Web design is a vibrant and diverse industry that is changing and evolving quickly. Website design is, however, not an end product; it’s an asset in the presentation of a product, connecting people with other people, providing a tool or service.
After reviewing over 500 websites in weekly series of “Inspiring Sites of the Week” on Despreneur I’ve got a sense of where web design is and where it is going for the next year. In this post I will try to review the current status of web design and predict some trends for 2015.
These are my assumptions and guesses based on my research and experience designing in 2014. Some of these may be right some may be not. If you think there should be something more in this article I’d love to have a discussion with you.
Natural Stock Photography
Natural stock photography was huge in 2014 and we will see this trend coming a long way as we keep getting amazing photos by the community with very empowering “do whatever you want” type of license.
We’ll see more websites using one color heavily. Backgrounds, type, image overlays, buttons. Strong accent on one color puts emphasis and makes it more memorable as well as easily associates that color with the brand.
Video background is the ultimate experience portraying emotions, intentions and tells way more than any picture. We saw this trend rise quickly in 2014 but the real peak will be in 2015.
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Unique Navigation Menus
Starting with floating and sticky menus we’ll see even more creative solutions to website navigation. Slide down, slide up, pop-up, spiced up with imagery, secondary information and dynamic animations will help create memorable browsing experiences.
Cards & Tiles
Card or tiles design will continue growing in 2015. With Pinterest being the leader in this design trend, we’ll see more blogs and ecommerce websites popping up that use this design technique.
We’re already used to sticky sharing bars and navigation menus. Designers in 2014 showed that some other parts like sidebars or other elements of a design can be fixed and do a great job. We’ll see even more websites with fixed blocks in 2015.
Build in Amsterdam
It’s one of these trends that people love/hate at the same time. We’ve seen many websites adopting this trend lately, unfortunately from UX point of view, too much parallax can break the design and ruin the whole experience. In 2015, will see more subtle parallax scrolling and animations that add high-end feelings to websites.
We will be scrolling even more in 2015. Some of the latest research, including “Everybody Scrolls” conducted by Rebecca Gordon of Huge, shows that people scroll and they love it. Long one-pagers with various interactions and transitions will take place next year as digital storytelling is all about that unified experience and easy flow that scrolling enables.
We all know the iconic Dropbox website with hand-drawn illustrations. Illustrations have always been a part of web design but we’ll see even more beautiful illustrations implemented in website experiences to represent the brand, tell a story and connect with the visitor.
One Design Company
Big data is becoming more important in the tech industry as well as in web design. We’ll be seeing more graphs, charts and interactive data projections in 2015. Sophisticated, complex, unknown but beautiful and engaging.
Personal Brand Institute
There are many startups that produce physical products and it is way more complicated to portray that experience and feeling of tangible product on the web. However, we’ll see more interactive, 3D based experiences that allow visitors to move products and observe even the smallest details.
Flat Will Keep Growing
Flat design was quickly adopted by big tech companies and many designers are already using this paradigm by default. As it is still a pretty new movement we’ll definitely be seeing new directions of flat design in 2015.
The number of mobile web users is growing at a rapid pace and the “mobile first” philosophy will grow stronger in 2015. Responsive design is no more a feature, it’s a must and designers will have to rethink the way they design websites for mobile users to give the best experiences possible.
Hand drawn illustrations and type has been around for some time. Having all the possibilities of implementing basically any font on the website designers are taking advantage of using handwritten type to give that look and feel of human touch that connects with the visitor in a totally different way.
I am talking about micro copy and little details in design and interactions that surprise and delight the user. Funny images and expressions, hidden functionality, smart personalized data and more. We’ll be seeing more intelligence in web design this coming year.
Virgin America: When typing first name, you are greeted with “Hey there,” a surname and you get a “Nice name.” Source: Little Big Details.
Yes, geometry is coming from math but it can be not as boring as math if used properly. Beautiful geometrical shapes and patterns will hit the web design scene harder in 2015.
Big & Bold Typography
We’ve seen oversized headlines and we’ll be seeing more of these in 2015. Just because it works and has an impact on the visitor, we’ll be having large punch lines hanging around for some time. Straightforward, powerful and effective.
Rise of Website Generators
We have been seeing how website generators have been trying to replace human designers and coders and didn’t get much done. In 2015 we’ll see more stunning and high-quality websites built with generators like Generator, Squarespace, Macaw, Webflow or Froont.
Personal branding is becoming very important these days. Designers, engineers, bloggers and entrepreneurs are building stronger personal brands online to become more authoritative and findable. We’ll be seeing more websites with a focus on a person.
Tobias van Schneider
Material Design Will Keep Growing
Material Design, invented by Google, is a subtle modification of the flat design movement, but more sophisticated, unified yet universal and very promising. This is definitely the year when we’ll see a huge rise of material design usage.
Inbox by Gmail
Interactive digital experiences will get more exposure. More interaction websites are creating unique and personalized experiences by playing sound, connecting camera and microphone and allowing interaction and storytelling based on the viewer’s actions.
Echoes of Tsunami
Overall we’ll be seeing current trends growing bigger and evolving. While the main focus will still be on flat design, huge typography and high quality imagery, it’s going to be exciting to see what new technology and not-so-popular design movements will bring to the web design scene in 2015.
One thing is guaranteed, we’ll be seeing change which is the only constant in design as well as life.