By Anurag Gupta
I must confess I go green with envy spotting the fabulous work some of the web designers have dished out this year. More than inspiring, the creativity humbles me and leaves me wondering why I couldn’t visualize such designs.
That said, I hold such designers and their artwork in high esteem, ensuring their work finds space in my spreadsheets, which I regularly update, visit and refer, to scoop out some interesting, insightful and useful details, any webmaster wouldn’t mind having a cursory look at.
Let’s cut to the chase- what are the hottest Web Design Trends in 2015? Have a look, and be the judge yourself.
1. Background Videos Sneak To Forefront
Auto-play, mute, Background Videos running on a site’s homepage are the flavor of the year.
It’s akin to our brain running background imageries while we chat, laugh, think, and do whatnot.
Courtesy the HTML 5 technology, the web designers are sprucing up webpages with all kinds of contextual videos to deliver a dynamic visual experience, invoke feelings with moving images, and assert the site’s message in the form, the visitors find more real, engaging and entertaining, a product of the age of films and video games.
2. Flat Designs Gain Weight
The year 2015 marks the saturation point in Flat Designs.
The Flattened User interface with a minimalistic, two-dimensional layout and simple icons, at times, get too clean and simple to create a visual appeal for all sets of users.
With the realization that an uncomplicated and clutter-free design cannot cost visual appeal, the designers move to strike a balance with subtle patterns, shadows, and gradients, for better aesthetics and functionality.
3. Google’s Material Design Picks Up Steam
You may have noticed that in Google’s mobile applications for Android.
Once again, I find my friend Google right up there with its user-centric innovation. In June 2014, it came up with a design language christened as Material Design. In the words of Google “Material Design….unifies user-experience across platform and device sizes”.
This visual language draws inspiration from paper and ink and involves the use of responsive animations, depth effects, transitions, padding, and other elements enhancing user-experience with a consistent, pleasant, bold and graphic interface.
4. Typography Gets Responsive
You have already seen Responsive Web Designs. The trend now percolates to Responsive Typography.
The distance at which a user holds a device varies for laptops, phones, and tablets, which is the key factor why web designers have delved deeper in molding the typography to deliver an optimal reading experience.
5. Home Page Sliders Are History
I never loved them!
Yes, the eternal hold-up while those sliding images at the top of the home page load, blows me off. And when, after “centuries” they finally surface on the site, they appear mere distraction from the actual content.
If you are a fan of such slide shows, I’ll respect it but here’s a fact that shouldn’t go unnoticed
Home Page Sliders lack novelty factor today, and thus, have low click through rates; web visitors have developed a “slider-blindness”, which leads to the extinction of Home Page Sliders in 2015.
6. Hand Lettering For A Human Touch
I have seen many a websites resorting to the practice of Hand Lettering.
Personally, I find it very appealing as the website with custom hand-drawn lettering breathes individuality. In the very first sight, it successfully differentiates itself with a distinct human touch, which misses in customary fonts and typography.
7. Micro-interactions Hit New Highs
“Micro-interaction”—sounds tough, technical and something heavy. But not so!
You may have been a part of “Micro-interactions” on websites, wittingly or otherwise.
Let me explain…
Micro-interaction is a short, single action you carry out on a website. For instance, rating a feature, change of a setting, setting a status message, and the likes are micro-interactions that engage the visitor and make them feel as a part of the digital environment.
Such short spells of interactions aren’t pervasive, aren’t overbearing, and unnoticeably earn points for the website and the business it showcases. No wonder, they are catching pace.
8. Scalable Vector Graphics Overshadow Bitmaps
Now, that’s something a bit technical! But a widely observed phenomenon in web circles, I must say.
You must be aware that the majority of the stunning graphics wooing the visitors on the internet is bit-mapped or pixel-based, where each pixel has a specific location and color value.
But 2015 is witness to a twist – the rise and popularity of Scalable Vector Graphics, which are formed by lines, curves, points and colors based on mathematical calculations.
- What’s behind SVG take off?
- You get superior color control
- Zoom in and Zoom Out full image or a portion of it
- Reduce file size for quick download
- Text in images is searchable and selectable
- Images show interactivity
- Images display vivid clarity in any resolution
I believe, the reasons are good enough to topple the mighty “PIXEL-BASED GRAPHICS”.
9. Card Layouts: Still A Trump Card
We are used to seeing Card Layouts. We see it on Facebook, we see it on Twitter, we see it on Google Now, and yet, they are never too old to be out of trend.
There’s a smart psychology governing the behavior. The Cards- small, bordered pieces of information- are instant bites, which visitors love to taste before they click further to reach a more elaborate, lengthy content.
From the design perspective, they are simple to create, impart a modular look to the content and fit into responsive schemes, — I don’t ask for more as a designer.
10. Scrolling “Scrolls Out” “Above The Fold”
The concept of “Above The Fold” – the portion of the webpage you view without scrolling – goes for a toss in 2015.
When you and I use our smartphones and tablets, we are better off with scrolling down the same page rather than clicking and opening multiple pages and piling up tabs. I hope, you are not an exception or else all my research goes in vain.
Content presentation in a logical, storytelling manner that drives the visitor to scroll down is the trending design concept. That said, I still feel content positioning garners designers’ attention but at a more rational level than set conventions of “Above The Fold”.
This rundown of the year’s top web design trends is my pick. Compiling this list, I had a tough time choosing and leaving. But, at the end if you really go back feeling some weight added to your treasure trove of knowledge, I’ll think I did a fair job.
Anurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in WeblinkIndia.net, an acclaimed Web Designing & Development Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development. He maintains a blog. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.