One of the many challenges of web design is to build websites with a striking visual impact to draw visitors in whilst at the same time offer the best possible user experience.
The user experience starts with simple and intuitive navigation alongside web pages that load rapidly. As technology continues to develop and search engines construct and tweak algorithms, we see new web design trends emerging promising to enhance the user experience further.
So far 2015 has been no exception, with mobile and responsive websites being high on everyone’s agenda. This year has seen new web design trends that are creating visually appealing websites but also introducing some new ideas moving away from the traditional website layout. Time will tell whether these new web design trends sit pretty with users or they are pushing too hard to change our habits.
Here are 4 web design trends we’ve seen so far this year:
Single Screen Layout
Single screens, or full-screen designs, are the ones that fill an entire screen, usually showing impactful and eye image that instantly entices the visitor in, wanting to know more.
This type of design has become a popular trend in 2015, one reason being that it fits any type of screen resolution, making it responsive.
Some may find this type of approach a bit risky, but if the image is carefully chosen in line with the target audience that the website is aimed towards, this design can prove effective as it brings a strong focus on the content.
Another appealing aspect of this design is that visitors don’t need to scroll up and down to get the information they need. It’s all there, easy and simple.
This trend has definitely been gaining traction and is proving popular amongst users and website designers and owners, so expect to see more of these around throughout the year.
Another very popular website design trend this year is the split screen layout.
This means that the homepage is divided vertically into two halves, and each one of them displays different content.
For example, on one-half, a company may want to emphasize a specific product they’re just launching, or trying to push sales of, and on the other half, they might show their corporate identity with their logo.
With this type of design, there are many possible variations of content and colours available. What is more, you can refresh the content frequently simply by updating one-half or the other, so it’s always showing something you’re trying to emphasise to your potential customers. This is much easier to keep up-to-date than the single screen layout described above, as there is not as much importance on a single image chosen.
With a split screen, visitors can choose which content appeals to them more, which serves to help you to segment your audience. This is particularly helpful if you have more than one targeted audience.
For example, you may want to show your audience one serious and one playful side of your business. This trend allows broad possibilities.
Many websites have what a lot of web designers consider to be a huge distraction for visitors: a lot of headers, footers, and borders that encase the page.
So, this year, another big trend seems to be the elimination of all these distractions. Simply put; no chrome.
Without all those distractions and with the relevant information, menus and links placed on the page free of containers, the website looks more “clean” and easy too. The central focus of the visitors is on the specific content (products, services, etc) on the page.
This trend is a clear example of the phrase “less is more”. Expect to see this trend stick around, as many designers feel this layout makes visitors focus much more on what really matters to the business.
Studies show that website visitors prefer to scroll down on a homepage rather than having a short website full of menus and links where they need to spend ages looking for and clicking on the information they need.
In light of this, another big trend we’re seeing this year is longer scrolling as a means for businesses to display content. This trend doesn’t just apply to homepages, it is being used sitewide, on other landing pages as well, such as product pages.
One website that is a great example of this trend is Apple’s product page for the iPhone 6, with a long scrolling page that shows the visitor all of the product’s information and features, with images and animations that are truly attention-catching making the scrolling a great interactive pleasure for the user.
Have you come across any other key trends so far this year? Let us know in the comments below.