7 Web Design Trends for 2015
December 26, 2014
Author: Ivy Pan

As 2014 is wrapping up, we look ahead to the New Year for web design trends in 2015. The average user these days requires more than looking at an aesthetically appealing website. Beauty with no substance gets boring quickly. Beauty that isn’t functional gets frustrating. Designing a website that balances aesthetic, function, and substance is a great combo that will engage users to browse and find what they are looking for. We describe continuous and new web design trends for the user friendly website:

The new age for flat design

Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes on responsive design and its popularity will continue in 2015. Influenced by Swiss design, many groundbreaking companies have embraced the minimalist style such as Microsoft and Apple. The future of flat design looks even more promising with Google implementing flat design with subtle animations on their ‘material design’ guidelines.

With the rise of mobile and tablet usage, complex designs with heavy images are not compatible with small screens. However, minimalism doesn’t mean boring. Modern web design trends use elements like colour, typography, and photography to make a website stand out. A clean minimalistic design will further emphasize great content.

Example: Joyous Health

Responsive design becomes the norm

Continuous reports show the growing trend towards a heavy use of mobile devices and we know 2015 is just the beginning of a mobile boom. Websites can no longer ignore mobile compatibility. Responsive design is important in order to optimize a website to load and function properly on all type of devices.

Modular design (using grids and blocks to fit content in) works great for responsive design because of its convenience in scaling or stacking them. The ‘cards design’ has also been increasingly popular due to its responsive aggregation of individual pieces of content into different shapes and sizes of screens.

Example: WTCS

Large and beautiful photography / video on hero banner

Large hero banners are attention grabbers in 2015. One principle of good design is contrast. A minimal text on a large photography banner makes a huge opening statement on your landing page. Set the mood of your website in 2015 through a large hero banner and build emotional connections with your visitors. It gives designers creative freedom to add beautiful photography, videos, or interactive animations without affecting the readability or functionality of the website.

Example: Oro Bakery Bar

Large font and typography focus

Typography is the substance of web design and it continues to be in 2015. It greatly affects readability, accessibility, usability and the overall aesthetic of the site. With the ongoing emphasis on increased resolutions, 12pt form is no longer readable and designers will be using larger fonts.

The growing importance of content continues to push websites to ensure that their fonts are clear and readable. Hence, typography is going to be a very important design element in the upcoming year. A responsive typography will scale better on different sizes of screen that results to readability on any device. If content is king then typography is its queen. Font services like Typekit and Google Fonts are offering reasonably priced and high-quality fonts to contribute to modern web design trends.

An upcoming blog post will mention more about the importance of typography and it’s effects on overall website performance!

More user friendly navigation

Navigation becomes more simplified in 2015 to make websites even more user friendly to rank better on search engines. Fixed or “sticky” navigation bars allow easier and faster browsing. This is even more beneficial for websites with a lot of content because it avoids users having to scroll all the way back up for navigation. It allows user to find everything they are looking for in no time. Websites will also be using more ‘slide-out’ navigation that is initially hidden from the screen but will pop up when a ‘toggle menu’ button is clicked.

One page parallax fades away

2014 was the year of one page parallax boom. “Parallax” design is when the website background moves at a different speed than the rest of the page content giving it a creative storytelling effect.

We see this trend fading away in 2015 simply because it has been over-used. But the two other important reasons: #1) it does not work well with SEO because a single page limits you with only one set of meta / title / url. #2) Packing all images on a single page makes a website slower to load and causing impatient visitors to leave. Instead of relying heavily on the parallax effect to grab users’ attention, we recommend using subtle animation effects.

Subtle animations on micro-interactions come to play

Details of interaction design and animations are one of the web design trends in 2015 to keep an eye on. Due to the continuing minimalistic trend on the web, designers will focus on the little details to elevate their design. More creative animations will be applied to micro-interactions such as opening a window, clicking a button, or hovering over the navigation. The year 2015 will continue to love flat design and these subtle effects will help user experience stay interesting and engaging.

Example: Apple

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