These are animations or changes that occur when a user hovers over an element on your website, such as a button or link. It adds a layer of interactivity and can guide users towards specific actions.
  • Scrolling Interactions: As users scroll through your site, you can use animations to add visual interest and make their experience more dynamic.

The key to using micro animations and interactions is to keep them subtle and purposeful. They should enhance the user experience, not distract from it.

Google is taking notice of these micro animations with their CWV Metric (Core Web Vitals) in their INP, incorporating them into their overall ranking algorithm, making them a key aspect of modern website design.

Illustrations in Website Design:

Illustrations have gained popularity in website design, replacing traditional stock images and adding a unique touch to a website’s visual appeal. Illustrations can make a site feel more personable, fun, and creative.

Here are some tips for using illustrations in your website design:

  • Consider Your Brand: The style of illustration you choose should align with your brand image and message. If your brand is sleek and modern, you may opt for minimalist illustrations. If your brand is playful and fun, you can use more whimsical illustrations.
  • Use Them to Tell a Story: Illustrations can be used as visual aids to tell a story or explain a concept on your website. It adds another layer of engagement for users and makes the information more digestible.
  • Incorporate Them into Your User Interface: Instead of using traditional icons, consider using illustrations to represent different elements on your website. This adds a unique touch and can make your site stand out.

Vibrant Colour Pallettes

If your website is dark and monochromatic, it may be time to consider a more vibrant color palette. Bold and bright colors can create a sense of energy and excitement while also helping to differentiate your brand from competitors.

Here are some tips for choosing a vibrant color palette:

  • Consider Your Brand Image: As with illustrations, the colors you choose should align with your brand image. If your brand is playful and fun, you may opt for a bright and bold color palette. If your brand is more professional and serious, you may choose a more subdued color scheme.
  • Use Color Psychology: Different colors evoke different emotions in people, so it’s important to understand the psychology behind each color. For example, blue can create a sense of trust and security, while red can evoke passion and urgency.
  • Use Contrasting Colors: When using vibrant colors, it’s important to use contrasting colors for readability and visual appeal. It can also help guide users’ attention to specific elements on your website.

Monochromatic Websites

Another trend that has emerged in recent years is the use of monochromatic websites. This design technique uses different shades and tints of a single color to create a cohesive and visually appealing website.

It produces a clean, simple design and allows for a more focused user experience since there are no conflicting colors to distract from the content. Monochromatic websites also tend to load faster due to fewer color variations.

Here are some tips for creating a monochromatic website:

  • Choose the Right Color: The key to a successful monochromatic website is choosing the right color. Consider your brand image and the emotions you want to evoke in your audience.
  • Use Different Shades: To add depth and interest to your monochromatic design, use different shades and tints of your chosen color. It can create a more dynamic and visually appealing website.
  • Incorporate Texture: Since there are no other colors to add contrast, consider using texture to add visual interest to your monochromatic website. It can also help break up large blocks of color and create a more engaging experience for users.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have utilized monochromatic website designs in their platforms, showcasing how effective this design trend can be.

Modern Minimalism: Simple Website Design

In a world filled with constant visual stimuli, sometimes less is more. The minimalist website design trend has gained popularity in recent years for its clean, simple aesthetic and focus on functionality.

Here are some tips for incorporating minimalism into your website design:

  • White Space: A key element of minimalism is the use of white space or negative space. That is the empty, uncluttered space around elements on your website that allows them to stand out and breathe.
  • Simplify Navigation: Minimalist websites often have simple and streamlined navigation menus, making it easier for users to navigate and find what they’re looking for.
  • Focus on Typography: With fewer design elements, typography plays a more significant role in minimalist design. Choose fonts that are clean and easy to read, and use them sparingly throughout your website.

The rise of mobile devices has also contributed to the popularity of minimalism in website design, as it allows for a more seamless and user-friendly experience on smaller screens.

Storytelling Through Website Design

One of the most powerful ways to engage users on a website is through storytelling. Instead of just presenting information to visitors, you can use website design techniques to create a narrative that draws users in and keeps them engaged.

Here are some tips for incorporating storytelling into your website design:

  • Visual Storytelling: Use images, videos, and animations to tell a story on your website visually. It can create a more emotional and memorable experience for users.
  • Interactive Elements: Incorporate interactive elements like quizzes, surveys, or games to engage users and make them feel like they’re part of the story.
  • Consistent Design: Consistency is key in storytelling. Make sure all elements on your website, from colors to fonts to imagery, align with the story you’re trying to tell.

Rotating Animations for Interest

Another way to add visual interest and engagement to your website is through rotating animations. These could be rotating images or carousels that showcase different products or services, or they could be subtle animations that add movement to your website.

Here are some tips for using rotating animations:

  • Use Sparingly: While rotating animations can add visual interest, too many can become distracting and overwhelming for users. Use them sparingly and strategically.
  • Ensure Fast Loading Times: Make sure your animations are optimized for fast loading times, as slow websites can turn users away. Consider using compressed images and minimizing the number of animation frames.
  • Align with Brand: As with any design element, make sure your rotating animations align with your brand image and message. They should enhance the overall aesthetic of your website rather than clash with it.

It’s a Wrap

Overall, website design is not just about aesthetics; it’s also about functionality and user engagement. By using trends like monochromatic designs, minimalism, storytelling, and rotating animations strategically, you can create a website that not only looks great but also effectively conveys your brand message and keeps users coming back for more.

Why Zelisline?

At Zelisline, we understand the nitty-gritty of quality web design. We know that a website is more than just a digital storefront; it’s an extension of your brand and a powerful tool for engaging with your audience. Our team of experts has the knowledge and experience to create websites that not only look great but also drive results.

Ready to elevate your online presence? Contact us today to learn more about our web design services in Kenya. Together, we can create a website that stands out and brings your brand to life. So why settle for mediocre when you can have exceptional? Choose Zelisline for all your web design needs. Let’s build something great together.