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It’s 2015 – so you’d be more than a little silly to think that designing for desktop alone is going to cut it. Responsive design is now absolutely essential as websites are increasingly being viewed on smaller, mobile devices. But you don’t need convincing of this, you’re already a fully paid-up member of the ‘I love Responsive’ club, right?
So what is new and improved for 2015? What should you be looking to incorporate in any new designs? We’ve taken a look at some of the biggest trends to emerge so far this year – and even included a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.
Card Design (Aggregated Content)
Card design was big news in 2014 and unsurprisingly this year, it’s only getting bigger. Recently, we’ve witnessed a huge restructuring of how content is displayed – moving away from the one-size-fits-all and heading towards completely personalised experiences.
Throughout 2015, content will continue to be broken down into individual components and re-aggregated according to the size and shape of the screen it’s being viewed on, as well as the interests, preferences and behaviour of the person consuming it.
Firebox is a great example of aggregated card content (although why it thinks we’re interested in passive-aggressive fridge obscenities is anyone’s guess).
Long-scrolling pages are more than just a fad, they’ve proven they’re here to stay for 2015.
The primary case for long-scrolling pages is that they increase visitor engagement by immediately encouraging interaction. There’s just something about these pages that triggers an automatic response in the user – piquing curiosity with their visually stimulating, storytelling-friendly nature.
By allowing users to leisurely scroll through content rather than having to click on page links, they’re optimized for touchscreen – producing a natural sensation when browsing – without compromising on desktop UX.
Want a great example of how to do this yourself? The Poppy Appeal site uses illustrations and animations to help people explore how money donated to the appeal is used. It’s a rich and interactive experience that’s controlled by the scroll of a mouse (or the swipe of a finger) presenting content in a unique and appealing way.
Embracing design for smaller screens has also affected how menus are displayed – and with space being at a premium, fly out, slide out and hidden menus are becoming more popular across the board. It’s all about bringing an app-like feel to an entire site, the pursuit of simplicity and stripping away unnecessary elements to minimize the interface.
Rawnet’s site is a great example of utilising the hamburger icon (something that’s quickly becoming a convention in iconography) to activate the menu.
Ghost buttons are those transparent, empty buttons, usually a rectangle or square, bordered with a very thin line and containing light, sans-serif font. You’ll definitely have seen them over the last year, and you can certainly expect to see more.
They work well on two levels – both merging seamlessly into sites or large-scale background images and attracting the user’s eye with their subtle elegant finish. They work well on minimalist sites (something we’re seeing an overall trend for) but as legibility can be a problem be mindful where you use them if you are going to give them a try.
Nokia Transitions uses ghost buttons beautifully – that’s actually a video background, and it looks spectacular.
Shadows, textures and bevels have finally had their day as flat web design continues to go from strength to strength.
In case you’ve missed it, flat design means eschewing the gradients, pixel perfect shadows and skeuomorphism that have been rampant in recent years to create a minimalist ‘flat’ interface.
Simple and straightforward, using solid colours and focussing heavily on typography, flat design is a backlash against the overly ornamented websites filled that have become so commonplace. And not a moment too soon, in our book.
Check out at Stash’s flat icons to see some great examples.
So that’s the top trends we love – but there’s plenty more emerging trends popping up all over the place. Take a look, see what you like, and get in touch today.