Website design trends to watch in 2015

Nothing flat about flat design

Have you ever been house hunting and walked into a home where the décor screamed “1983?” I’m certainly not an interior designer, but I find that it requires more imagination than the average house hunter possesses to see the inner “jewel” in an outdated home. The same holds true for websites.

Consumers don’t need website design experience to distinguish outdated website design from modern design — and no brand should require a potential customer to use their imagination to see the quality of the brand.

While looking back at where website design was in 2014 is important, looking forward to what website design trends will be hot in 2015 is essential!

Interactive scrolling

parallaxscroll

Both parallax and infinitive scrolling website design utilize downward scroll to draw the customer into the brand’s story. In a study titled “Everybody Scrolls,” Huge Inc. UX/CX researcher Rebecca Gordon found people love scrolling! Her team tested four design versions — including three that involved scrolling cues — with 48 study participants over three days.

We learned that participants almost always scrolled, regardless of how they are cued to do so – and that’s liberating. While it’s hard to make universal recommendations, we’d suggest that designers use the cue that works best in its context.

Designers should choose cues for scrolling based on the content, the business category and the overall design. Does the content feature block text, images or video? Is the site for ecommerce, editorial or news? How do visual cues integrate with existing design elements? All of these variables will affect the optimum placement and effectiveness of scrolling cues.”

With infinite scrolling the next section of content automatically loads when the user approaches the bottom of a web page. Parallax is fantastic to lead a visitor through a specific story line and to showcase 3D products. Both interactive scrolling techniques are ideal for mobile viewing.

Flat web design

We saw the emergence of flat website design in 2014, but we’re predicting it will be even bigger in 2015. Taking a minimalist approach, flat design uses open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional illustrations to provide a clean, simple user experience. Because flat design is wonderful for responsive design and provides faster loading times, it’s expected to evolve and grow in popularity throughout 2015. Check out these beautiful flat design websites for inspiration.

FlatDesign

Mobile design first

With mobile viewing showing no signs of slowing down, websites will be designed first and foremost for excellent mobile viewing experiences. In 2015 the focus on mobile means responsive web design is no longer an option – it’s a must.

Clean, simple & visual website layout

In 2015 we’ll continue to see the use of high-quality, dynamic photos to relay a brand’s story. Expect even less text, simplified navigation, and single color schemes (i.e. different shades of blue throughout the site without additional contrasting colors) to keep visitors focused and moving through the desired action path.

layervault

Single-page websites

Single-page websites are quickly gaining ground for numerous reasons, including:

  • They’re mobile friendly.
  • They’re easy to navigate.
  • They can quickly communicate a story (and focus on visual storytelling).
  • They allow for fast communication of brand value.

If you’re imagining the one-page landing pages of 10 years ago, take heart. The one-page websites of 2015 are cleaner, sexier versions of their outdated relatives.

Lettering and fonts

lettering example

Lettering is the human touch you don’t see in Google Fonts. Industry experts are excited to watch this hipster trend take off in the mainstream and become a visual indication of high-quality, custom design (rather than ready-made template designs). I’ve included fonts as well because 2015 will also see website designers utilizing fonts with personality to add visual interest to creative-type websites and to assist with branding.

Do you predict other hot trends for 2015? Please share in the comments!