With each passing year web design is growing at an ever faster rate and with each passing day there are more and more awesome things happening. It would not be difficult to guess that new and exciting developments are just around the corner in 2015.
Although we have already seen a lot of trends in 2014, and these are likely to continue in 2015 too, it is time to outline the most likely trends to emerge in 2015.
While many people have their thoughts still focused on the year 2014, some are eager to learn what web design trends are likely to dominate in the year 2015.
The majority of new website designs are lengthier today when scrolling down the page than they used to be in past years. As the popularity of mobile devices increases, the need for scrolling, instead of linking, as a way to present content on a page, becomes more evident. This is especially true for homepages.
Users find it easier to scroll down a page instead of clinking to find additional information.
The long scrolling trend is evident not only on homepages though. While sites with long scrolling designs have already won popularity, scrolling has a lot of benefits and is not limited to homepages. Product and about pages also use it as a way to display a range of content in an elegant way.
The iPhone 6 page of Apple, for example, demonstrated the trend towards long scrolling pages outside of its homepage. The main iPhone 6 page has been designed as a long scrolling layout and showcases all of the features and specifications of a product.
Additionally, the site employs a slick animation effect to ensure a visually enhanced scrolling experience.
Interaction and storytelling
Although producing great content is very important for your website, it is a big plus to be able to tell a story. In the year 2015, web design will most likely emphasize on storytelling.
Take for example the website of Space Needle. It nicely conveys the facts around the Space Needle through storytelling and the custom-made design supporting it. What is more is that it is perfectly in line with the aforementioned trend for long scrolling.
The website Space Needle is also an example of another 2015 trend – interaction. The designs of websites are becoming animated and more interactive, with the aim to present particular content in a more appealing and unique way.
The removal of large background images from the header
The past few years have seen the use of large images as header backgrounds with text on top. This was the first element of a website presented to visitors. It quickly became clear that in order to stand out from the crowd you had to do the opposite.
Some websites have decided to do just that with their designs and preserve the large headers but remove background images. However, not following this trend wasn’t the only option for such a consideration. The owners of such sites also tried to optimize speed and performance.
The site of The New Wave Company is a clear indication for this. Its large header and page-centered typography welcome its visitors. What the design seems to “lack” is a large image in the background behind the heading.
All this is done with a taste and doesn’t follow the design of other websites that use large images for header backgrounds.
Simplicity and removal of unessential design elements
One of the pillars of web design is that a design is only complete when all unnecessary and unessential elements have been disposed of. As websites are looking for a way to simplify their designs, I trust we will be observing more websites following this trend by abandoning non-essential design elements.
The aforementioned website of The New Wave Company did exactly that by deciding not to have a huge header background image.
Centered, fixed-width website layouts
During the last few years the majority of websites have used the 100 per cent width for design elements to ensure elements such as sections and images visually stretch across the entire width of a browser viewport. Prior to this trend becoming popular, most websites had fix-width, centered page layout, and one could easily tell where a website ends on both sides.
It seems that the trend towards fix-width layouts is making a return but in a more modern form. Instead of spanning their content sections to both ends of the screen, some websites are setting maximum width in order to keep content centered.
The website of Michele Mazzucco is one example of this principle. When the screen is wider than 1350px, the width of the content is restricted on both the left and right sections of the screen. It allows for the site’s content to be nicely focused in the center and at the same time establishes a width of 100 per cent.
High-quality and professional custom photography
There is still a place for stock imagery in design today. However, for the majority of websites nowadays, unique and high-quality professional photography, tailor-made for a website and the purpose it serves, has taken the place of stock imagery.
The use of custom photography has taken design one step ahead of stock imagery. It also ensures a more unique look as no one else would have uploaded the same pictures on a website.
One such example is the Grain and Mortar’s website, which demonstrates the use of this trend quite well. Their website employs the use of custom photography in the main header area.
If you visit their About page, you will notice even more professional, high-quality photography of their office space and themselves. They do not use fake office space imagery.
Flyout and slideout menus, resembling an application
Responsive web design has established itself for quite some time already. Previously there was a big emphasis placed on ensuring a website looks perfect on desktop devices, with little or no attention paid to tablet and mobile devices. Responsive web design ensured that websites look equally well on all devices.
With this trend towards RWD, we are beggining to see design elements implemented equally well accross a wide variety of viewscreens and devices.
One such example is the website of 24ways, which implements the idea of using a responsive, application-like menu in their entire layout, used for all types of viewports and devices. The site has chosen to have a vertical right side menu, acting like a slideout/flyout menu. This technique has been adopted from responsive design and web applications for smaller devices.
The use of larger typography
In many website designs typography has played an important role in 2014, and I don’t think this will change in the years to come. However, I do believe that in 2015 the headings and the typography as a whole will get larger.
This trend is best showcased by the website of Tiny Giant. It uses large typography that immediately grabs users’ attention. It also creates visual impression that is harder to miss.
It is very likely that in 2015 large typography will take an important place in many webpage layouts and ensure that the larger fonts immediate grab the attention of visitors. This is very well done by Tiny Giant.
Speed and performance
It is not all about design, typography and webpage layouts. Speed and performance also have their role to play. Some designs strive to ensure websites use less bandwidth and load much faster. The majority of the design trends discussed so far are motivated by the need to speed up the website and significantly reduce its size so that is loads quickly for users using tablet or mobile devices or those whose networks are slower.
Both developers and designers are becoming increasingly aware of how users interact with their websites and the weight of the websites. These concerns were brought to light by responsive web design. Things such as device type and slow network speed have forced designers and developers to pay more attention to the sizes of files and the overall size of a website as well as to how fast such websites load on a variety of speed networks. More attention is also paid to users and the limited data plans they might have subscribed to.
Having said all that, it comes to no surprise that there is a drive towards faster and flawless designs, and these will have an impact on many design decisions in 2015.
If you know of any other design trends that might influence the Web in 2015, please let us know in the comments below.