Where do we start? In 2015, there are a plethora of web trends to watch out for. Web design has evolved swiftly over the years and innovation and change is at its core. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or new to the game, these are the trends that you should be watching now.
1. Content & storytelling
As Plato famously said, ‘Those who tell the stories, rule the world’.
It’s all about storytelling in 2015. Design and content are a happy marriage. Content is part of the design and is crucial for any website. Brands are now acting like publishers and not only should they have a forward-thinking approach to design but part of that should be having a solid content strategy, to sell their product to the global marketplace.
Brand storytelling provides a massive advantage; consumers learn about the people behind the brand and can relate to it on a more personal level.
Producing quality content and stories on a website or blog helps on so many levels. To show leadership in the industry, for search engines, more shares, comments and likes, and increased impressions and click-through rates.
A major focus of web design in 2015 will be around helping brands tell their stories to their targeted audience.
Wired is the original home of geek journalism. Its multi-genre approach to content means that it creates an astonishing amount of original and curated content every day. It is the consistency of the content that makes it so appealing to readers. It uses clear fonts and comfortable column widths. All the headlines, sub headings and paragraphing are uniformed across the website making the whole sit feel more cohesive, which leads to it being easily digested and navigated by users.
2. Responsive design
Yes, it’s responsive design, again. But it’s still so relevant for 2015. Responsive design has been around a while and is now commonplace. Google are even looking to penalize websites that are not using it, so if your website doesn’t use this design feature you may well be losing out on valuable traffic to your website. If you ever needed a reason to get your website up to date, this is the reason.
If you want your content to look slick, be highly readable and easy to navigate on any platform, it comes into play. For websites, if they are tailored to varied audiences, more people use it, resulting in more potential business. It’s that simple. Layouts will change for mobile but it’s important that it is adapted for all platforms. Smartphone optimization is key in 2015, and those that don’t keep up will be left behind.
The real lives, dreams and memories of five unique people are told through video content and it cleverly links through to the Armani shopping site. The artistic design of the site, personal video content and user-friendly ecommerce functions that guide the customer journey, make it a winner.
3. Supersize Me: 3D & video
Brands have been going all ‘bling’ with upsized images, text, 3D graphics and video on their landing pages. This trend will continue in 2015 and most likely accelerate. Websites are now offering the total TV experience; with fully responsive HD video backgrounds. This is visually impactful for the user from the get-go. As soon as they click on the chosen site they are presented with video or animation detail which is attractive and interesting without being so in your face that you want to leave the site
The music streaming hero uses video to appeal to the consumers’ emotional side. The key message is that Spotify provides music for every occasion. There is a montage of clips as a background video which focuses on the emotional and makes the brand more human. It links music and feelings and puts this at its core.
4. Custom photography
It’s all about customization folks. Websites should be memorable; not bland and generic. Stock photography is taking a backseat this year (phew) while brands find their inner voice with personalized photography. Audiences want to believe in the people behind the brand and their principles and this is a cool way to showcase brands from behind-the-scenes. We all want to stand out from the crowd, and audiences always wanted to be delighted, educated and inspired.
Example The Wild Atlantic Way
Travel photography is always inspirational. Custom photography really fits well with travel or leisure sites. The Wild Atlantic Way uses a dramatic photo of waves breaking onto a cliff to instantly get through what the website is about to the user. The Wild Atlantic Way speaks for itself through compelling imagery. The impactful photography is vital as it sets the tone of the website and its content – it’s the first thing the user sees, so it draws them into the site.
5. Hidden main menus
It’s time to play hide and seek. This year websites will be gravitating toward a cleaner look with hidden main menus, displaying only the most vital information at first glance. Other less crucial sections are tucked away for further discovery when the user is ready to explore. This element of responsive design, is gaining momentum. There are going to be a new wave of hidden menus appearing – or not appearing – on sites you use in 2015.
This stylish blogging platform has a savvy hidden menu. When you hover over the drop down menu icon on the Svbtle website the menu expands as you’d expect. When you move the cursor away it actually stays in place for a couple of seconds trying to entice you to click an option. A great quirky little design feature. This clever hidden menu organizes options for the user and doesn’t bombard.