Web is becoming more beautiful and more usable with every new challenge presented by growing needs of the web design industry. The pace at which new web design trends are emerging is much faster than ever before. Web design trends 2015 is a hot topic right now and is of particular interest to the community of web designers, hence we planned to list down the expected top design trends of the year.
We are witnessing new and innovative features with every new web project coming to life. In last couple of years we have seen tremendous growth in the devices of varying sizes that run internet imposing more challenges to web designers. The need of the hour is to create websites and applications that provide seamless user experience across devices and platforms.
When working on a new web project, one has to take into consideration devices ranging from small screen smart watches to big screen TVs and also the regular laptops, tablets, desktops’ as well as all kinds of smartphones.
Furthermore, Native iOS, Android and Windows apps are inherently feature rich which pushes web designers to create websites that match user experience of native apps. 2014 specifically has gone through a major shift in web design and we are right at the point to witness a complete makeover of how the world of web looks like in 2015.
We expect many of the web design trends from 2014 to gain momentum and peak in 2015 along with introduction of new and innovative web design trends in 2015. With native apps replacing the need for websites specifically on small screen devices, innovation in web design is bound to continue. Here is the comprehensive paper on the web design trends expected to shine in 2015.
1. Material Design
We all know flat design for quite some time now, we have seen flat design in action in the apps and websites from the design houses of Microsoft and Apple. Google's Material design is more or less an extension of flat design and makes an attempt to give flat design a standard structure with comprehensively written guidelines and design principles.
Material design is on the top of my list on topic "web design trends 2015". If you do not know about it already, it is the visual design language published by Google in 2014, mainly for android apps, web and iOS apps of Google.
Websites and apps stack of Google is getting upgraded with material design for last six months or so now and graphic designers and developer are adapting to material design at a very rapid pace.
We can safely say that web designers across the globe would attempt to learn material design principles published by Google in the first half of 2015 and start delivering websites and apps compliant with material design in the second half. Of course, the pioneers are doing it already!!
2. Continue to Scroll
We know how to use scrolling effectively since we are already making websites scroll with a spice of parallax effect, using big images in the background and eliminating the need of mouse clicks. The need for creating one page websites and making website surfing easier on small screen devices has given all the fame to scrolling.
You just need to use your thumb to scroll through the entire website. We expect this web design trend to evolve further with new innovative design elements in 2015. This would particularly be the default web design pattern for portfolio websites and websites that are not content intensive.
Scrolling gives web designers infinite real estate to use without the need to create multiple pages. More real estate means option to use big fonts, big images and other media.
Scrolling definitely makes its place in the list of top design trends 2015. We expect greater adoption to scrolling even on content intensive multi-page websites in this year.
3. Big is Beautiful
Big is the new beautiful in web design. Rich content experience created with big fonts, images and videos will set any website apart from the rest in adoption and usability. Big fonts demand beautiful and innovative typography, watch out for usage and growth of better and unique typography in 2015.
Big images demand high resolution and beautiful stock photos, hand drawn illustrations, info-graphics and cinema-graphics. Watch out for growth in stock photography providers and design houses specializing in rich media creation services. We have seen glimpses of this trend in 2014 and that too with a great appreciation and adoption from both designer and user communities.
3++ Rich Backgrounds
Keeping users engaged and leaving a wow effect is one of the biggest targets of any web designer. Big fonts in the foreground leaves designers with plenty of background space exposed to the viewer and that brings in the need for jazzy backgrounds.
Web designers have started to use backgrounds innovatively for creating beautiful webpages and better user engagement. Parallax effect which is created by using full size images in the background was born out of the need to make webpages more pleasing and beautiful without interfering with the main content.
We expect to see lot of websites implementing parallax effect in 2015 with big, beautiful and high resolution images in the background.
Images look great in the backgrounds but that is not all, watch out for motion media in the backgrounds that enhances interactive story telling experience. Motion in the background can be done using animated gifs or full size videos.
We expect web designers to come up with more innovative design elements with an attempt to make backgrounds more rich, beautiful, interactive and engaging to earn that wow factor from masses. This is the web trend to watch out this year.
4. Card Based UI Design
Interactive design elements increase user engagement and cards present a great opportunity to make webpages interactive. Furthermore, card based design makes it very easy to create responsive websites that look great on all devices, whatever the size is.
Card based design is very simple yet elegant design pattern and adoption in web design community is increasing with each passing day. Individual card on the webpage is an info package in itself that can be made shareable since it presents information in a catchy and summarized manner.
The other two key design trends of 2015 namely Material design and infinite scrolling absolutely complement card based design. Pinterest is one of the biggest examples of card based design and the acceptability can be judged from the pace at which it became popular last year.
More and more websites and mobile apps are using card based design and we expect card based design trend to stay firm in the list - top design trends 2015.
Navigation has always kept the creative juices flowing through designer’s brains. One of the biggest reasons for too much variation in navigation designs is the increased use of small screen devices.
You have much less space and there is always a struggle to decide what and what not to be made visible on a single screen. We see a great acceptance to off canvas navigation, the hidden menu, in 2015. It keeps things clean and saves space.
Off canvas navigation is made popular by Facebook and most of Google sites & apps use off canvas navigation by now. We expect to see many variations and innovative design elements from designers for implementing off canvas navigation.
One variation is to display full screen size menu. Which essentially means that display the menu full screen when user needs and keep it off screen otherwise.
We also see a tremendous growth in Mashable style mega menus among content intensive news, blogs and magazine websites.
6. Standard Frameworks and Design Languages
Web design is becoming increasingly complex and we are at the tipping point to make it simple again. The rise of standard frameworks and design languages is expected to be the among the hot web design trend this year.
We have seen bootstrap, foundation and other frameworks in the recent times. We also saw material design being published by Google to standardize the design approach. We expect to see more such standard design guidelines coming out of big design houses in 2015.
On a related note, The need for designing responsive and interactive websites has resulted in increased use of CSS. Management of CSS in any project is becoming more complex and there is a growing need to adapt to standard guidelines for CSS organization.
SMACC is one such methodology that provides guidelines to structure CSS in different files, naming convention for CSS tags etc.
7. Web Design Tools
The need is to create designs that are interactive, engaging and yet support every device with seamless user experience. Authoring HTML5 and CSS to create responsive websites that support all devices is increasingly becoming complex and that is where web design tools come to the rescue.
HTML5 authoring tools is not a new phenomenon but we need much advanced tools and tools that produce super clean code. One such tool that has been released recently by Google is Google web designer which comes with an idea to let designers focus on design without worrying about the code and yet giving an option to hand author the auto generated code.
Webflow is another tool that lets you create production ready professional and responsive websites without the need to code. We expect a big jump in adoption of web design tools among the community of web designers and developers as well as release of new web design tools along with enhancements in existing tools.
Conclusion: Top Web Design Trends 2015
We are going through a transformation in the web design and this year in particular appears to be the year of change. We expect many of the top design trends listed here to define the look and feel of next generation of websites.
To reiterate, the most compelling reason for change is the need to create designs for multiple devices and multiple platforms yet maintaining seamless user experience.
The need to match user experience of web apps with native apps would continue to push web designers for innovation and creativity. We can attribute new design trends partly to the creativity of web designers and partly to the growing needs of the industry.
If you want share and add more trends in the list top web design trends 2015, do let us know via comments. Happy Designing!!