Website design has come a long way in the past 20 years, and it continues to change and evolve over time. Here’s a roundup of the design trends that we’ve been seeing…what’s trending out, what’s becoming increasingly popular, and the reasoning behind it all.
Out: Static Design / Mobile Versions
In: Responsive Design
Why: Remember when most people accessed the web through their desktop or laptop computers? Back then organizations would either create separate “mobile versions” of their site, or simply write off smart phone and tablet users altogether. Today 64% of American adults own a smartphone, and organizations cannot afford to ignore their needs. Responsive design, which optimizes the viewing experience across a wide range of devices, has become the new standard.
Why: As more people access websites using (mouse-less) smart phones and tablets, “fat finger syndrome” makes clicking cumbersome. Today’s popular “endless scrolling” approach creates a better experience for mobile users. As an added bonus, scrolling sites usually load faster, too.
Out: Flat Design
In: Semi-Flat Design
Why: Flat design is a minimalist approach that strips design of all fluff and frills, such as gradients, shadows and textures. As such flat design uses bold colors, simple typography and simple shapes. But it’s very…well…flat. As part of the backlash against this, many designers are now using what’s known as “semi-flat” or “almost-flat” design. While still eliminating the clutter, semi-flat design gives some elements a little depth and dimension, in order provide a clean look and feel with a bit of a flair.
Out: Generic-Looking Stock Photos
In: Large High-Quality Images
Why: This is really the convergence of two trends. First, many designers are moving towards the use of large images in either the foreground or the background. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – and many of today’s site visitors are not interested in doing a lot of reading. The second trend is that people are simply getting tired of seeing generic stock photos. Bold, original images that reflect the brand’s personality are therefore trending in instead.
Out: Complicated Designs
In: Minimalist Approach
Why: This design trend is also tied in with the trend towards designing for mobile devices. After all, cluttered or fussy sites just don’t render well on a four-inch screen! Consequently, “less is more” seems to be the new mantra. Excess graphics, unnecessary sidebars and submenus, and other non-essential elements are either hidden or eliminated altogether.
Out: Disorganized Content Hierarchy
In: Tile-style Layouts
Why: Although tile-style layouts, like what is seen on Pinterest, are not for every content type, this design trend is continuing to gain in popularity. Tiles work well in responsive designs, and can provide a simple and very visual way for visitors to browse through and find the information they need.
If your website not mobile responsive or is in need of a “face lift” contact us. We have the expertise to develop a website that represents your company well.