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Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2015

Chris Gatherer

September 15, 2015
Chris Gatherer

Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2015

The field of web design is an ever-growing industry with new and exciting things happening every day. The rise of Internet enabled devices like smart TVs, tablets, and mobile phones, has shifted the landscape of how content is displayed on the web. Because of this, many design trends have emerged which showcase creative, high levels of functionality, and provide the best user experiences possible.

Here are my top 5 web design trends for 2015 and beyond:

1. Longer Scrolling Sites

Many new sites published today tend to be longer in length when scrolling through the page. The popularity of mobile has made it more common for sites to opt for scrolling instead of linking to display content, especially on the homepage. It’s much easier for a user to scroll through pages for information rather than constantly clicking.

Long scrolling pages aren’t limited to home pages. While this trend has been popular for a while, the benefits of scrolling have found their way to other places, such as the about page and product pages, as a way to elegantly display different varieties of content.

macbook

For example, Apple’s site showcases the long scrolling page trend outside of the home page. Its product page design displays all of the product’s specs and features seamlessly. Additionally, some awesome animation effects add further value to the scrolling experience.

2. The Floating Header

Over the last few years, many sites have removed the header background image, often replacing it with text on top, making it the first thing users see when visit the site. The empty large header section welcomes visitors to the site, and large typography centered in the page conveys the site’s branding message.

life vest health

A site that does this well is Lifevesthealth.com. With no header background image, it leaves more room for the brand messaging and imagery, making it the focal point of the homepage. It quickly says who they are and what they do.

3. Minimalist Design

This concept is centered on the idea that a design is complete when all of the non-essential elements are removed. In the future, I believe we will be seeing more sites implementing this trend. Text heavy webpages will begin taking a back seat to sleeker, more targeted content websites.

droga5

A great example of this is the site Droga5.com, one of the largest creative agencies in New York City. Their designers eliminated many difficult design decisions that a lot of current websites have, such as colors palette and sophisticated page layouts. Instead, the team opted for a clean and simple site design that stands out against design-heavy, image-heavy, and color-heavy websites.

4. Professional Photography

Stock imagery will forever have its place in design. However, most new websites utilize professional photography. This adds a level of quality that Stock just can’t give you.

Custom photography takes the design further than using stock imagery, and it makes a site unique. Plus you won’t run into any other webpage using the same photos. This gives your site a more personable effect, seeing the real people behind a business.

Home Imagery

Take our Princeton Partners site for example, NO STOCK IMAGES OF FAKE OFFICE SPACES HERE!

5. Hidden Main Menus (a.k.a. The Hamburger)

I anticipate seeing more sites hiding their main menus altogether when visitors first visit the site, which is also one of my favorite new trends. These hidden menus will only become visible when the visitor is ready to move on and click the appropriate icon. The “Hamburger,” or three horizontal bars, have been synonymous with mobile browsing for years, but it is now becoming more prevalent across all platforms.

With this technique starting to be carried over into a site’s complete design, it will lead to cleaner and simpler ways to navigate webpages.

ofn

For example, Ofn.org uses the hamburger icon in the top right of their site to hide the main navigation until the visitor clicks on it. This behavior has been conditioned over the last couple of years with visitors using web apps and apps on their phone and tablets, as many of these apps use this same technique.

Taking this approach no matter the viewport size helps keep the design of the site clean and functional.

While many of these trends have been around for a number of years, I believe the tide is turning, and a lot of them will start to become common practices in web design. Personally, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2016 and beyond…