With the first quarter of 2015 down, it’s time to look at what’s trending on the internet. No, we’re not talking about which new cat picture is all the rage, but rather, what web design trends are making an impact on how we view our websites. Let’s take a look at what’s new, what’s old, and what will keep trending on through 2015 until 2016.
1. Responsive Web Design
An absolute must, Responsive Web Design is quickly on its way to being standard in web design. As we all know, technology is growing at a faster rate than ever, allowing users to enjoy their favorite sites on the go. It’s this simple reason that responsive design has become such a quick staple in web design. Ensuring legibility, adaptive images, and easy flow in your website on all devices not only helps your ranking with search engines such as Google, but it also keeps your visitor’s attentions and keeps them coming back!
2. Long Scrolling Pages
Say “bye-bye” to clicking, and “hello” to infinite scrolling! You might be asking yourself, “How come we’re getting rid of clicking when that’s how we interact with the website?” Well, my intelligent reader, I’ll tell you why. That’s not the only way we interact with websites! Scrolling is becoming our predominant method of interaction with websites. Again, you might be asking yourself, “Why?” The answer is simple, and if you read our “Number 1” on this list, you’ve already got the answer. Mobile web has changed the way we think about websites and how we should interact with them. Scrolling is simply easier to do, faster to do, and in the end gives you more control, whereas hover effects and clicking aren’t known by the user until you do them. Scrolling is just more natural.
3. Large Background Images/Videos
A picture is worth a thousand words. Much easier than reading word for word, paragraph after paragraph, pictures and videos deliver more to your visitors quicker and easier. It’s one of the simplest ways to have your website stand out, gaining more attention, and ultimately getting you more results.
4. Card/Tile Design
Card/Tile design are an excellent way to keep things short and to the point. This design trend helps in a “hurry up and go” world because it makes things so much easier to browse through. As many of us might already know, powerhouse social networking sites such as Facebook and Pinterest have long since adopted this design trend. Simply put, cards are cleaner and more versatile.
5. Mobile First
Although we’ve heard this term many times before, you’d be surprised as to how many designers have still yet to adopt this code ethic. Arguably the biggest impact Mobile First can have on a website is its consistency throughout smaller devices. As the name suggests, you start by designing a website with mobile users in mind first, ensuring the website looks great on all mobile devices, typically until all bases are touched and you then begin to think about what will need to be done for tablets, and then desktops.
6. Micro User Experience
It really is the small things that can make all the difference. A small animation here, a simple transition there – these are the things that can take a site from “That’s cool” to “THAT’S COOL!” Some examples of these experience include animated buttons, flashy drop downs, or the ever so popular parallax design.
7. Flat Design
Content is king, and that’s just what Flat Design likes to focus on. The intent is to simplify and remove all characteristics of realism from the website. This includes anything from drop shadows to gradients, leaving you with beautiful typography and content, allowing for a more attractive, engaging website.
Much like the idea of Flat Design, minimalism takes it to the next level, removing any non-essential design elements or distractions. Short, sweet, and to the point, you’ll find that websites are more engaging when you’re not required to read through endless walls of text to get to the bulk of the content that you were looking for in the first place. Even call-to-action buttons have been stripped of their flashy “click me!” designs, being replaced with what has been coined “Ghost Buttons.”
9. Large Typography
With a surplus of free web fonts available to us all now, it’s no wonder minimalism and flat design are taking over. Large typography starts to take the spotlight and is even beginning to be considered a design element in itself, and not just a means of delivering content. Nothing provides a bigger impact about your website than large heading text planted right in the middle of a large video or background image.
The speed of a website is something that should be considered above all else. Much like a budget when buying a car or a house, download speed should not be so recklessly spent. While that extra bit of code on your website might make it feel a little more attractive, it would do you no good for the visitors who had left before your website even finished loading due to high bandwidth requirements. Faster websites also allow for your mobile users to have a seamless experience from their desktop counterparts. Whether we constantly think about it or not, the speed of a website can have a drastic impact on your visitor’s user experience, leaving us to wonder if our sites will ever be fast enough, or if technology will ever get us fast enough download speeds.