2014 has seen some spectacular trends emerge in the web design landscape: code-free design platforms, parallax effects, single-page websites, etc. While some are predictable and fleeting, select few are evolutionary and here to stay. As the range of devices on which we can view websites continues to grow, designers must constantly adapt their workflow to meet the dynamic changes that are occurring in web design. Here are a few web design trends to look out for in 2015 and beyond.
Responsive Design for Everybody
In the yester years, “responsive” merely required that your website should work on Desktops, Tablets and Smartphone. With the advent of Wearable tech and Smart Appliances, the usage and utility of the responsive design is expanding rapidly to encompass more touch points. Each platform poses its own unique challenges of navigation, visual optimization. Solutions to these new problems will take some time to emerge, but, by the end of 2015, the sheer breadth of the smart device market will force web designers to adapt their techniques.
Flat Design – Keeping It Simple
With Microsoft’s UI language, Google’s new Material Design guidelines, and Apple’s new aesthetic direction—the flat design trend is fast becoming extremely popular. Though experts continue to debate on the issues with flat design in the field of user interfaces, general consensus is that it’s a favorable technique and here to stay. Flat design lends itself to minimalist principles, which in turn results in sites that are lean, clutter-free, fast, and content focused. This approach is not only aesthetically pleasing and practical, allowing visitors to engage with the content and appreciate it.
This style of button is also quite popular on pages that use full-screen photography, as it is thought to not intrude into the image as much as a more traditional button. Ghost buttons have a particularly clean look and feel, work with almost any design schema because they are transparent. This allows the button to essentially take on the properties of the surrounding design. Ghost buttons provide an element of visual surprise. They also create a focal point for calls-to-action without being obtrusive. Hence they are perfect for designers not wishing to clutter their sites with albeit necessary navigation.
Parallax scrolling in web design is a design trend that is going to be huge this year. Parallax scrolling involves the background moving at a different rate than the foreground, creating a 3D effect as you scroll down the page. Parallax scrolling has some great applications in web design. It can be used to create visual interest, hold viewer attention, and it’s effective for sites that want to communicate a linear story.
Micro UX design is all about delighting the user by using simple innovative design that not only makes a task easier but also creates an engaging, humane experience that’s a pleasure to repeat. Good attention to detail can really make a website stand out from the crowd. Used sparingly, micro UX effects can help bring a website to life with menus, transitions and hover states all pleasing the senses.
Scrolling Not Clicking
Scrolling through webpages is far quicker than clicking. It helps convey masses of information without slowing down the experience for the user, its mobile and touch friendly, it’s a non-committal action that requires little thought and it’s perfect for webpages where the purpose is storytelling. Using scrolling instead of clicking as a navigation technique is brilliant on several levels. It requires less page loading, but more importantly, it makes it easy to craft smooth transitions from point to point with no jarring refreshes. Information keeps flowing.
Shades of Colour
By choosing one vibrant colour, and various shades thereof, then offsetting it against a neutral background you can create a rather elegant looking interface.
In 2015, the images will be in the spotlight thanks to the new interesting features. Once upon a time it was important to limit the size of the image due to the limited bandwidth networks, but over time, this problem is becoming less and less relevant. As a result, large images filled the Internet.
Much like infographics, webgraphics convey large amounts of information, but involve elements that allow the user to physically interact with the information. They are more visually appealing than infographics and significantly increase retention with the user.