Change is one of the few things in life you can be sure of. Since the age of the Internet arrived change happens faster than ever, and if you don’t ride the whirlwind you’ll get tossed aside in no time.
As we head into 2015, website design is just one area that’s evolving and entering a new phase.
Here are the top 7 web design trends we’re expecting to see plenty of in the coming year.
Gone is the thinking that the user doesn’t want to scroll. Remember when the belief in the industry was that nobody would scroll down past the “fold”? Well, thanks partly to the proliferation of smart phone browsing, that’s no longer the case. Devices such as Apple’s new iPhone 6 make it much more user-friendly to scroll down and down rather than clicking on a link and waiting for a new page to load. This has given rise to the web design trend to build as much as possible into a single page, with sections or bookmarks that correspond to the navigation menu. Most of the Apple product pages are good examples of this trend, including the iPhone page.
The use of smart phones and other mobile devices has changed the web marketing landscape for good. It’s no longer enough to have a .mobi site that mirrors your company website; you need a single, responsive design that can be updated and managed centrally and viewed on any device, using any size screen. And it can’t take too long to adapt for a new device, either. Rapid responsiveness is key, or it’s just another reason why your visitor is likely to head for the hills before the page is fully loaded.
Time is money, and design trends are partly motivated by the need for speed. Your site needs to be able to load faster and take up less bandwidth, particularly on mobile devices where data is charged in megabytes. Website design professionals are also becoming more aware of the weight of the sites they produce and the ways in which users interact with them. We now pay close attention to the size of files and images, the time it takes for sites to load on different networks and user situations such as limited data plans. At the same time, websites have to perform as flawlessly as possible and deliver a streamlined user experience.
Technological developments like Apple’s famous Siri are taking user interactivity into a whole new dimension. New web design options include:
- Voice recognition options
- Touch-screen technology
- Animated help menus
- Audio versions and described video
Audience engagement and making a stronger connection with the user are going to be critical, and any options for achieving this will boost your success.
Better Quality Images
Big, beautiful header images have been coming into their own for some time now, due partly to the popularity of WordPress themes with huge sliders. Stock images have given way to professional photography, and powerful, elegant content used in places such as the hero area speak volumes for your company brand without interfering with the text. In spite of a sub-trend to buck the system by using typography only instead of background images to make a statement, great pictures are still getting the attention. As long as they load quickly, of course.
Clean, uncluttered looks are paramount for 2015, and changes to the navigation that support this include:
- Flyout or slideout menus that are hidden unless the user scrolls over them
- Hidden main menus that only become visible when an “enter” icon or similar is clicked
- Fixed-width, centered layouts that prevent the content from displaying awkwardly on some devices
- Bigger fonts used for typography, which are easier to see and read.
All these help to increase website sales and generate leads by creating a web design that draws the user’s eye to the primary focal point, without the noise and distraction of “busy” sites.
Don’t get left behind. By keeping up with these trends, you’ll ensure that your site stays up-to-date, draws traffic and delivers the sales leads you need. Contact us to set up a consultation to take your company website into 2015.