The biggest trends in web design in 2014 included: background videos, flat design, grid layouts as well as increasing abilities of HTML 5 APIs. The question that is asked by many is what would be the trends, techniques and technologies that would define this year 2015?

  • Big background images:  2015 has seen an increase in the use of hero background images, with subtle parallax effects and rich typography. This has been seen with the websites of leading brands, such as Google Nexus and Apple. They are used to quickly capture attention and tanks to the advances in broadband speed, images can be large without slow loading times. In terms of website design this feature is often followed by alternate information sections and zig zag content. Paired with this there has been an increase in using page loaders. These are used to ensure that all content is loaded before the user is allowed to see the website. This is especially useful when using hero backgrounds which may be slower to load depending on internet speed.
  • Digital branding: With more organisations realising that the primary experience of their customers with them is on the web, digital first approach towards branding has increased. Organisations in huge numbers are ditching traditional branding agencies that treat websites like a branded mug. There has been a shift towards conceiving a brand which works online first before having other channels to be filtered down.
  • Card based design: This type of design is very popular, where the content is required to fit on various sizes and types of screen. While cards are considered to be an easy way for making a website function across all platforms they can appear dull. This has been one of the trends for 2015 to produce quick responsive websites with very little content. It was pioneered by websites like Pinterest to give content to users in bite size chunks.
  • Evolved Responsive design: The industry in 2015 is expected to continue maintaining minimal and simple aesthetics. There are designers who believe that responsive design is set to go further. Its practices are said to become native apps, mainly due to the development of wearables. For instance, Apple Watch, depends upon responsive type of flow for accommodating a small screen. Furthermore one of the evolutions in design have been CSS and JS based animations to make the content more interesting. Whether it’s making an image bounce, or letting text fade in, animations are here to stay and will only get more advanced.
  • Open data: There has been an increase of open data. Companies are using their data to create powerful content to draw in visitors and dominate SEO. Google loves unique helpful data, and companies that provide rich content retain customers and create better brand trust. Life cycles of customers are considered rather than a one stop sale, companies are looking at visitor retention. The more a visitor stays on the website and enjoys the content the more likely they will become a long term customer of a service in the future.
  • Fluidity: Ecommerce websites have long had to focus on security, so that consumers can rely upon checkouts and forms and provide their information without any fear. The trend with ecommerce is to simplify the checkout process into 3 or less clicks. There is a focus on clean design and easy forms, while using simple payment gateways like Sage, PayPal and WorldPay. The trend is to make purchasing barrier free to reduce abandoned carts and increase sales.
  • Typography: While it may be some time before the next big leap in web design there is now more focus on Typography than ever before. The fonts used change the look and feel of the website as well as being the difference between being able to read the content and not. In the past fonts were embedded in images when designers wanted to do something special, but thanks to Google fonts and web fonts it’s now easier than ever before to ensure that all visitors get the same user experience. With responsive design making fonts scale and adapt to the screen is also one of the larger trends.
  • Isomorphic JavaScript: When it comes to developing in front-end JavaScript frameworks such as Ember and Angular, few experts have a differing opinion. Experts state that usage of isomorphic JavaScript is to be noticed more in numbers this year. This will offer enhancements in several areas of performance, maintainability to boot and Search Engine Optimisation. This approach already has takers in the form of Twitter and Airbnb and others are expected to follow suit very soon.
  • Navigation: In 2015 largely due to the increased usage of responsive frameworks, hamburger menus are more common. Rather than having a full menu bar, a reduced menu is shown with a button to press to show the rest. More common examples slide in from the side or cover the screen. The focus is on developing the perfect menu for the website to navigate regardless of device.
  • Galleries and Slideshows: As a picture says a thousand words more websites are finding innovative ways to display images and videos for their visitors. Whether it is full screen background sliders, popup lightboxes or motion animation. The focus is on simplicity while displaying the images in an interesting way.

These are few of the homepage trends from 2015. While they may grow and continue web design does have it’s own fashion which develops and changes over time. While these are trends, it’s important to note that developing a good website is not about just using all of the techniques in mode. Web design is about using the best techniques for an individual website. Good design is delivering a solution to make the content stand out, but also ensure the best possible performance.

If you have seen one of the new techniques on a website you’ve visited and want to use it on yours, feel free to get in touch for a no obligation quote.