Are you thinking about having your website redesigned? What web design approach will appeal to your site visitors? What’s hot and what’s not! Here we look at some of the current web design trends which you might want to consider for your own web development project.

  • Flat Web Design
  • Full Page background videos / images
  • Parallax Scrolling / Page Scrolling
  • Responsive Design is a must
  • Cards Layout
  • Simplified Multi page website design

Flat web design is becoming the norm. From Microsoft’s UI changes to Googles new Material Design guidelines http://www.google.com/design/spec/material-design/introduction.html

Flat Web Design
Via Google Images

There are many different explanations and interpretations of flat design. It can also take many forms. Smaller elements such as icons, menus and illustrations use this approach on websites. Flat icons have taken over from the glossy web 2.0 icons used just a few years ago.

Wikipedia defines it as a style of interface design which removes any stylistic choices that give the illusion of three-dimensions such as drop shadows, gradients, textures, or other tools that add depth and is focused on a minimalist use of simple elements, typography and flat colours.

Flat design therefore doesn’t overpower the user. It doesn’t try to impress with fancy or moving graphics. It’s a more minimalist web design approach. It places usability at the heart of the website design process. A webpage in simple colours, layout and navigation should in theory be more pleasing to the user and therefore convert better.

Full Page Background videos / images

This approach was a big web design trend for 2014 and we believe it will continue in 2015. The all out visual approach. You get the big Hero image / video with the relevant call to action overlaid on top. Examples of websites employing this approach include www.airbnb.iewww.yourkarma.comwww.spotify.com/ie/ . We recently employed it on a recent client project www.spaceservices.ie

Parallax Scrolling/Page Scrolling

Parallax Scrolling/Page Scrolling
Via quoplus.com

To illustrate this trend have a look at http://www.quoplus.com/ . The approach shows off their product in a really unique way using scrolling. Visually it falls into the big background videos / images approach above. It gives the site more depth and arguably increases user engagement with the website. Another example http://www.drinksmartwater.com/#/home)

In theory it is far quicker to scroll down a page than clicking buttons and waiting for a new page to load. A user has to choose to click on a button. With scrolling it is a non-committal action that requires little thought from the user. Most of us simply keep scrolling until we are finished with a web page or the information we need has been presented. e.g’s http://designmodo.com/qards/ and https://www.liquidint.com/mobility/

Responsive Design

Responsive Design

We dealt with responsive design and its importance in a recent blog post. Essentially the web design approach allows for a single website to be displayed / rendered appropriate to the device being used to view it. It improves usability and google now takes it into account in its search results. Don’t do anything online which is not mobile friendly or responsive.

Cards layout (grids everywhere)

The likes of Pinterest, Google and Twitter are all using this cards type approach as they work across all multi platforms. You simply stack them on top of each other on smaller devices. Have a read of why they are becoming a widely used web design technique http://blog.intercom.io/why-cards-are-the-future-of-the-web/

Cards
Via http://blog.intercom.io/

Content needs to be viewed on a range of different devices and across platforms. Using the cards / grids layout approach allows for an easier way to make this happen. It’s not just for websites. Googles Gmail rolled out the Promotions tab some time ago based on the cards approach http://gmailblog.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/a-new-more-visual-way-to-view-your.html

Because of the approach taken by these companies services like Mail chimp have embraced this design trend by adding it to their email marketing service offering http://kb.mailchimp.com/campaigns/previews-and-tests/customize-social-cards

Simplified One Page Websites

One page web design sites and simplified microsites are becoming more and more popular for a number of reasons.

  • Simplicity: users like simplicity. The easier it is to find the information they are looking for the better.
  • Speed: these site are far less heavy and they simply load faster as there is very little to them.
  • Mobile: scrolling is key to mobile as users will more readily scroll than click. These sites fall right into that approach.
  • Cost – in theory they use up less resources from a coding point of view so they should be a lot cheaper to develop than a traditional ‘site mapped’ website.

These website are generally more focused that a standard website and more elegant than a single landing page. It arguably increases conversions. With this web design approach there is only one way to go and that is down by Scrolling. By creating the sequencing of your page elements and limiting the number of clicks / links you can then guide the user to the end goal / action.

Some sites using this approach include http://jacksbarlondon.co.uk/ , https://aproductiveyear.com/, http://themobilecompany.com/

Be careful though with this web design approach. It is not for everyone and has some serious drawbacks http://www.retrieverwebsolutions.co.uk/advantages-disadvantages-one-page-websites/. It can restrict your SEO performance as you only have one page to optimise for search engines.

This might be a good approach where you have a single very focussed product or service or a specific event where you don’t rely exclusively of google search for enquiries and you can convert site visitors with the single page of focussed content.

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