I recently taught a web design fundamentals course and at the end I shared some of the most common web design trends I have noticed during 2015. I have not and will not attempt to predict what will come, but there is certainly two obvious directions we seem to be going into. Firstly there’s the rich multimedia experiences, that care less about download speeds, but offer visitors something entertaining, something like Flash websites used to do, before Steve pulled the plug. I have a huge amount of respect for the efforts these teams have gone to, given how difficult this is to do with todays technology. The second trend is just he opposite, super simple sites that focus more on content, speed and minimalism. I recently
re-designed re-aligned my personal site and unconsciously added a few trends without even realising it. I simply had no consistent images I wanted to use, so I decided the use of colour, large fonts and minimalism would suit me better. Hope you like my list.
Hidden Main Menus
With only a hamburger menu on the right hand side, the navigation is hidden, only on selection to reveal a full screen navigation that is hard to ignore. I’m sure there are other’s who may have done this before, but I first noticed that Teehan + Lax were early adopters of this technique.
Make it Big
Large full screen backgrounds are nothing new, but large fullscreen videos that seem to load relatively fast, are just epic.
The team at ultranoir have crafted an amazing online experience, the likes of which I have not seen since Flash ruled the rich media experience online.TimeSifht165 is a Digital & Interactive Fan Artwork inspired by the exceptional story of a unique French car : The Delahaye 165s and the amazing thing, is you can drive the car with your desktop keyboard or through your phone.
I’ve started spotting patterns everywhere as a way of breaking the large device focussed stereotype layouts that were all of the web over the past couple of years. They re not only gorgeous, fill the screen, but they can be interactive. The light vector graphics also help with speed, but still offer a richer visual appearance.
It’s interesting to see a font get an entire site dedicated to it. Font microsites are popping up everywhere and none as slick as the FS Millbank microsite, which is gorgeous on any device.
Flat design is everywhere and with SVG being the preferred image format, I doubt flat design is going anyway any time soon. Love it or hate it, it makes sense in our multi device world where speed and vectors are king.
No more Boxes
It’s fantastic to see html sites breaking out of their grid like structures and telling stories in new ways. Again similar to how Flash sites were built, this is another tribute to the interactive era of the past, or maybe the beginning of an exciting future.
Simple, clean, content focussed sites that purely drive the message home make sense when we consider how despite faster internet bundles, the internet just seems to be getting slower.
No header background
Almost every template you find these days has the same large image background, and while we love the large format video experience, sometimes it’s simply lovely not having a large image in the background. Another great example of simplicity.
Very Large Typography
Someone commented during my course that this site reminds them of the mad men era ads, where there was a huge focus on copy driving the campaign message home. With the use of web fonts, we can pretty much use any BOLD font we like and do something beautiful with words and type.
Speed & Performance
I love how Google have stated that performance is a feature. Speed is super critical to users, UX people cannot stress enough the importance their research has identified speed as one of the most important things to users. But it’s more than that, with pages filled with all sorts of animation and other functionality, how fast these services perform is equally as important. People want a fast, smooth experience and taking into consideration speed and performance will ensure your site is a hit, not only with users, but with search engines too, who now rank you on both speed and performance. I think this will be the biggest trend going forward and as you might have noticed with the minimal websites above, simple is influenced by speed.