As a designer you need to communicate with your audience and to use the best tools to do so. Don’t just jump on “latest trend” bandwagon. Many of the best website designs we’ve seen have integrated a lot of the popular trends – responsive website design being the main game-changer , so that your website is accessible across all devices. Today, responsive website design is a given.
Entheos provides a roundup of some of the popular website design trends that continue to influence designers today.
The flat user interface is set apart by its simplicity and boldness – large, simple type, bright colors, clear navigation. Minimalist design, clean layouts, large, simple typography, tiling or modular blocks to organize content and white space are all given weight in flat design. Flat design translates well into mobile devices without losing its appeal. Images stay light and web loading times are faster. That translates into more web visitors for you! Today’s web users are not willing to wait more than two seconds for a page to load.
Modular content blocks help to keep content simple, scannable, and visual. Grid and section layouts allow the user to focus on the most important elements first and lead the user’s eye from one element to the other. Content blocks are also a part of menu design, in the megamenu trend that uses images, columns and grids. Color blocking, shapes, background video, megamenus, lazy load, parallax scrolling, animation and hover effects, all serve to give the user a reason to stay on the site and explore it more deeply. Modular content blocks help the designer stay flexible and provide emphasis in this day of responsive web design.
Read more and see examples: Modular content blocks in web design
Animations have become smoother and lighter on the web, thanks to JS animation, parallax and CSS3 animation that create all those cool transitions, animated backgrounds, and effects on content, text, graphics, icons, navigation links, pages that tilt, images that bounce, twirl, reveal, or work with draggable scroll to delight your visitors with interactivity!
JS animation makes a range of movements possible while keeping the website lightweight, unlike Flash.
Large images are trendy, capture attention and lay the foundation for the text color and site background. A good picture with a short headline can quickly telegraph a message toweb users who skim and scan content, and get them interested in browsing the site.
The hero image, the full-screen or full-width slider, the rotating gallery ,the parallax banner, the background video, the landing page, the single page website, the photo overlay on a page background, the image merging into a page background – these some of the options web designers can exploit in using large images.
Thanks to CSS3, you can now have a perfect full-screen image or image background at full 100% responsive width across most major browser, which fills the entire page with a centered image and retains image proportions with no white space around and no unwanted scroll bar. Display your best images at full-screen size!
Blurred backgrounds have become popular on the web, riding on the trend to large images. Blurred backgrounds are characterized by soft colors and faded, unclear photo backgrounds. Page loading times tend to be faster as the image resolution in a blurred image does not have to be as high as an in-focus image. Text (or a sharp-focus foreground image) on top of a blurred image is more readable than text overlaid on a sharp or detailed image. The blurred background image does not distract attention from the main content.
Blurred backgrounds are used by a designer to:
Read more and see examples: Blurred Backgrounds as a Web Design Trend
Video backgrounds arrest attention and can keep your site visitor interested longer in your site as video is a dynamic medium. They can promote office tours, product launches, feature tours and demonstrations, show a workflow process in real life, present a portfolio, create a brand identity.
From country folklore to presentations in the corporate boardroom, stories have always been a powerful mode of communication. So why not use storytelling make your website more engaging, memorable and fun? Storytelling websites seek to create an immersive experience, using multiple design elements, and some provide a choice of story paths, providing interactivity. Multimedia storytelling uses design and media elements such as text, images, infographics, virtual tours, maps, slideshows and more. Subcompact publishing seeks to retain reader interest in a world of visual noise and competition from short tweets and capsule content, providing an overview of an article to whet the reader’s appetite to read the whole.
What do storytelling websites do best?
Muted pastels provide a welcome contrast to bold, bright and neon colors that create a harsh and jarring look and can diminish the impact of site content. They form neutral backgrounds that enhance photography, illustration and art. They evoke moods and emotions, providing a backdrop that lifts your product centerstage. They have a subtle, romantic and sophisticated look that makes them popular in retro website designs. Creative and innovative people use pastel designs to showcase their work effectively in portfolio sites. Pastel colors have a playful and childlike feel that makes them popular in websites for bakery, confectionery and toy stores.
Muted pastels combine well with flat design, bold text, minimalism and clean layouts, illustration, parallax scrolling, handwritten text and retro designwith colorized photographs, handwritten fonts and visual embellishments. Use muted pastels to create a distinctive look for your website while evoking positive emotions in your user.
Read more and see examples: Muted Pastels – A Popular Web Design Trend
Use website design trends to serve your design purpose, rather than riding a trend just because it happens to be the next best thing. Good design outlives short-term fads. Communicating with your audience is the key to good design.