It seems that with every new year that comes around, old trends are phased out while new and improved ones emerge. Whether it is the color or style of clothing we wear, the type of car we drive, or even the everyday technology we use, trends tend to come and go at a rapid pace.
This holds true in the field of web design. Although some trends from 2014 may roll over to 2015, many of them will be phased out while new and improved trends will take over where they left off.
Here are some trends that will make a mark in 2015:
There are several ways to implement a mobile web design solution as explained in my January blog Design Solutions for the Mobile Web. Also, in that blog it was stated that responsive design was the best solution to present day web design and development. Building secondary mobile sites (i.e. m.yourwebsitename.com) and depending on device detection is becoming a thing of the past. In 2015, mobile, tablet, and desktop layouts are being integrated seamlessly with the use of responsive design; resulting in a better user experience. This method also helps with optimizing your website by reducing subdomains and duplicate content.
Mobile Desktop Navigation
To navigate web pages on mobile devices, web designers and developers often implement mobile menu structures which function in several different ways. Mobile menus can collapse, expand, pop up or even flyout from the sides of the device’s screen. In 2015, these menu structures will be utilized in desktop layouts as well. Some websites like Adobe, MyEmma, and YouTube have already implemented this type of navigation. It’s only a matter of time before this become common practice.
Image and Video Backgrounds (Hero Images)
Most companies are content with letting words do the talking on their web pages. If this is your train of thought you are missing a big opportunity to grab your visitor’s attention. In 2015, designers and developers are now using hero images and video backgrounds instead of image sliders to accomplish this goal. These have been proven to be more effective than text heavy websites. Usually, accompanying Hero Images and video backgrounds are a couple lines of text and a call-to-action (CTA) button. Two very good examples of this would be the Tatamagouche Brewing Co. and Hammerhead websites.
Flat Design / Material Design
If you have been browsing the web lately (about for the past 2-3 years to be exact), you would have noticed a common trend in how websites are being designed. Everything appears to be flat, simple shapes with colors that pop. Presently, flat design, (as it is called), seems to be the technique of choice when creating websites (ex. https://www.getdonedone.com/). Google has even expanded on this concept by adding subtle gradients and slight movement or animation to create a new direction known as material design. A great example of material design would be Playground, Inc.’s website. Flat design in general offers a clean, fast, and clutter-free layout that allows visitors to interact with content focused on gaining their attention without being distracted.
Micro Interactions (Forms, Popups)
Another web design trend that seems to be taking off as of late is the implementation of micro interactions. In web design micro interactions are modules – usually in the form of popups, that revolve around a single process. The process can be anything from subscribing to a blog or an email distribution, downloading content, watching a video clip, and so on. There are numerous ways to trigger mico interactions on a website; however, from personally viewing multiple websites over the past year or so, the most common way to trigger these interactions is by viewing a page for a certain amount of time; when that time elapses a micro interaction would usually appear. This practice is very popular with blog posts. Ultimately, micro interactions should improve user engagement and increase customer loyalty if implemented correctly.
It is important to note that some of these new trends may not increase visits to your website; however, they may keep visitors engaged enough to positively impact conversion rates.
What other web design trends from 2014 will rollover or have an impact in 2015?
What other new trends do you expect to see in 2015 that are not listed above? You may add or list any other trends you foresee in the comments below!