With the interaction between users and the digital world constantly changing, we see some web design trends come and others go to be forever forgotten. 2014 saw the rise of trends like scrolling, HTML5, mobile, micro UX and flat user interface (UI). Meanwhile, web design was also ruled by an all-time king of design principles – minimalism. Curious about what’s in store for web designers in 2015? Read on to see which trends are predicted to blossom in the upcoming year.
Stop Clicking, Start Scrolling
Scrolling will continue to dominate the scene in the near future – perhaps because it’s so functional in mobile environments. Scrolling helps to improve the UX – it’s really intuitive, easy to use and provides a different, more interactive kind of experience. Most importantly, it plays a vital role in improving the load time of the page – countless studies have already shown us that fast load time is key to a website’s success. It’s time to start scrolling!
If you think elements like patterns, shadows, gradients or bubbles will come back, you’re highly mistaken. It’s high time we all embraced the simplicity and intuitiveness of flat design, which is closely related to a major ongoing web design trend – minimalism. Flat design is perfect for mobile devices, always providing a clear layout and intelligible page structure.
Flat design has been with us for at least a couple of years now, so it can easily be considered an industry standard. This doesn’t mean, of course, that it will never change. In fact, Google recently revealed a new take on flat design. They call it material design, combining “the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science” (http://www.google.com/design/spec/material-design/introduction.html). It’s based on visual metaphors, bold graphics and some meaningful motion. Who knows, maybe that’s the future of flat design?
Focus on Backgrounds
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The ongoing tendency to use large, high-quality graphics, photos or videos on website backgrounds will surely persist in 2015. This kind of focus on visuals has been in development for the last few years and now it’s in full bloom – using background images instead of trying to put together a lot of text on a small screed is also advantageous for increasingly important mobile environments.
Sometimes, background graphics can be dynamic – when used well, a background video can serve as a central point in the overall design strategy of a website. In 2015, background videos will become a truly captivating medium for creating a specific atmosphere on the page and helping to communicate the brand message.
Wonders of Typography
Industry experts agree that 2015 will be the year of typography. This renewed focus has been noted recently as typography started to be used not only as an embellishment, but as an integral part of a certain design aesthetics. 2015 will see more and more cases of matching between virtual and material campaigns – typography will serve to maintain brand consistency across various marketing platforms.
The market for typography is rich and varied – captivating typography can today be purchased at reasonable prices and the future will show that this kind of investment is simply worth it. Fonts will become new mediums of style, so think twice before you settle for Times or Arial.
The popularity of ghost buttons will rise together with the trend for background images. Ghost buttons are a minimal and smart design feature that adds that touch of class and elegance to any website. This sophisticated element will gain new focus in 2015, so prepare to see more ghost buttons than ever.
Card Design Marvels
Ever since the rapid growth to fame of Pinterest, card design has been a constant web design trend. It’s predicted to gain even more importance in 2015, when it will become a standard practice for organizing and rearranging information on the website’s space, leaving the layout uncluttered and functional.
It’s not just about the visual though – card design is also functional. It can prompt users to perform actions like sharing, liking, pinning or purchasing a product. Card design will be used more and more to help brands engage with consumers, with design becoming a big part of that process.
Narratives today make up for an important part of marketing and branding. Storytelling is the process of creating narratives that help to situate brands in specific contexts of principles or values, and so fosters the consumer engagement.
2015 will see storytelling activities embedded within each and every aspect of a website – from page elements to overall design, web design will serve as a medium for communicating the brand narrative.
Brands are also expected to use more and more videos to convey their stories and integrate other visual elements like typography, infographics and images in their general storytelling strategies.
This is hardly a trend anymore – with the rapidly growing use of mobile, responsive design has become nothing short of an industry standard. Designing a website that doesn’t respond to different screen sizes is today considered a vital mistake. Together with the increasing global use of mobile devices, from tablets to smartphones, we can expect responsive design to expand in 2015 and the next few years.
Growing Personalization of UX
Brands already know the value of relevant content – it offers a great potential for improving the overall user experience. That’s why today, using cookies is common practice. In 2015, brands will want to create a sense of continuity and come up with more ways than ever to provide relevant content to their users.
Elements like recently read/visited will become common functionalities aimed at rendering websites more familiar and relevant. Analytics will help too – having an idea about what users actually do on websites will in turn help designers in proposing some new content that might be of interest.
More Infographics Than Ever
The web is today a repository of petabytes of information and no one actually has the time to sit down and read everything on their own. To make this easier, marketers came up with the idea of infographics – they convey the message in a fun, engaging and visually captivating way.
This is what web design will be about – creative display of information and a user-friendly interface. Infographics are comprehensible and users like them a lot – in 2015, we’ll see them not only as mediums for communicating knowledge, but also as elements fitting into brand narratives and features meant to provide consumer entertainment and engagement.
All the above trends for 2015 are surely not revolutionary – they do, however, represent a certain direction where all new media are going. It’s all about coming up with new solutions that can be applied to web design, bringing forward an improved user experience and consumer engagement with brands online.