Trends come and go and that phrase especially holds true in web design. Of the many web design trends swarming around the net, here are five we consider to be useful and timely.
1. Longer Scrolling Sites
We are moving from a clicking generation to a scrolling generation. A great example of this trend is exemplified on Apple’s informational pages for their new iPhone 6s. Using a combination of parallax and transparent background imagery, short video clips and minimal yet insightful text, Apple designers were able to create a page that was both ascetically pleasing and informative . Longer scrolling pages also work well for mobile users to glean information at their own pace while foregoing the sometimes cumbersome action of tapping between tabs. Arranging all of the top level information you want your visitors to see on one page can provide a better option than having them randomly wander from page to page.
2. Decreasing the Number of Large Background Images
As the popularity of huge corner to corner background images has picked up speed, a small number of designers have decided to buck the trend. Rather than using abstract, out of focus and sometimes busy imagery, these designers have opted for a blank or solid color background focusing the viewer’s attention on the message of the hero text. One way you can stand apart and really drive your message home visually is through use of typography. After reading, site visitors should have good idea of what it is your company does and whether or not you can help them. Instead of appearing like so many of your competitors with the large photo background, try using a blank background, a carefully thought out welcoming message and a bold unique font which complements the essence of your text. The New Wave Company provides an excellent example of the anti-background-image trend.
3. Lose the Chrome
No, not the browser. (We encourage its use!) In the 50’s and 60’s, car companies embellished their vehicles with large gaudy chrome embellishments. These ‘ornaments’ did nothing for the functionality of the car and, of course, became dated with time. Chrome in web design can be translated as unnecessary elements that encase the page (i.e. headers, footers, boarders, sidebars) and can also include icons, links, images, and even color palate. Remember, less is more. Just because it looks cool or is trendy is not a viable reason for cramming it on the page.
4. Custom Photography
A picture is worth a thousand words, but your website’s imagery can be even more valuable. While stock photos can provide a good option to get your website off the ground, what you as a business owner really want to aim for is professional custom photography of your product or service and the results of that service. Stock imagery can sometimes seem sterile or canned and that’s because without careful selection, that’s exactly what you’re getting. An example of strong custom photography can be found on Charlotte’s own Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s site.
5. Mobile Menus
As websites have continued to become more geared toward mobile interaction, some mobile features have found their way onto desktop designs. The most popular of these are Slide-out app like menus. The hamburger, as its been labeled, consists of three stacked lines and usually appears at the top right or left-hand corner of a website, much like an app. Though the ‘hamburger menu' has seen some pushback as of late, it still provides a good way to encapsulate multiple menu tabs into one small and recognizable page element. If organizing the information on your site will only require a few tabs, the mobile menus might only accomplish making your home page cleaner. Again all page elements should be designed to make the user’s journey easier and more direct. A unique example of the mobile menu is found on the Italian designer, Pal Zileri’s website.
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