Web Design 3.0: Når din webdesign virkelig teller


Vi elsker webdesign, det er vår lidenskap. Webdesign er en del av livet vårt. Siden 2000 har vi fulgt med på hva som skjer i Web Design verden. Vi er involvert i webdesignprosessen, og millioner av nettsider designet med de verktøyene vi har brukt. Vi vil gjerne dele noen av våre spennende ideer med deg.

For første gang deler denne artikkelen hemmeligheten om hvordan man lager de mest trendy webdesignene i verden. Du vil lære de grunnleggende reglene i det moderne webdesignet for å skape nettsteder, blogger og temaer i verdensklasse. Du vil finne ut hvordan du blir unik, hvordan du kan skille deg ut i konkurransen, og hvordan du tiltrekker oppmerksomheten til nye kunder.

Denne artikkelen inneholder flere kapitler:

I kapittel 1 skal vi finne ut hvordan webdesign endrer seg. Du vil også få vite om starten på en ny generasjons webdesignere, som designer nettsider i Webdesign 3.0.

I kapittel 2 skal vi snakke om nettsidebyggere som ligger etter trendene og bremser webdesignets evolusjon.


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I kapittel 3 skal du få innblikk i hvordan du kan lage moderne webdesign raskt og enkelt på en ny og spennende måte.

Kapittel 1. Webdesign endrer seg

Det første vi skal snakke om er webdesign. Det endrer seg raskt. For å forstå dette, må vi se litt på webdesignets evolusjon: fra de første tidlige hjemmesidene til dagens moderne avanserte nettsider. Vi skal forsøke å forutsi hva slags teknologi som vil være prege morgendagens webdesign.

There are three stages of the evolution of Web Design. In the picture below, we have colored each stage and added years to the timeline.


Evolution of Web Design

First Websites

The first websites were text-based. And it is hard to say that they had any Web Design.

Transition To Web Design 1.0

Later, there was the transition to Web Design 1.0. Some graphical elements appeared on websites, which became more attractive. Web pages got tables. Later tables transformed into Layouts and Grids. Tables gave some flexibility, but they were not mobile-friendly, and it was not required at that time.

Many people created own Content Management Systems (CMS). So webmasters did not have to edit the HTML files and to upload them to servers. But It was possible to modify the content online in real time.

The evolution of Web Design and spreading of mobile phones led to new changes.

Transition To Web Design 2.0

The next transition was to Web Design 2.0. Web pages got Grids, and web designers could arrange elements on Layouts.

Bootstrap accelerated the speed of Web Development. It simplified the process and made it more convenient. Bootstrap supported mobile devices from the beginning with Grids.

Bootstrap’s Grid stretched automatically to the full width of screens. It reduced the developer’s time significantly spent on coding to support desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.


Modern Web Design on various devices.

WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal became the most popular Content Management Systems. They replaced the self-written systems, which were imperfect and expensive to write and to maintain, and also had limited functionality. Thanks to WordPress and Joomla, anyone could create their blogs and websites. And there are more than 20% of sites built in those systems.

WordPress and Joomla always supported themes and templates, which made it possible to modify the design without changing the content. It was possible to create themes manually or buy ready-made ones. Also, webmasters could use Theme Builder. There is a mass of themes and templates available.

In 2008, Artisteer arrived. It became the most popular Theme Builder at that time. With Artisteer, anyone could create themes and templates in minutes. Millions of websites use themes designed in Artisteer.

Is Web Design Dead?

It would seem that everyone should be happy: web designers, web developers, and users. However, there was a new problem. Web designers began to ask one question: «Is Web Design dead?». You can find articles asking the same question on all known platforms; such are Medium, Mashable, SmashingMagazine, Quora, and Reddit. Since 2015, for all these years, web designers have been asking the same question.

In the picture below you can see the Google search results for this phrase.


Search results on Google

Why is this happening? Bootstrap reached the popularity in 2015-2016. You can see this in the chart below.


Bootstrap in Google Trends

The main cause of this problem was in Bootstrap and analogs. Bootstrap’s web designs looked similar to each other as made by one template. Many website builders worsen the situation, having Bootstrap as the core of their systems. Website designs started with a big picture, and other parts fit into the two-, three-, and four-cell structure. Many themes and templates in Bootstrap boosted the distribution of this problem.

See in the image below.


Pinterest results for «web design bootstrap”

In 2015, Ben Hunt published the book titled “Web Design Is Dead.” The main idea of the book is that the popularity of 50-dollar themes and templates almost killed the demand for the Web Designer’s work. A custom web design costs much more because it requires time, knowledge and skills. Besides the design, it requires the custom HTML and CSS coding.

Is this problem still actual today? Yes, it is. After four years, the problem is still unsolved. In the picture below you can see the Google search hints. People continue to ask this question today.


Search hints on Google

Web designers started to find solutions. They could not stay away and watch that Web Design, the passion of their lives, was stuck in progress. There are always designers who want to make the Web a better place. Steve Jobs once said «Think different,» about such kind of people. These people always seek new ideas.

Print Design

Web Design is very young. It is about two decades old. Print Design came long before Web Design, and it has hundreds of years in history.


Evolution of Print Design. Copyright of onlinedesignteacher.com

The Print Design tools always allowed to place items freely. Designers were not limited in the creativity. And publishers were always free in their ideas. They did not have to think about the HTML, CSS and mobile devices.

The Print Design formula:



Print Design on Pinterest

Nowadays, many publishers reduced print runs significantly and went online. Printed pages became web pages on the Web. But those web pages lost the creativity and freedom of Print Design. Designers did not want to lose the print ideas, collected for years. They began to design with print ideas online.

The Birth of Web Design 3.0

Starting in 2016, we began to notice ideas from Print Design to appear regularly on web page designs on Pinterest, Behance, and Dribbble. Those new web designs differed with:

  1. Free positioning.
  2. Element overlapping.
  3. Breaking the limitations of Bootstrap-like Grids.

It meant the birth of Web Design 3.0!

Web Design 3.0 is the designer’s freedom


Modern web designs from Pinterest

In the summer of 2016, 83 Oranges (https://83oranges.com/) presented the article titled: “Web Design Trends.”

The author identified the following style in Web Design:

  • Text Over Image
  • Overlapping Images
  • Vertical Text & Super Clean Layouts
  • Uneven Grid Galleries
  • Here Images with Big Headlines
  • Abstract Brand Elements

83 Oranges on Pinterest

In Chapter 3 we will take a closer look at styles and how you can create websites in Web Design 3.0.

Removing Table Constraints

What does it mean to remove table constraints? Let’s use the example, the image below shows the typical photos on the wall. They look similar to the Grid.


Example from Pinterest

If you search for “picture wall” on Pinterest or Google now, 90% of results will look like in the picture below. You notice the dramatic changes in Design in general nowadays. The design has rapid progress in all areas.


Example from Pinterest

Agree that these examples look like the modern Print Design and Web Design 3.0. Why is this happening? Nobody wants to see boring Grids from the past on the walls. People want to impress friends with unique ideas. Everyone wants to express emotions with the design.

Modern Grid Layouts

We see more use of complex grids in the Web Design. And the CSS Grid becomes more popular.


Trend for Web Design 3.0

Trendy designs breaking stereotypes are becoming more popular. In the chart, you can see that every year more designers discover the world of Web Design 3.0. This chart displays the results on the topic of «web design» on Pinterest, Behance, and Dribbble. We forecast that this trend will continue in the future.


Web Design trends from Pinterest, Behance, and Dribbble.

Web Design Research

Every day we do the research and tests with new Web Design ideas. We upload our designs to Pinterest. We watch how users react by saving designs on their boards. We were very impressed with the results. Websites of Web Design 3.0 get ten times more feedback than 2.0 ones.

The actual data confirm these research results. In several months, we got about 800K of unique monthly viewers. It tells about the growing popularity of pages in Web Design 3.0.


Audience growth on Pinterest

If you want to make your Web Design ideas noticeable on Pinterest or Behance, there are no alternatives. You need to design websites in Web Design 3.0. If you have not started, you should hurry up! We will help you to understand what exactly you need to do.

Our Goal

Our goal is to tell web designers about the newest Web Design trends. We want to explain the difference and how to create sites in Web Design 3.0. We try to spread our ideas. We love to share our experience on how to become the most popular web designers in the World. We want to be the main driving power of Web Design 3.0 in the industry. We always look for people thinking differently. Together we can change the Web Design industry.


Web Design 3.0 ideas on Pinterest

For Non-Designers

You may ask, where are websites in Web Design 3.0? Why we still see a few of them on the Web as working websites? There are several reasons.

  1. Designers do not have convenient tools to create HTML or WordPress pages in Web Design 3.0. And existing website builders lack free positioning. Designers still have to use Graphic Design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD or Sketch App to realize ideas. To share ideas with the World, they upload ideas as images to Pinterest, Behance, and Dribbble. Web designers are unable to create working web pages. If they want to turn mockups into web pages, they need to write the HTML and CSS code by hands. But it is a long and expensive process.
  2. There is no resource, where you can see the current trends in Web Design. Yes, there are Pinterest, Behance, and Dribbble. But to understand the trends, you need to monitor the changes every day. In every industry, there are resources where you can find out what is trending today: in movies, in music, on YouTube. Trends show everything, but not Web Design. It creates a lot of speculation on trends in Web Design. There are a lot of «experts» talking about trends. But we need a resource with data on web designs. Then it will be possible to understand today’s trends in one click.
  3. Due to the lack of real data and trusted authoritative opinions, designers continue to design in old styles.
  4. There is a mismatch between designs and tools. Website builders are unable to create modern web designs. It slows down significantly the growth of Web Design 3.0. We are strongly against the fact that designers are limited in the freedom of creativity. Designers should have a choice in which style to build their websites. Modern web designs should come off the podiums of fashion shows on Pinterest and Behance to become working websites.

Modern web designs should come off the podiums of fashion shows on Pinterest and Behance to become working websites.


Web Design is young, but it is progressing rapidly.

  • Transition 1 is the appearance of graphics on the Web. It made the Web more attractive and interesting and allowed the Web to conquer the World. The use of graphics allowed the Web to become a new independent way of the information distribution.
  • Transition 2 is the appearance of blogs, grids, and support for mobile devices. The use of Bootstrap and the spread of templates made the Web Design boring.
  • Transition 3 is the most significant. It led to Web Design 3.0. Publishers go online and to mobile devices. Designers take ideas from Print Design to the Web. They want freedom of creativity, free positioning, and modern grids.

Chapter 2. Website Builders Are Behind Trends

The second part is about popular website builders, their evolution, and what they need to have to match Web Design 3.0.

Are website builders based on Bootstrap behind modern Web Design trends? Unfortunately, it is true. Every day the lag becomes more obvious and more visible. Let’s find out why it is happening in details.

The Evolution of Website Builders

Similar to Web Design, let’s take a look at the history of web design tools. There were also three transitions. In the picture below you can see some of the popular tools for Web Design.


Timeline of Website Builders

Let’s review these transitions in details.

Transition To Visual Editors

Webmasters edited the web page content in text editors. Those editors allowed to write the HTML code. At most, they offered convenient code coloring, automatic code formatting, and error highlighting in the HTML code. Transition 1 was from text to visual editors.


Transition to visual editors

Transition To Bootstrap

Transition 2 was the rise of blog systems like WordPress and Joomla and tools for creating themes, for example, Artisteer. People designed millions of themes in Artisteer. But in several years, Artisteer theme designs became outdated.

There were some popular website builders and WordPress plugins released: Webflow, VisualCompuser, Elementor, Divi, and others. Most of them are Bootstrap based. They are good for Web Design 2.0.

What they miss for Web Design 3.0? These website builders and plugins do not have free positioning and layers. Also, they do not offer the simplicity and convenience of Graphic Design tools, which designers need.

Recently Bootstrap changed the main illustration on the home page. As you see below, it has layers. Perhaps Bootstrap is working on layers and free positioning.


Bootstrap home page

Here are other examples. If designers need the white space, they have to add empty elements and rows. To create an overlapping of elements they have to specify the negative values for margins. It turns the Web Design process, which should be fun, into the complicated and boring work.

Transition to Web Design 3.0

The current ongoing transition is to Web Design 3.0. And it is happening now. Unfortunately, many website builders are not ready for modern designs.

We believe that urgent actions should be taken to prevent stopping of the Web Design progress. The changes should be in the right direction. There are many variants of how to simplify website builders and to add more creativity to web designs. But not all variants are good enough.

We will review the following cases: the lack of creativity, Wix, and Gutenberg.

Lack Of Creativity

It is impossible to believe, but sometimes developers move in the opposite direction. Some «new-fangled» tools, such as Wix ADI, GoDaddy Site Builder, and Mobirise have a fixed set of pre-made templates. Users can change only text and images, not the layout. Do developers want all websites to look the same? What kind of creativity and evolution of Web Design is that?

It is true that tools can be easy to use, as you cannot modify the design. Perhaps, some users agree to have simplicity without the ability to change the design. But our goal is to have the most simple builder and at the same time to keep the maximum freedom for creativity. We need the revolutionary breakthrough in tools.


Here is one more example. As you know, WordPress released a new article editor – Gutenberg. What is the reason for its appearance? It looks like WordPress developers wanted to create the same article editor that Medium.com has. Also, they wanted to have features of tools like VisualComposer. They made both, the article editor combined with the simple website builder. It would seem that everyone again should be happy. But in fact, we see the opposite. Users did not like this WordPress innovation. Please see the picture below.


Screenshot from WordPress.org

Why did this happen? The Gutenberg editor seems to be complicated for a simple article editor. At the same time, it has weak features for a website builder. Moreover, web designs generated by Gutenberg are not even in Web Design 2.0. They are more like Web Design 1.5 of 2010.

They could provide the convenient API to make it easier for developers to create own website builders inside WordPress. Instead, they released another competitor for existing website builders. They also did not give any premade designs.

Perhaps over time, some developers will accept this. There is no alternative from WordPress. But it does not help us to get closer to the primary goal. We need the most simple editor to build websites in Web Design 3.0.


Wix tried to become a tool for Web Design 3.0. The Wix’s problem is that its HTML does not meet the standards adopted by website developers. The element positioning is absolute. As a result, the HTML is not editable, and it is difficult to maintain mobile devices. Wix supports only desktops and phones. In practice, there is usually the support for five types of devices. Wix recalculates the positioning with JavaScript, not HTML5 and CSS3. There is no a Property Panel like in all popular Graphic Design tools used by designers.

It seems that Wix is mostly for end users, not for designers and developers. For example, see the comments under the popular YouTube video, titled “How to Make a Website – Web Design Tutorial” on the “Draw with Jazza” channel. The discussion under this comment is still going.


Screenshot from YouTube

Wix tried to simplify the website development and created Wix ADI. They removed the ability to edit the design completely. You can only modify the text and images. So, with ADI they went even farther away from Web Design 3.0.

Website Builders Have No Progress

Why is it so hard to create new tools that the Web Design industry needs?

  1. Difficulty. Website builders are quite complex systems requiring significant investments and time into the development. It also requires a great idea that can change Web Design.
  2. Monopoly. It is difficult for new tools to enter the existing market of website builders. The current tools have a large user base accumulated over the years. For new tools, it is difficult to inform a large number of users. Therefore, we need your help and support to spread information.
  3. Passivity. Developers and users of existing website builders are very passive. Changes are always related to certain risks and extra efforts. People prefer not to change anything, as they think it will be like that forever. Please do not be passive!

Progress Is Going On

As we have already seen, the progress does not stand still and goes on. No one can stop it. At the same time, the new always meet difficulties on its way. Our common goal is to support the innovators of Web Design 3.0 to change the Web.

For example, electric vehicles continue to conquer the market, despite the enormous resistance of oil monopolies and manufacturers of traditional gasoline cars.


Similarly, it may seem that current Web Design 2.0 and website builders are only the options. It is not like that. Our task is to give a chance to something new. Together we can spread the word about Web Design 3.0 and tools of the new generation!

CSS Grid

The CSS Grid has become the newest standard for building layouts.


The New Dimension In Web Design

The positioning of elements also has its evolution.

Web Design 1.0 is «one-dimensional.» The design elements are mostly arranged sequentially one after another.

Web design 2.0 is «two-dimensional.» There are Grids for placing elements in cells, which gives more freedom.

Web design 3.0 is the new dimension. It has the free positioning of elements, overlapping, and layers like in Graphic Design tools. It opens the new prospects for Web Design. And it is the beginning of the new Web Design era.


Dimensions in Web Design

The new dimension is like puzzles vs. LEGO bricks.


Web Design Generations

Removing Table Constraints

As said, Web Design 3.0 requires free positioning and removing table constraints. The unique positioning of elements makes the Web Design itself unique. Unlike two-, three- and four-column designs look very similar to each other.

Free positioning of elements makes Web Design unique

In the picture below you can see free positioning of elements in Web Design 3.0. The freedom of positioning makes a big difference for designers.


Limited vs. Free Positioning

In Web Design 3.0:

  1. You can position elements freely. You can leave white space, if necessary.
  2. You can resize elements freely.
  3. You can overlay elements and Grid cells.

These features are standard for Graphic Design tools. In Chapter 3, we will discuss how to apply these features in practice to create pages in Web Design 3.0.

Free positioning and element overlapping gain popularity in all types of Design.


Free positioning in interiors

Limited vs. Free Positioning

What do existing website builders offer? In the picture below you can see the example of a two-cell Grid. You see the text in the left cell. Imagine, you want to improve your design, so you think where to put the text.


Positioning in Web Design

There are two ways. The first one is to the left in the picture. You see the red lines. Those are placeholders supported in current website builders of Web Design 2.0. Usually, you can place elements between other elements in the Grid or into other cells. It is the limited positioning.

Seriously? Does anyone believe that such restrictions in the current website builders allow creating of truly unique and modern web designs? The answer is the limited positioning make it almost impossible to build websites in Web Design 3.0!

However, there is the second way, which is to the right. As you see, there is an unlimited number of positions. You can put the text anywhere you want, not only where it is possible. And this is the way for new website builders of Web Design 3.0, the free positioning.

For example, you travel in Washington, DC. You have two options to move around the city. You can use public transportation or drive around the city by car or taxi.

In the picture below you see the map of public transportation to the left. The road map for driving by car is to the right. Do you feel the difference? It is very similar to the free positioning in Web Design 3.0. You have much more freedom of choice.


Maps of Washington DC

Another example, this article was edited in Microsoft Word. It has limited positioning similar to Web Design 2.0. The MS Word features are enough to write an article. But MS Word is not enough to design a presentation. We have Microsoft PowerPoint for that. Do you feel the difference? In MS PowerPoint, you can place elements freely. It gives you much more freedom for creativity in design. See the difference in the following picture.


Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint

Building web pages in Web Design 3.0 using current website builders is similar to creating presentations in Microsoft Word. All these years, designers have been forced to use very limiting tools to design web pages. There was no one to tell and to give designers the alternatives.

Separated Markets

Let’s have a look at the market of current Graphic Design tools. Designers use these tools for creating ideas in Web Design 3.0. At the same time, there is another market for website builders. Webmaster use builders to create working websites. So these are two broad separated markets.


Markets of tools for web designers and webmasters

You see popular Graphic Design systems to the left. Designers always use these tools to design mock-ups in Web Design 3.0. All these tools have free positioning, element overlapping, and layers. But you cannot use them for creating working websites since they save only images.

There are some current popular website builders to the right. Designers use these platforms to build websites. But it is very difficult or almost impossible to design modern websites in Web Design 3.0 in these website builders.

Once we found the interesting web page in Web Design 3.0. We were very curious about its HTML coding. In the browser inspector, we found that the whole design was as one large image.

Are there any buttons or links? Yes, buttons are clickable image areas in the HTML. We see that this page was designed in the Graphic Design tool, and was uploaded to the website as an image because there is no suitable and easy-to-use website builder for Web Design 3.0.


Web Designers need:

  • Free positioning
  • Removing table constraints
  • Layers
  • Property Panel for elements
  • Support for Windows and Mac OS

Webmasters need:

  • Clean HTML and CSS
  • Mobile device support
  • WordPress and Joomla support
  • Building websites online

As we see these requirements are different. To create websites in Web Design 3.0, we need the Revolutionary Changes.


  1. Website builders are lagging behind the rapidly changing Web Design.
  2. The history of web design tools had several transitions. However, the progress stopped. There are all signs that the new transition must happen.
  3. There are separated markets for web designers and webmasters. Popular website builders do not support the main features of Web Design 3.0: free positioning, modern grids, and layers.

Chapter 3: Tools for Web Design 3.0

Do you think it is possible to create Web Design 3.0 using only one tool? Yes, but it is difficult. It is like using a one-wheel bike. It is easy with two wheels working together, like in a bicycle.


The new formula of the modern Web Design looks like the following:


The new tools will have features of both web design and webmaster tools. It is the intersection blue area in the picture below.


The intersection of markets for web designers and webmasters

Do such tools exist? For example, Nicepage is a system for building pages in Web Design 3.0. It combined the features of a Graphic Design tool and a website builder. It is suitable for web designers and webmasters. It supports free positioning, element overlapping, mobile devices, and modern grids. At that, it generates clean HTML and CSS.

Creative and Simple

Are the current website builders simple and flexible enough to create unique websites in Web Design 3.0? Please look at the picture below.


We see that current website builders are not simple and easy-to-use. If designers add some uniqueness to websites like in Web Design 3.0, the process is very difficult with the current systems. On the other hand, if a system is simple, it offers limited functionality.

The graph shows how the current website builders could be placed by creativity and simplicity. And there are website builders, where the creativity and simplicity are taken into consideration to allow building websites in Web Design 3.0.

Next, we will continue the discussion on how to create the most trendy web designs on the Web.

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