Website design - like SEO - is an industry that consistently changes and evolves according to the whims of designers, companies and - perhaps most importantly - the bizarre world of 'trends'! However individual your approach,, staying on top of those fashions remains a good way to achieve success - if you can get ahead of the curve, then that's even better! These are some of the key web design trends appearing on this summer's horizon.
Simplicity in this sense simply mean usability: as in, 'this website isn't a pain in the backside to use!'. It's important to ensure that - whatever your industry - the website is clean, classy and completely uncluttered. Remember: just because you think something needs to be on the website, doesn't mean that it does! (Split testing remains a good way to check which features work and which don't). It's important to remember that websites are there for your customers, not for you. If the design is easy to use, the information easy to obtain and the call-to-action easy to follow, then that's enough. Indeed, there's something to be said for an almost plain white web page.
More and more recent websites have been exploring the idea of storytelling as part of web design. By 'storytelling', what we actually mean is the use of animations and interactivity so that, by scrolling down the page, the website morphs to provide more information. Of course, this is about the absolute example of 'flashiness' (as in the term, rather than the player!) and for many people it might not be suitable. However, for companies desperate to grab attention in already competitive industries, story-telling may well be ideal.
This is perhaps the biggest buzz word in the web design industry as a whole: responsive design is more or less everywhere. RWD is simply the ability of a website to adapt itself to be displayed perfectly on different devices. With web pages now displayed on TVs, laptops, desktops, mobile devices and tablets millions of times a day, the idea of a set website size has been thrown out with the bathwater. A modern website simply must be able to adapt. We've covered the idea of responsive web design previously in the E-Tech blog.
In a nicely old-school move, more and more modern websites are making use of so called 'flat' design, i.e. websites that simply don't add depth and shadow to their on-page elements. This gives them a uniquely minimalist approach, but one that is still capable of displaying everything from video to blogs with comparative ease. If your website designs are focused on being less cluttered (and if you read point 1, then they should be!), then flat design could be the ideal companion technique to ensuring that they look their very best.
6th of March 2014 By Simon