Web design is in a phase of rapid development. Last year we witnessed the emergence of several important trends like scrolling, responsive design and flat UI, all of which are expected to grow on the contemporary web design scene. What's in store for web designers in the near future?
When considering the future of web design, you should definitely acknowledge two facts: that innovative technological developments will inevitably impact our design techniques and that the growing importance of web developers will inspire web designers to create imaginative solutions that will set them apart from other professionals.
Here's an overview of 11 major web design trends we'll see blossom in 2015 and 2016.
1. Responsive design
This is hardly a trend anymore – more like an industry standard. Still, it's worth to mention responsive design, which in contrast to fixed, fluid or adaptive, will be an excellent choice to match the expansive growth of mobile.
This will likely force web designers to always consider this aspect in their work. A website that doesn't respond to various screen sizes today loses a lot on relevance and UX. Experts predict that in 2015 more web traffic will come from mobile than desktop devices – and this is simply bound to impact web design.
2. We'll be scrolling
It's clear that scrolling will still rule in 2015 – some people expect there to be even more of it! Websites that are based on scrolling will extend this functionality to its maximum, shaping all their content to fit into the scrolling paradigm.
Scrolling has become popular for several reasons: it's intuitive, it offers an interactive experience with the website and significantly improves the UX. Not to mention the fact that it also helps to speed up the page – and that's something that will always be important in web design.
3. No more large background images
Let's make it clear – large, high-quality images could be spotted decorating many headers in 2014, but in 2015 things are about to change. The trend has simply become too popular for its own good – when everyone is using those background images, why should you?
It's likely that designers will keep those large headers, but spice them up with some unique typographic design and leave the background blank. Getting rid of those large images will definitely improve website speed and performance – and that's an evergreen value.
4. Play with ghost buttons
Something we've seen popping up here and there are ghost buttons. Their popularity means they'll be staying with us for a little while longer. They're a great feature – minimalistic, elegant and sophisticated. Their popularity is expected to rise in 2015 – especially for websites that choose characteristic typography, bold colors or background videos.
5. Choose personalized UX
Web designers also take care of a website's content and personalized UX is something they'll be looking into in the near future. Relevance is a key value of web content – it can potentially improve the overall user experience on the website.
In 2015 and 2016, brands will use the knowledge about personal preferences to build online environments that reflect their branding strategy and immerse users in the brand's universe. Web designers will be interested in creating a sense of continuity and providing truly relevant content to their users.
Elements like recently read/visited will be all over the place, making websites more familiar and relevant. Brands will use analytics to gain insights about how users behave on their websites, influencing designers to create solutions for further personalization.
6. Go for card design
Pinterest is a giant in the making and its characteristic design has caught the eye of many web designers. Today card design is a classic, but it's expected to become even bigger in the near future. It might even turn into a standard practice for organizing and arranging information on websites, while promoting an uncluttered and functional layout.
Card design doesn't only look great, but it's also functional. Its specific structure is perfect for call to action, influencing users to perform actions, such as sharing, liking, pinning or purchasing a product. In 2015 and 2016, brands will use this kind of design to engage their consumers.
7. Create better infographics
Infographics are all the rage now and in the near future, we'll see this particular medium mature and grow into a real art. Today infographics are used for may different purposes, but always with one central goal in mind: to make complex information digestible and easy to remember.
In 2015 and 2016, brands will strive to display their data in creative ways – using solutions like friendly UIs and creative approaches to foster the process of understanding. Infographics will become an integral part of brand narratives, providing entertainment to consumers.
8. Consider flat design
If you thought bubbles, patterns, gradients or shadows are ever coming back, think twice. In the near future, we'll embrace minimalism and one good design style that perfectly channels it is flat design. Incidentally, this kind of design is also perfect for mobile devices, providing a clear layout and an intelligible page structure.
Flat design is nothing new, but it has experienced some radical changes. Google recently introduced a brand new variety of flat design they call material design – check it out here. (http://www.google.com/design/spec/material-design/introduction.html) It's based on visual metaphors, meaningful motion and bold graphics. It's likely that flat design will look completely different in the near future – but it will always be with us, one way or another.
9. Focus on typography
The hype in next years will be on the topic of typography. Until recently typography was being used as a mere aesthetic detail – in the near future, typefaces and fonts will be just as important as other visual elements of a website, becoming an integral part of web design. Virtual and material campaigns are expected to have matching topography, which will help to maintain brand consistency across different marketing platforms.
Typography market is rich and varied and you can easily purchase great designs at reasonable prices. Brands will consider this kind of investment as simply worth the trouble. Fonts will become new carriers of style, urging brands to think carefully before settling on Times or Arial.
10. Background videos
If the trend for background images will start to annoy users, videos will be there to save the day. In 2015 and 2016, we'll see new focus on background videos – they'll become a central point of the overall design strategy. They're simply expected to become a new and highly captivating medium, which will be used to create a specific atmosphere on the page and help communicate the brand message.
11. Tell an interactive story
Storytelling in web design is something we're still waiting for to boom. Brand narratives are an important part of branding processes – they situate a brand in a specific context of values or principles, foster consumer engagement and communicate brand message.
In the near future, storytelling and brand narratives will be enclosed in every aspect of a website – from page elements like typography or videos to the overall design principles. Web design will be fully integrated with a brand's strategies of storytelling – it will serve as a medium for communicating brand narratives.
Those 11 trends won't revolutionize web design, but they all clearly point to major tendencies we've seen develop in recent years – personalization, focus on mobile, visual communication of brand narratives and large visual elements that make a statement. We'll be seeing more minimalism, solutions for efficient website performance and efforts at maximizing of web design's value in branding and UX.
Author: DATA Lab