Web Design Trends to Look Out for in 2015
Web Design Trends to Look Out for in 2015
Continuously Scrolling Sites
Also called “parallax” scrolling sites, continuously scrolling sites have become very popular in recent years. These sorts of websites often don’t contain any navigation to other pages – everything can be accessed on the first page. The original idea behind the continuous scroll was to have the user get to the information they need with as few clicks as possible.
Continuously scrolling websites are trendy and aesthetically pleasing, but they should only be used for sites that don’t have a lot of content. If you have too much content, the user will incessantly have to scroll down to find it, and then have to scroll back up to read the next piece of information that they missed. A continuously scrolling site looks great, but tread carefully because you could end up with confused users. As well as being potentially confusing, one-page sites lack SEO value. Search engines looks for lots of pages with relevant content. If your site only has one page, you are greatly reducing the number of pages and content that can be indexed by search engines. This is one trend that might see a quick burst rather than become a lasting paradigm.
A “Mega Menu” is essentially a large dropdown menu with many navigation options. On a standard site there is usually a one-column dropdown that appears with additional navigation when you hover over a main navigation item. The mega menu takes this to a new extreme. Often you will see this type of menu on e-commerce sites with many browse-able categories. They don’t make sense on a small informational site because they are easy to navigate. Use a mega menu to solve difficult navigation problems and break your site navigation into more manageable chunks.
Mega menus can hold many columns of information, even including subheads. In the Tiffany example below, Tiffany uses the left column to advertise for a certain jewelry line. There are many ideas percolating about the mega menu, and we look forward to seeing where it goes in 2015.
Horizontal Fixed Navigation (AKA Sticky Navigation)
The idea of a “sticky navigation” has been around for a while, but it has picked up steam in recent years. A sticky navigation is a menu that appears at the top of the site (like users are used to), but when the user scrolls down the page, the menu comes with it. The sticky navigation idea is infinitely practical – users no longer have to scroll back up when they want to navigate to another page. This keeps all of the options right there on the screen in front of them. We can see this trend lasting for years to come.
Large Background Images or Videos
Images seem to be getting bigger and bigger in recent years on the web. Even background videos have becoming popular recently. Images and videos do a great job of communicating the feeling the user has when they come across your site. Bright, cheery imagery will say a lot about your company. Rather, if your company is dramatic, dark and moody imagery may be the way to go. Humans react very instinctively to images, and the web is no exception.
Small or Responsive Logos
The trend towards responsive design has become less of a trend and more of a web standard in recent months. As a website scales downward, it makes sense for the logo to change or scale as well. Some companies have the full logo on the full site and then drop it down to the bare essentials for the mobile view. A complicated logo won’t render well on a small screen, so this trend is here to stay.
Even on the full view of sites, logos seem to be smaller and more simplified. Users are at the point where they understand the basic website layout. They know what website they are on, and don’t necessarily need the logo to tell them. Logos also take up a lot of valuable real estate in the header, so making them smaller allows for more content.
Storytelling and Specific Calls to Action
People react well to the emotions associated with storytelling. Instead of saying, “look at this cool product we designed”, saying, “Check out what this product we designed does for the community and the people in it” is much more powerful and much more likely to resonate with users.
Disappearance of Traditional Scrolling Banners
Ryan wrote a great article about how users essentially ignore scrolling banners these days because they see them as a sort of advertisement and skip over them. As a result, sites are moving towards more relevant and less “salesy” top content. This site example still promotes their own content near the top, but without obnoxious headlines. They also use the left sidebar to display content.
Non Traditional Menus
Lecy Design’s website has an interesting take on the main navigation menu. The menu only shows up when the user begins to scroll down. Other forms of non traditional menus like fly-out menus have also been trending recently. Using a fly-out or on-scroll menu allows the user to essentially hide the menu at their leisure, saving space. The only downside of this technique is that less tech-savvy users will probably get lost. Regardless, as the sophistication of the average web user grows, so will the use of non traditional menus.
In-your-face typography has become popular in the web industry recently. If a business doesn’t have a ton of graphics and visuals, this is a simple and modern way to go. Large type is a bold, modern, and fun trend that is here to stay.