Is 3D the next trend in Web Design? (2020)



Exploring what seems to be a huge shift in the web design world – 3D!

I personally love seeing the rise of 3D because I’m eager to see how popular it’ll actually get given that it’s harder to create than all of the trends that have come and gone.

It’s evident that people are getting slightly bored with 2D illustrations and are ready for something new. 2D illustrations have become so accessible and easy to create that they are absolutely everywhere nowadays, in the world of web design. It’s time to find a way to differentiate yourself.

That’s where 3D comes in. It’s satisfying to look at, it can convey a story with great depth and creating great 3D objects is not an easy feat. I’d recommend taking up 3D to add some flare to your projects and have them truly stand out from the pack.

What are your thoughts on the rise of 3D in web design? Do you think it’ll pick up steam? Will all the new 3D creation tools popping up turn this into 2D illustrations 2.0? Let me know in the comments!

00:00 Intro
00:35 Why is this shift happening?
1:09 Trends in the history of design
1:50 Our role as designers
2:02 Apple has set multiple trends
2:47 People are getting bored of 2D illustrations
3:25 3D offers many advantages


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36 comments

  1. Would be great to see a video on best practices using 3d with webflow. I'm using blender at the moment and trying to figure the best way to use glb/gltf formats on the web without making load times too high 🙂

  2. Soon 1Go RAM waste to browse a Website.
    Focusing on the form not on contents.
    I think its a bad idea, nice looking empty boxes.

  3. I've been intergrating 3D into websites since the days of Macromedia Flash. The problem with 3D or any motion in web design is usability. 3D and animation work great if you want to show off a product or display a portfolio site etc but most websites just need to be clean and functional. Flashy things usually only look good the first time around, the second time it's a hindrance. It's actually something that happened back in the day with Flash, you would get all these fancy sites with animations and preloaders you had to sit through etc just to be able to read a few paragraphs of text. Simular to the mid 90s when stuffing animated gifs into your website became a trend. You would sit there waiting for your dial up connection to gradually load a page because some smart ass decided every image needed to be animated.

    I personally don't think we will see a mass of 3D sites appearing in the same way we see trends like flat design happening for example but I do think it will be used a lot more where it's appropriate, especially for showing off products.

  4. I doubt it because 3D a inimations are still laggy. It'll be maybe the year of the HQ gif showing 3D animations, which is much easier and user friendly.

  5. Noob here. What API or library do they use to make the 3D elements interactive? Aren't those just videos?

  6. Also depends on the performance of upcoming mobile devices as users are turning away from desktop-based internet. and on a small screen it is a bit harder to present meaningful 3d which actually bringing a benefit. but on the other hand it could be interesting by using the gyroscope. I am also looking forward to the mass adoption of 3d in eCommerce to be able to put a product in your home beofre buying it (eg Ikea Place), but it will probabyl take more time until the first ar glasses replace the newest smartphones. and THEN 3d will get really interesting as it will turn into a whole differnt dimension in AR. we'll see though. a lot depends on GAFA and how they lead the way in technology through the current economic downturn

  7. Heh… maybe we’ll end up back in VRML. (Virtual Reality Modeling Language, not this ‘Echo Arena’ junk that appears to have appropriated the acronym)

  8. I am dislike it because you must guid your audience to how to start 3D designs for websites. Share with us some learning path

  9. Maybe you already discussed this (or in the Vectary video maybe), but is there an easy way to integrate 3D in websites? While I do feel it's next in what's trending (especially if you take into account new visual metaphors that are being explored [no, I'm not talking about neuomorphism]), I also feel like we're truly moving past current web technologies into new ones.

    I mean, illustrations, photos, and the like are easy to implement in design with even hand-written code. But 3D stuff, especially the new ones implemented in WebGL or the like require more skills and knowledge to pull off. And 3D, by itself isn't just something that you can get into instantly—it's a whole new paradigm.

    I'm excited, to be honest, but it's also very interesting to see how much more exploration we can see in real life. Right now 3D objects and interactive demos are starting to trend, but I can see a more involved 3D implementation maybe in the future.

    The question is, can our devices handle it? Haha.

  10. I've been wondering why it's taken so long for it to become a trend. I'm an architecture student and would love to incorporate my 3D building models onto a portfolio website.
    I hope it becomes the norm so that I'm able to have someone do this for me.

  11. I don't like the animation trend at all. Mainly because so many of the illustrations had exactly the same stylisation, so most websites which used them just looked generic and 'basic'. The thing is it didn't have to be like that. Designers could have chosen from hundreds of different illustration styles, but they all seem to go with that specific one (we all know which one I am talking about).

    3D is very exciting though.

  12. What about the mobile aspect of 3D? Since there isn't that much space in mobile as on desktop.. maybe a video idea?

  13. If you are flogging special effects then 3D might be useful. To me I find it mega distracting. I and dislike illustration with a passion from the very 1st time I saw it.

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