Web Design Trends
Technology just keeps evolving at break-neck speed. On the downside, this makes it hard to know what is going to happen in the future of digital design because, as you are Tweeting about the newest trend here, it has already been overtaken by another trend two studios down the road. It’s hard to keep up, but thankfully we have access to the brightest minds in web design and technology who are able to identify consistent trends that are here to stay. For the next season, at least.
Simplicity of design
Web user preference is leaning towards clean, performance-based designs. We don’t have the time or patience to sift through clutter anymore; loads of text or unorganized menus immediately makes us look for a new website. Simplicity will be the paradigm that guides visual design, accessibility, user-friendliness and content, especially over multiple devices. Writing for Creative Bloq, designer Matt Marquis says that site size will become smaller, and websites will be leaner, faster and more efficient.
Apps lead the way
Continuing the tend of simplicity, websites are more likely to take their designs from mobile apps than the other way around. Apps are extremely simple to use, easy to navigate and allows users to do so in very little time. Desktop websites will start to run and respond like apps.
Connecting all devices
IT Business analyst Adriana Beal reminds us that the Internet is being accessed more frequently from mobile devices than it is from desktop computers. She calls for websites that support both mobile and desktop access, saying that there is a need for users to have the same-looking site whether they log on from their phone or from their laptop. The new trend to make this happens will be responsive design, progressive enhancement and adaptive design.
Location: You are here
On www.cinchdigital.com one of the running trends is location awareness, now moving onto desktop devices as well. Most mobile devices automatically find your geographical location, as most of us use our mobile devices as GPS devices as well. With desktop devices now picking up your location, it makes localized searches much easier without requiring the user to enter their physical location.
Photos as backgrounds
Using a large photo as your background picture, especially on your landing page, is a great way to capture the user’s attention and serves as a visual marketing tool. There is definite trend towards making a photo the main feature of the page, and leaving menus/text as small feature. This trend is sure to be popular with both designers and photographers.
The return of typography
As much as a huge, beautiful photo could be the center of a stunning landing page so too huge, beautiful typography could be something that makes your website pop out from the rest. A site that has a very typography-based layout and worth a look is http://thegeekdesigner.com/. The return to thoughtful typography opens up a whole new avenue for designers to play with. Well-designed typography could be the main feature of your page, or it could just be that the font used adds to the overall visual experience of the page.
More CSS3 and HTML5
Speaking of typography, CSS3 is making allowance for much richer text to be used and is giving designers more freedom with layouts. Powerful tools for web designers, both CSS3 and HTML5 are the new design toys and it creates so many more possibilities. Desinger and creative for Ci&T David Sachs says that there is no going back from CSS3 nd HTML5. “This is the future, and it still needs to be mastered by a majority of web designers.”
Fixed headers and menu bars
The fixed position property in CSS will allow web designers to keep header and menu bars stuck on the main page, allowing users a smoother experience, easier searching and less scrolling up and down. The design website Hongkiat says that the fixed header bars works perfectly on everything from social networks, blogs, private corporate websites or design studios.
Minimalism in homepages
Also on Hongkiat, designers give attention to the growing need for minimalist webdesign. This is especially important for landing pages, as it is the place that will draw the greatest attention to what you have to offer. You have to capture your user’s attention and imagination in mere seconds, and guide them through the site. Especially for websites that are platforms for online shopping, the simpler the navigation, the bigger your chance is of a sale.
Whether within a design agency, or for an individual (perhaps a freelancer), the more skills you have across one person, the better you will fare in the future. With and increasing focus on adaptive and responsive design, designers will be one step ahead if they also know code, as they will translate their ideas into both the core and the surface of the website. Andy Budd, founder of Clearleft feels that designers who can’t code are bound to fall behind the rest. Says Budd: “Those who already code have an astonishing playground to create with. Those who don’t need to learn – fast.”
As a lover and daily user of social media and the Internet, Marilu Snyders is always interested in current and upcoming trends in the digital world and the world of design.