Web Design Trends For 2015
Many design trends that emerged this year are set to continue and evolve into 2015. The rise of mobile usage has had a direct influence on these trends and we saw responsive web design becoming the new standard.
Having a fully responsive website is an important consideration for any modern business competing in today’s digital landscape. It is now more important than ever to provide a seamless experience across all of your channels. Your website is the shopfront of your business and it is therefore extremely important that they are no barriers placed between it and the customer. A clunky unresponsive website will cause users to abandon their visit and possibly go to a competitor who has a more modern mobile friendly website. It has become clearly apparent that responsive design is not a fad or a trend but a new standard that is here to stay for 2015 and beyond.
The trend of using ‘ghost buttons’ was a popular feature in web design this year. This design feature creates an elegant and sophisticated look to a web site. These transparent ghost buttons are minimal and stylish and work really well with large background images and videos. The transparency of their design means that they do not interrupt the flow of a web page. They can merge seamlessly with a powerful background image but also manage to attract the eye of the user. With the continued popularity of using large background imagery on web pages these complimentary ghost buttons are predicted to also feature strongly in web design throughout in 2015.
A large and visually stunning background image known as a ‘hero’ image was a popular trend for 2014 that is set to continue in to next year. The term ‘hero’ image was adopted from the print industry and refers to an image that takes over a full page of a publication in order to ‘wow’ the reader. 2014 saw many new web designs using an introductory image or video on the homepage with minimal text. Often these images are overlayed with one ‘call to action’ ghost button such as an email sign up box. This design allows content to be displayed prominently and engages people, encouraging them to stay and explore the website.
Use of Background Video
The use of HTML5 videos, which run in the background of the web pages emerged as a popular design feature for 2014. We predict that this trend will continue into to 2015. As web design simplifies and attention spans get even shorter, the increased use of videos to tell a story in the most direct way possible is becoming more and more prevalent.
With such an emphasis on content, rich typography will continue to be a dominating design element in to 2015. Font types are also becoming more affordable and readily available thanks to Google fonts. This means designers can be more flexible and creative with their type setting. Also, the inclusion of more interesting type-centric templates included in WordPress themes is helping this trend to evolve. Creative use of fonts is a great way to add personality to a web site and make it stand out. The growth in popularity of infographics is testament to the power of clever type setting to engage people.
Scrolling allows more dynamic interaction to take place between the user and the website and will continue to dominate over clicking in 2015. The popularity of mobile devices has directly influenced this design trend as scrolling down is now a more intuitive action. Scrolling also cuts down on load times. People are also more likely to scan all the content if it is on one page. Websites that use this design feature must offer the user clear indications that they will find what they are looking for on the page if the continue to scroll. A good combination of scrolling and clicking is often the best solution to modern website engagement. Whilst scrolling will keep people on certain pages, clicking creates a clear hierarchy for more content heavy websites.
Another design trend that has been influenced by the rise in mobile is the increased popularity of ‘card design’ websites. This is the web design format of displaying information in modular bite-size panels. Essentially these panels are miniature condensed web pages that contain a brief amount of text, a user name, an image and various share icons. This design layout is a good format for designers to work with as panels can be rearranged in a clean and simple fashion that gives an organised and uniform appearance.
Material design is a visual language developed by Google in 2014. Also known as ‘flat design’ this new design language uses bright colours and dynamic animated graphics to create visual engagement. The use of strong bold colours and clear graphical symbols gives a strong visual identity to the design. The users interactions trigger responsive animations and graphic elements that whizz in and out of pages. The animated graphics serve to focus attention and maintain continuity. Material design is currently used in Google Drive, Google Keep and Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. In 2015 it will be extended throughout the Google’s array of web and mobile products. This will provide a consistent experience across all platforms and applications.
These micro interactions are the playful graphics that wiggle or transform some how as the user scrolls down the page or hovers over buttons. This is often used to great effect for email sign up which can make the action more enticing to the user than a static box on the page. It is thought that this will further permeate web design through 2015 as web sites look for the best ways to capture users information as effectively as possible. These micro interactions serve to entertain the user which in turn reflects favorably on the website. We predict that web design in 2015 will be more about the extra experiences that can be added to the web site visit as opposed to design features.