You may not notice the ever changing face of the internet. The online world is such a rapidly changing landscape that it’s hard to notice the subtle tweaks to design and improvements to user interface that happen daily. But if you were to compare the static and clunky designs of the 90’s to the modern day masterpiece, the pace of evolution of the digital world in only two decades of existence is astounding.
The crisp, clean websites we frequent are the work of web designers in the pursuit of perfection. This year is already shaping up to be a big year of improvements for one of our most valuable knowledge bases. Here are 5 web design trends to watch out for in 2015.
Having a single feature image stretched across the home page was a trend that started to gain traction in 2014. This year sees the continued preference for simplicity as captivating artwork is frequently being used as the main port of call.
With Apple products known for their clean, uncomplicated design, it was no surprise that they opted for the same minimalism approach to their webpage in 2015. But the tech giant isn’t the only one to adopt the bigger is better approach, as Google’s range of Android phones, Nexus,decided to go large, as well as online money transfer specialists, Paypal, also going for a big screen play.
The roll out of Google’s new mobile responsiveness update could also be a major reason why such landmark companies are adopting the trend. Web pages that automatically scale to the size of the screen of the device they are being viewed on are easier to code when there is only one feature image.
If you’re not familiar with the parallax effect, it is a series of animations or changes to the appearance of a site that is most commonly triggered by scrolling the mouse. This clever web design feature makes for truly captivating websites. What was once a static and even bland page can be transformed into a canvas for creative energy, as old CSS sprite techniques are revived and used in new, ingenious ways.
The use of an animation sequence to tell a tale is gaining rapid popularity. Usually the effect is created by fade functions, or elements sliding into position,which are initiated by scrolling to a particular point on screen. However,user engagement is kept high, as after modern animations finish their sequence, they then have an interactive element.
The story-telling sequences can turn the mundane task of reading a company’s history into a fun, interactive experience that keeps the reader focused. By delivering the story in pieces, where the next part is reached by scrolling down the screen, the reader is intrigued to find out what happens next. Breaking up the content like this, is a great way to ensure that the material is one of the more memorable pieces of web content consumed.
Thinking Outside The Box
Our whole experience of the internet is made up of a series of squares and rectangles. Everything from your monitor screen to the menus of the websites you frequent are made up of squares. Anything that doesn’t resemble a box is immediately eye-catching and draws the user in.
Although they may never become the norm in website design, sites that break the rectangular mold are becoming increasingly popular. Expect to see more menus made up of circular elements, skewed layouts in isometric views and in some cases,the menu buttons being objects on the page.
Loading, Please Wait…
Whoever said that patience was a virtue, hadn’t dealt with the torment of waiting for a feature heavy webpage to load. Super fast broadband and the arrival of 4G, is a far contrast from the insanely slow modem dial-up speeds of the 90’s. However, all the fantastic new interactive features on webpages, and the use of HD video as background images, is increasing page load times. The extra few seconds it takes to fully load a page is often worth the wait, as stunning visuals make for an awe inspiring experience. Expect to see many more load bars frequenting the internet, however, you may not be as frustrated with waiting for a page to load as you once were, as these are often art pieces in their own right.