You must have encountered articles telling a lot on web design. Especially, the web design trends making an impact in 2015, and the ones to rock 2016. However, do they tell why the trends rock? I guess, “NOT”.
We do not claim ourselves to be the ultimate experts in this arena. However, we do have our share of explanation, justifying our real predictions related to web design trends going to rock this year.
Have you ever thought of how painstaking the scrolling may be, especially when you have infinite scrolling in place? Famous magazines like TIME have infinite scrolling in their news section, which makes it difficult to keep scrolling across stories, having no end practically.
Of course, you might be using track pad, cursor keys, or mouse wheel, to make the task easier on your desktop. What if, you are accessing the same website on your smartphone? The only things coming to your aid are fingers or thumbs alternatively. Imagine the precision required to scroll, or click.
Looking at the scenario, today, it is not surprising to see things easier to scroll than to click. Clicking on a precise target within your mobile, has actually became difficult than ever. As a result, we expect most websites to work on their scrolling first, while clicking taking over the second priority.
We have every reason to expect this trend just moving forward without seeing back. Modern sites have too many things to click. With too many elements or components present on every single page, users need to scroll down the entire page to check whether they are missing any Call to Actions (CTAs), or not.
Let us take an example to prove our point. The example depicts noticeable characteristics of taller pages, few clickable areas, and smooth interactive scrolling.
Image credit: SerioVerify
SerioVerify is probably one of the best websites, a classic example of parallax scrolling. The website has parallax scrolling embedded in an amazing, yet simplistic way with minimal clicks, and great ease of scrolling. It sells the cloud platform software for call-center sales optimization, and does it beautifully.
Image credit: JacobsPillow
JacobsPillow is another good example of a gesture based UI, wherein a Facebook floating bar comes from the right, as soon as you land upon the homepage. What’s more? When you move your cursor on the video button, it is converted from “Watch Video” to ‘Play’ button.
Gone are the days when loading used to take ample time, due to too much data to display. In fact, the pages were visible, only after the content is completely loaded. Now users do not have to wait much, since users have the opportunity to see the page, even with partial content loaded.
Image credit: Medium
Medium is a website, wherein users get to see the blog posts page, only with titles, while the actual blog post content slowly loads, as users scroll. This proves beneficial, not letting users wait too long before start seeing the content. Moreover, users are always on the edge of the seat to check out what is in store for them.
Image credit: NavigatingResponsibly
Another example proves why this trend has a bright future ahead. NavigatingResponsibly combines the fold with animation, to deliver a brilliantly striking homepage, blowing your mind away. Herein, the content is well organized between images and animations, letting it uncover when the page is scrolled.
Image credit: PlumeWifi
PlumeWifi is a classic example of parallax scrolling combined with animated effects, and text uncovering gradually with scrolling down. A unique thing to note here is the website maintains the simplicity factor, in spite of combining all three effects on every single page. In fact, the order page is so good that the details are well-mentioned with clear fonts, leading to checkout with deductions.
Today, you have a hoard of expert users, who might look amateur, but still act like pros, swiping things, and accessing multiple tabs, as if adapted to mobile since ages. People want things to be fast, and it is not surprising to see people getting pissed off with slow Internet speeds.
Websites have became much faster than it used to be a few years back. Today, slow websites have the same impact, as websites that do not load at all. Simpler designs are definitely an ideal choice, since they are not just easier to scan, but users enjoy a quick response time from the websites, in terms of loading up.
This is why skeumorphic design era turned out to be not as expected, simply because of too much content cluttering up, with users waiting impatiently, and the site taking hell of a time to load. Apps are highly capable when it comes to super minimal design, unlike websites. They offer such beautiful interfaces, which not just perform, but also look brilliant.
You have already seen flat design making a good start towards simplistic and immediate approach. This trend is bound to see a rise with 2016 progressing right ahead. Let us analyze this trend, taking into account a few awesome examples.
Image credit: StinkDigital
StinkDigital is one of the best sites to come across, proving how a minimal design can be amazingly eye pleasing. When you visit the homepage, you have only two things coming to notice, a menu tab bar and a Pinterest like cardboard style showing up the blog posts. It is so easy to move around the website that even a novice user could do so.
Image credit: StudioRotate
StudioRotate is another wonderful example of a minimalist website, which just has a Menu bar on the homepage, leading to just two other submenus in the form of About & Follow, with an option to close the Submenus bar.
Image credit: YorkshireTea
YorkshireTea is a very good website displaying simplicity combined with large fonts, and gesture based call to actions. With too many large size fonts, videos, and video buttons in the form of teapots at disposal, you are bound not to get mesmerized, unless you hate tea.
Image credit: NeffAssociates
NeffAssociates is a good combo of neat and clean design, combined with a highly effective animated effect. When you visit the homepage, you have text appearing, being deleted by itself, and new text appearing. This is to tell users that the related person knows everything, you want him to know.
Just a handful of people know, what a pixel is, and more importantly how 72 dpi pixels come together to form an inch. In case, if you are having a responsive design in place, you will get to see a whole lot of percentages and grids. However, there is still one area, which demands one heck of a challenge to deal with – bitmap images.
More than 90% websites built across the globe by far; have a resolution not even matching today’s modern display; lacking the scaling factor as well. In today’s world of modern browsers, and displays, it is time for the vector images to shine that gained momentum last year.
Google’s Material Design has already given a push to this trend, with icons that are font based. You not only have fast loading websites, but also scaling of images adjusts as per the requirements, without losing on the quality. This is an ideal situation, especially for designers to deal with modern web browsers.
Although the technology is present today, professionals need time to change habits, when it comes to building a top quality display. As soon as an average desktop transforms into a retina grade display, designers are bound to stick to this trend for long.
Image credit: Lovefila
Lovefila is an amazing instance of how picture perfect pixels can make a huge difference. When you open this particular homepage, you have too many high quality colors and pictures flooding your entire screen, allowing you to stay on the site for long, without letting your eyes off from screen.
Animations play a vital role in hiding the outdated style of your website behind “Under Construction” flash animations or GIFs. Animations give rise to storytelling, which make the entire user experience entertaining as well as interactive at the same time.
However, you have to play cautiously, while dealing with animations. Do not place them just about anywhere. Carefully carve the personality and other story elements revolving around animations. Let large-scale animations act as a primary interaction tool, like popup notifications or parallax scrolling, while allow small-scale animations to play a supporting role, like loading bars, hovering effects, spinners, etc.
Image credit: WhiteClaw
WhiteClaw is a wonderful example to understand this UI style. Herein, you have animated effects combined with parallax scrolling to give a magnificent effect. There are too many small-animated effects leading to the homepage leaving a major impact on user eyeballs while scrolling down.
Responsive design is great for your site, seen possibly on every single screen size. However, responsive design does carry a disadvantage of your site appearing same all along the way. Other reasons for responsive design losing its charm are website themes observing a surge, and the rise of WordPress based websites.
Having a similar appearance is not necessarily bad. However, design patterns have matured, and so do the user expectations. Still, you cannot expect a hell lot of innovations applicable to UI patterns.
A checkout will be checkout; a login form should look like a login form; etc. There is no use reinventing the wheel at every single place. Just ensure that UI patterns used should drive an absolute smooth experience for users. Let us look at few of those trends rocking in nowadays:
Image credit: StockX
StockX is a wonderful example of how central images can make your ecommerce store exceptionally brilliant. You can see other trends all across the store, with infinite scrolling by exploring thousands of products, a card based style layout for depicting the products 3-5 products in infinite rows, and more.
2014 was the year when mobile use took over desktop use. However, still organizations first work on their desktop website, before creating a mobile website and a mobile app. 2015 saw a touch of professionalism with websites going minimal, and to the point, no matter present on desktop or mobile. Keywords became the buzz, with simpler sites grabbing user eyeballs.
With 2016 in progress, many of the trends that rocked 2015 such as flat design, responsive design, parallax scrolling, infinite scrolling, and more, will continue to rock even in 2016, with a pinch of enhanced creativity, simplicity, and interactivity. In addition, the incorporation of images, animations, motions, and blog posts, will be a common phenomenon, supporting UI/UX in favor of users.
If you have any other trends in mind, please feel free to post it within the comments section!