2015 Website trends, what to expect

As we are now into January 2015 I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to give a few ideas of what you should expect to see from websites in 2015.

Be responsive or go home!

PST

Well maybe go home is a little harsh and possibly you have a really good reason why you are not using a responsive design however I feel this is unlikely. In the last few years responsive design has almost become a norm and has become a new standard for web design especially within WordPress themes in particular. Although there have been arguments about its implementations and why you should have a separate part of your website dedicated to mobiles, no-one has actually said lets get rid of responsive design. In fact more and more people are opting for it, asking about it and understanding it.

Ghost Buttons

Indiegogo Website Example of Ghost Buttons

Image of Indiegogo website showing the use of Ghost Buttons.

 

Ghost buttons have been very popular in the last few months. This is because they are minimal, stylish, subtle and are perfect for large background images and videos. Parking them with a subtle hover animation and they are perfect for any website. It is important to have a minimal looking website I think for these to work as they will not work, but get it right and they are fantastic. Whether this will be a trend in 2015 I am not sure as some people have thought but I certainly think they are going to be seen more and more.

Background Images & Videos

placeit-29

Large background images have grown in popularity throughout 2014 and it looks like they will continue to grow in 2015. With it now easier to serve videos to visitors, video backgrounds are also likely to be seen more and more throughout 2015. Large background images and videos are a very simple way to make content on your site stand out and get noticed. If it is designed well to fit in with your existing website it feels powerful and elegant and can have a huge impact on your website.

Scrolling instead of Clicking

This Year In Hashtags Website Screenshot

As mobile usage continues to grow and outstrip desktop usage it is likely that we will see more and more scrolling websites. Scrolling is likely to dominate clicking because it is far more intuitive and it can cut down load times and allows for a story to be told, and for dynamic interaction. Whether we will continue to see the development of one-page websites because of the difficulty of getting them into search engine results without throwing large amounts of money at them is unlikely but large scrolling pages with supplementary pages are likely to be the way forward.

Flat Design

Tile App example of flat design

Image from www.fltdsgn.com

Flat design is fantastic and really works for some companies and websites. It has to be done right and personally I do not think it suits every website. If you do not feel you should embrace Flat design then Material Design is becoming ever more popular and we are likely to see websites based around one or the other I expect in 2015.

Card Layouts

Pinterest Website Screenshot

Pinterest Website

Card designs have been popular with developers and designers because they are great for responsive websites. They keep things in line and it is very easy to rearrange columns without things looking untidy and out of place. Cards are clean and simple however provide a lot of functionality. Personally I think it is a great way forward but it has to be used effectively. Pinterest is a great example of this, however there are some shocking examples of people trying to display their blog content in this fashion and it just does not do the content justice. Expect to see more of it but I anticipate it might take people a while to get the look right for the brand/website.

Microinteractions

Elegantthemes.com Microinteraction

Elegantthemes.com Microinteraction

Micro interactions are contained experiences or moments that revolve around a single use case. An example of this is an email signup box that pops up on a website. Some are animated and move playfully across the screen to draw your attention to them. Although they can be very good in promoting user engagement, I personally find them annoying and not impressed that my ad blocker does not stop them. They are just as bad almost as a pop up, when I click a link I want to read the content or find the answer to something not have to close a box asking if I would like to sign up to an email that I will never read! I want to find my answer or read an article now and not to be distracted, which is all these are. I understand these are good tools, however if they become popular which I feel they will, it will cause too much user announce if they become popular on every website, which unfortunately I feel will be likely in 2015.

Storytelling

GoSquared at the London 2012 Games

GoSquared at the London 2012 Games

 

I love storytelling pages and think they are effective way of passing on your brand’s message and engaging the visitor. These pages are suited to very specific brands and uses and they do not always work for every brand and therefore this needs to be thought about in a lot of detail before implementing. However if you get this right your website will be the talk of your visitors, followers and potentially internet!

An Example – Apple

Apple Website Screenshot 2014 showing simplicity in design

The Apple website in 2014

I am not asking you to be an Apple fan but if you have even just had a slightest peak at their website in recent months you hopefully will be able to appreciate the fantastic design and simplicity of the website. Apple has always been able to achieve an amazingly simple design however be able to embrace so many current and future design trends at the same time. If you wish to learn from this design it is important to not copy them but to try embrace your own subtlety in your own design or content otherwise as some websites have done recently it could look like a blatant copy.

Final Thoughts – What are the 2015 Website Trends?

Well it looks like most of what we saw in 2014 will carry forward in 2015 with a few evolving during this time but we are unlikely to see any disappear. This does not look like there is going to be any massive changes where everyone should run and change their website. However there are many trends that provide opportunities for those to embrace some new technologies and design during 2015 for those wanting to refresh a website or build one from scratch. Personally I think background images and videos are going to be the most popular and if you have not got a responsive website then you need to start from scratch!

Recent Posts