These days, it’s tough to call anything a true web design trend – so many changes occur at lightening speed that it’s tough to keep up. But as more technologies are developed, more innovative ideas are coming to life on computer screens and on the web. Each year designers and developers come up with some of the most revolutionary concepts for web design. This year is no different.
Minimalism has been at the forefront of recent web design trends; however, it’s not alone. Take a look at some of the biggest web and graphic design trends not just of 2015, but of years to come as well.
New approaches to layout
With more and more people relying on mobile devices for web browsing, we’re seeing an increase in the free-flow design to web layout. As a result, grid-like layouts are on the decline. Function is giving way to artistry, likely because consumers are becoming fluent in the art of web browsing, and don’t need to be given hit-me-on-the-head obvious clues on where to go for the information they seek.
We’re also seeing interesting transitions and individual animated sections. These features make the navigation seem more like slideshow navigation, rather than just jump pages.
An enlarged navigation is used to hide the main navigation system. By hiding the navigation system, designers can build upon a more simplified approach. This enlarged navigation trend is based on a mobile responsive menu concept, but is used specifically for larger screens.
More times than not, websites still need menus and navigation systems. However, as websites focus more on interactive storytelling, the hidden, enlarged navigation will help clean up the interface while still providing much needed functionality.
While we just mentioned that most websites still rely on navigation systems, this isn’t always the case. This year (and for the future) we’re seeing a move toward browser reality. Browser reality occurs when the user is thrown into a first-person shooter-style interface.
This approach allows the user to explore a website organically, rather than by using a traditional navigation system.
Enlarged image and video backgrounds aren’t anything new. But what we’re seeing is a new take on this established web design approach. What we see now is the replacement of video background images with cinema graphs, which are static high-quality images with one moving section.
This is a disruptive approach to what consumers typically find, thus it does wonders in grabbing a user’s attention.
Large feature images
This is easily the most common trend we’ve seen in recent months. Designers are focusing on high quality images that produce a vivid, cinematic feel. These large, feature images generally take up the entire screen and are used to establish the tone of the entire site.
These images are so impactful because they say a lot, without having to inundate the reader with endless words or phrases. And, as web technology improves, it’s becoming easier and easier to add images of considerable size to a web page without fear of slowing down load time.
Mobile or bust
While we’re seeing more and more mobile-based web design, this isn’t so much a trend as it is a must. Google has all but demanded that websites be mobile optimized. If you don’t optimize your site for a mobile user, then you risk being penalized.
As such, it’s imperative that web designers understand the rules when it comes to aesthetics of the small screen. There is no indication that mobile browsing is slowing down. Most designers have taken to the mobile-first approach to designing, which may be a good strategy.
SEO is still alive and well
It’s funny to think about SEO-based web design as a new trend, but there was a while when people claimed SEO was dead. It isn’t. People still look to rank high on Google, and SEO has a lot to do with it.
Designers have a part in how SEO-friendly a website is. A site’s layout can tremendously affect the way a site ranks in searches. Are pages structured with a focus? Is there vertical flow? Do you encourage the user to linger on each page? These all impact how well a site ranks.
Typography plays a huge role in how customers respond to a website. We’re seeing an increased use of big, bold typography, which allows designers to play with on-screen negative space, as well as the website’s visual hierarchy.
Typography isn’t just about how best to get information across. It’s also about choosing a style that evokes a certain emotion and mood. These days, there are far too many sites vying for our attention. A striking typography could help you stand out and make an impact.
When it comes to web design, the one thing we should always remember is that the user is king. We have to enhance the user experience to ensure that information is easily accessible. As such, designers are minimizing the amount of thinking users have to do by streamlining every element on the screen.
Because there are so many other website options out there, users are quick to leave your site if they stumble even for one second. That’s why by minimizing their efforts, and making it easy for them to jump from one page to the next, you can ensure that your users stay on your site.
Responsiveness is one of the biggest trends to ever come to website design, and it isn’t going anywhere. Responsiveness is key toward SEO and an improved user experience. Each year it seems more screen sizes are being introduced into the market. New tablets and smartphones could make it difficult for web designers to optimize for every user. However, responsive design simplifies this process and ensures that every user is getting an enhanced experience.
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