Are you redesigning your website in 2015? What you probably don’t know is that there is a lot that goes into a good web design. That’s why it is so important to start thinking about your design features early! A good web design should be highly usable and intuitive, satisfying both your marketing needs and the needs of your audience. And nowadays, a successful web design must be mobile-friendly. Here are the top 10 web design trends for 2015 to help you put your best foot forward.
1. The Responsive Layout
Responsive design technology allows your website to be viewed on all devices from smartphones to tablets to desktop computers, and beyond. And in 2015, this is a must. Not only does responsive design provide an optimal viewing experience for the user, search engines now rank mobile-friendly websites higher than non-mobile friendly sites.
You should invest in responsive design because:
- It is flexible, delivering more content to more users
- More and more people are accessing the web from their mobile devices
- Digital real estate is free
2. Clean and Simple
The concept of a “clean and simple” design means that the overall look and feel is clean both visually and conceptually. There is this concept of “white space” when it comes to web design; you want to give enough space so that the elements can breathe. Too much clutter will confuse your visitors and quite honestly, give them a headache! In order to keep things simple, your designer should implement content and information architecture (navigation and layout) to be as simple as possible.
Minimalism does not refer to using as little as possible, but rather using the “right” amount. Throwing too many elements onto the screen will take you back to that cluttered look of the late 90’s and sends a message to your users that your site may not be credible. A flattering design, such as the one you see in the latest iOS updates, really supports this minimalistic concept. Elements should be flatter and cleaner; ornamentation, like bevel and shadows, are no longer in.
4. The Big Background Photo
Lately, you’re sure to see more and more websites with a large, jaw-dropping photo on the home screen. This big background photo design is so popular because it has the opportunity to really “wow” your visitors visually. These large images, if done right, can be very impactful drawing the user in and setting a mood. The one caveat is that your photos must be awesome, high-quality images.
5. Parallax Images
Parallax scrolling uses a technology that creates the illusion of depth, generally by making the background of the website move at a different speed than the rest of the page.
The benefits of Parallax images include:
- They are eye-catching
- They make scrolling fun
- They drive and direct users to the page
6. Fixed Headers
Fixed headers refer to your header navigation that remains fixed while a user scrolls down the page. This is beneficial because it keeps the main navigation and important ideas in clear sight at all times. Plus, it increases usability for your users!
7. Storytelling, Gamification and Expanding Panels
Storytelling, gamification and expanding panels are all great ways to allow your user to play with your site. This is a good thing because it increases “stickiness” (the concept of keeping users on your site longer) and encourages interaction.
Consider incorporating interactive widgets that take up less design space but still offer the same amount of information. Other opportunities to promote stickiness include rotating images, storyboards, and galleries.
8. Animations and Reactive Elements
Animations and reactive elements provide a feeling of movement and depth to your site. Coding languages such as CSS3 and HTML5 now offer a lot of really cool reactive element capabilities such as content-driven hover states and expanding panels. These features do a great job of giving your page life and vibrancy while also encouraging interaction.
9. Single Page Scrolling
Back in the day, single page scrolling was the result of too much content, later becoming a design faux pas once the ability to make deeper websites became available. Today, single page scrolling is an old concept re-imagined. It allows you to take a single page and break it into many ideas instead of having to load a new page, your user just scrolls down for a new idea. The major plus to all of this is the bandwidth you can save!
10. Split Screen Landing Pages
If your end-user is likely to land on your homepage the majority of the time and knows why he or she is there, consider implementing split-screen landing pages for some extra design fun. This concept serves as an entryway to a big idea! But remember that in order to implement this properly, you must really know your audience!
As you move forward with your website redesign, keep these 10 trends in mind. However, we wouldn’t recommend implementing all 10 trends, as that would likely be “too much”. Instead, cherry pick your favorites from this list and implement several that work well together. If you are in need of a redesign in 2015, allow us to help! Contact Informatics today to begin working on your website redesign.