We've compiled the top 5 web design trends we think you're likely see this year.
1. Long Scrolling Websites
With responsive designs becoming standard practice, publishers and designers are asking visitors to scroll through the page – a page which is now much longer. This scrolling feature has enabled websites to become more fashionable and sleeker because there are now fewer links. With minimal space, especially on mobile devices, it now allows users to simply scroll a page with their fingers right down to the bottom of the pages. It also saves time as you are freed from the hassle of trying to tap on minute web links to get the info you need. Most online stores are also shifting to this strategy as it saves users’ data. In the old days, the full page had to load and we had to wait for the all photos to load… leading to wastage of time and also the data.
Today, designers are using the feature not just on the homepages, but in product or sales pages as well.
Take for instance, Apple website’s page for iPhone 6 which has a long scrolling homepage and when you are directed to the main iPhone 6 page, there is also a long scrolling display which showcases all of the device’s specs and features.
In addition, designers are also adding additional features like animation along the pages to make it much more user-friendly. Most sites are also sporting the ‘Up to Top’ or ‘Top’ buttons.
2. Better storytelling and interactivity
Having great content is very important for any website to tell a story. But, more importantly, is how well you package the content. It is 2015 and time is crucial for your users. They want you to tell them what exactly you have in mind in a presentable and interactive manner.
Take a look at how Space Needle’s website is creatively designed to tell facts about ‘Space Needle’ via brilliant storytelling technique and a user friendly design. Another classic example of a website having good interactivity feature is Impossible Bureau.
3. No big header background images
The common practice among most designers in the last few years is to place a large header background image to announce the website’s brand name or owner’s service. However, mid-2014, a few Wordpress themes designers started to give a backseat to large image headers by replacing them with a simple text or a smaller header. Soon after, we now see people giving total free background image. This not only helps speed up websites but saves the users their data. A good example of this trend is New Wave Company’s website which comes with a large header accompanied by a large typography in the middle. If you look at it carefully, you will notice that the website does not have a large background image behind the header.
4. Flyout or Slideout Menus
Initially, when responsive design came around, the primacy focus was still on desktop browsers. However, companies with huge users soon realised that their customers found their websites not as good as the desktop version. Designers soon came up with much more appealing looks for mobile and tablet devices. RWD is one such attempt. If you look at it, you will see the flyout or slideout menu playing crucial roles to guide the users. You can also take a look at 24ways and Rawnet which have the app-like responsive menu all across their site versions – desktop, mobile and tablets.
The two websites sported a vertical menu both in the left or right side of the page while most sites are still using a horizontal menu at the top. The flyout/slideout menu on the sides will soon catch up as they are more user-friendly.
5. Plain blank page with hidden menus
In January, I saw just a few trendsetting website designs which have nothing but almost plain/blank landing web pages. However, they were creatively crafted with hidden menus which makes users feel at ease when they first open these sites. These hidden menus become visible only when a visitor takes action or clicks an appropriate icon.
Now it’s March and many websites have been redesigned with this new look. They are implemented for all devices and one such design is Brian Hoff Design’s website. Take a look at the hamburger icon which is hungrily placed at the top right side of the page to hide the main menu. The menu appears only if a visitor clicks it. Such a sleek design with a clean but with much more functional menu is surely going to be used more widely in the coming days.