6 Web Design Trends Worth Considering
1. UI Patterns – Increased Usage
Responsive website design is becoming increasingly popular due to a combination of the rise in WordPress sites & other theme purchasing sites like Themeforest. This results in a lot of websites looking very similar, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
From research into the way we consume the web, it has been discovered many sites have a lot of common UI design patterns. This is due to the fact it is becoming harder to create a theme which has new, exciting features in addition to a responsive theme.
To explain in detail, a checkout doesn’t change it’s functionality from site to site, it always remains a checkout with the simple shop, basket & my account sections. This system works perfectly, combining a smooth experience with easy navigation for users.
Popular Features & Patterns
There are a few patterns that you may be familiar with, one of which is Long Scrolling, which is a continuously scrolling website, often only consisting of a singular page, displaying all the website information in sections. Another is the Card Layout, AKA the tiled effect.
This consists of a load of boxes, containing both text and imagery, all fitting together in either a randomised grid with various sized boxes or a set grid where all the boxes are restricted to the same dimensions to create a more sleek, clean look.
Other popular features within a website currently are account registration/advertisement pop-up boxes, these appear in the middle of your screen, often with a transparent box behind in order to dim down the website in the background. These are only able to be exited by a cross often appearing in the top corner of the screen within the website.
Animations are being used more and more recently to enhance a sites interactive experience & entertainment. The placement of animations is not to be skimmed over, this is an important element as it can either make or break your website design.
You have to carefully consider whether animations will add to your sites elements & personality, sometimes they can result in an overcrowded, busy website, meaning its harder and more confusing for your users to navigate around.
Types of Animation
There are two types of animations, large scale & small scale. Large scale animations consist of pop-up notifications & parallax scrolling, they often create more of an impact on users when being used as a primary interaction tool. Small scale animations include spinners, hover tools and loading bars. Other than hover actions, these elements don’t require any interaction.
The 7 most popular animations used are loading animations, nonscrolling navigations, hover animations, sliders & galleries, motion animations – includes video – and scrolling functionalities.
Micro interactions are actions such as turning off an alarm on your mobile phone to liking a post on Instagram. Each action is done with minimal thinking processes, it’s likely the majority of people reading this article started off their day by using their mobile phones.
It has been proven with recent research that 80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. Micro-interactions help to achieve a few things such as communicating a status or feedback, seeing the result of an action or helping you as the user the manipulate something.
Micro-interactions are also vital to the success of any mobile app, the trick is to not overload your design with elements of interaction, keep it simple and easy to use, maybe consider researching into conversational text to prevent your information from coming across robotic.
4. An Alternative to Flat Design – Material Design
In the past few years, Google launched material design. This uses shadows, movement and other effects in order to create a more realistic and interesting design for users.
The goal of this launch was to offer a modernistic, clean design with a more 3D effect. Material Design Lite consists of lightweight coding and less regimented framework, allowing a wider range of front end tools to be used. Before now, a lot of the material design projects were limited to app design.
5. Responsive Designs
Responsive designs have become increasingly popular in the recent years thanks to the rise of mobile internet usage and the evolution of the mobile phone itself.
Responsive websites aren’t going anywhere anytime soon as they represent a relatively simple and cheap way to build a fully-functional site that in addition is mobile friendly; catering for the wide population of people who use mobile internet.
The performance of a responsive design depends partly on the usage of responsive, low file size images as this can majorly effect speed and loading times. This style of web design is starting to be more of a practice for designers than a trend.
This is down to the fact responsive design is so useful and versatile along with being a lot faster than other styles of websites, meaning users aren’t waiting for extensive times to load different elements of your website.
6. Flat Designs
Flat design has been around for a while and links closely with minimal, material & responsive design. The usage of flat design will eventually start to decline as it doesn’t include features such as drop shadows, which are key in some cases to highlight and promote important elements and information on a website.
Some parts of flat design will remain unchanged, such as minimalism and the use of simple typography, as these features are desired in web design to create a simple and responsive website.