Predicting web design trends is critical for any digital marketing professional. Some people dismiss it as a waste of time, claiming that focusing too much on others distracts from your own work. However, if you don’t know how the industry is changing, you’ll never evolve.
Ignorance can hurt your hire-ability as well. There comes a point where trends develop from simple fads to official “best practices.” Plus, observing the landscape is a form of collaboration. Great work by others can inspire your own efforts, and push you to try something new.
The major 2014 trends such as grid layouts, flat design and exploration of HTML5 aren’t dissipating any time soon. However, recent activity suggests that these are giving way to some new practices as well as the growth of older familiar trends as well.
Check out this list of trends to watch for 2015, and for more on how a web design agency can improve your site, contact SPINX Digital today.
Card-based design isn’t new per se, but you can count on it blowing up in the coming months. The reason? Google’s upcoming algorithm update. The company has already started to increase its penalties for websites that don’t pass its “mobile-friendly” test, downgrading their rank in search engine results.
This means that many companies will now be scrambling to either fix their poorly rendering desktop websites, or create a new responsive site altogether.
Enter card-based design.
This trend marks a win for businesses, designers and users alike, as it’s relatively easy to create and renders quickly across all devices. For the uninitiated, when a card-based page loads on a tablet or smartphone, it’s broken up into its separate parts and hastily reordered to the specification of screen size and browser.
Rather than having content arranged into 3 columns as it might be on your desktop website, card-based design features can reposition and streamline them into a single column.
More scrolling, less clicking
Expect to see this trend also grow as a reaction to Google’s mandate for mobile. As smartphones and tablets dominate the way in which we use the Internet, apps, and generally engage with brands, user experience is becoming much more of a priority.
As anyone who’s ever accessed content on her phone, excessive tapping is not a pleasant experience. When too many links are close together, you sometimes tap the wrong one. Meanwhile, following a link requires the subsequent page to load, which takes time.
More and more companies will figure out a solution for their mobile experience that relies more on scrolling over a page. Whether it’s a customized site for tablets and smartphones or a native app, clicking and tapping is on the way out.
Background images seem to have only grown in size over the past few years. This is in part due to the popularity of flat design, which relies on minimalism, simple shapes and large font. (Flat is also here to stay, though some are predicting a more grown-up flat design for 2015).
(Image via Kin HR)
Very large images, however, are only going to become more prevalent in the coming year. Thanks to lading brands like Apple whose design relies heavily on beautiful, wide images, other companies are going to want to follow suit. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can’t fault brands for wanting to make the web a prettier place.
Some have called Google’s Material Design the next evolution of flat. We’re not sure if it’s going to take the design world by storm in the same way, but it is trying to bring innovation to website creation. It combines familiar elements such as bold and intentional shapes and colors with a more hands-on, textural experience.
In fact, material seems to emphasize contrast. It juxtaposes vibrant colors with muted backgrounds; simple, minimalist objects with subtle light and shadow. Meanwhile it uses smart animation to allow for fluid transitions. The ultimate goal with all of these features is to provide an easier and more enjoyable user experience.
More emphasis on typography
Traditionally, if you wanted your website to feature more unique and eye-catching typography, you had to rely on expensive type kits. This might’ve been fine for big brands with big budgets, but it more or less alienated everyone else. Businesses with more modest resources had to use the site provider’s stock typography.
Fortunately, that’s all changing. Chalk it up to the user-empowerment trend of web design. Companies like Square Space now make site building available to anyone; no coding experience required.
Professionals and web design agencies now have a little more flexibility when working with clients on smaller budgets. As a result, WordPress theme designers can add another weapon in their arsenal. Stylish typeface enhances the look of a brand, especially when carefully implemented by a pro with a sense of design.