Over the years, many new website design trends had set sail: invariably, while some sank, some have taken off very successfully. Which website design trends were more than just fads?
Let us state the obvious: flat design is the website design trend of the moment! Flat design is everywhere! Thanks to Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Apple’s iOS7, flat design will continue to be a hugely influential trend in website design.
The other big trend is responsive design. Responsive design means that the layout of a website is going to be adjusted in response to the elements such as the width of the device that a visitor is using to access the website. The functionality of the website itself now depends on the context that the website is used.
Instead of building separate mobile versions of your websites, a more integrated approach is preferred. Some website designers are even building for mobile first, with desktop and laptop versions now being treated as secondary. It is high time to rethink the user experience on smaller screens!
Since it eliminates the need for having multiple subdomains and duplicate content, an added bonus for embracing responsive design might be in giving the websites a boost in the search engine results pages. The “mobile first” approach to website design may be to blame for the trend of using a lot of parallax scrolling, horizontal scrolling, column-based scrolling and, to a chagrin of some designers, infinite scrolling.
Another website design trend that is probably influenced by mobile is the prevalence of minimalistic navigation. In an effort to reduce the amount of clicks needed to navigate around a website, designers are using lightboxes, overlays, expanding and repositioned tiles, in order to load as much content as possible without actually loading a new webpage. Fixed navigation and content are commonplace among newly designed websites. Dynamic backgrounds, be it video or moving backgrounds, are also very trendy at the moment!
HTML5 is opening some new possibilities in website design. It is playing nice with CSS3 and jQuery. You can use CSS to replace images, which is another website design trend that is likely to stick around for the long time. It would be a shame, though, for HTML5 usage to become a new Flash.
Visual storytelling is a big trend! Instead of telling your brand story using blocks of text, “say it” using photographs, icons, infographics and other means of visual expression. Combine your content and visuals in a mix that is irresistible to web surfers of today who are living in an increasingly visual world and have little patience for your long paragraphs. The web is becoming less text-heavy, and it is a trend that is likely to continue in the future, so keep your text content clear and concise!
Does that mean that the SEO copywriting is dead? Not really, it is just that the focus is removed from keyword-centric copy, at least at the moment, thanks to numerous Google updates targeting what the search engine sees as “keyword stuffing” and other forms of spam. You certainly can’t go wrong with writing with your audience in mind: what you want is to emotionally connect with your prospects, and not try to feed an increasingly fickle beast that Google has turned into.