Just as in the world of fashion, trends come and go, the world of web design is regularly evolving.
Keep it clean
The current move is towards a cleaner, simpler look, eschewing the fancy designs and brighter colours of yesteryear in favour of big bold beautiful typography and more muted tones. The reason? In a world where we are constantly overloaded with information, consumers are wanting to digest the content of a website quickly, without wading through unnecessary clutter. Of course, the dramatic increase in website consumption via mobile devices has also played a part in transitioning towards a generally less ‘busy’ look which works well on a smaller screen.
Gone are the days where a few choice stock ‘off the shelf’ images are deemed appropriate for a new website. Today’s web designers are looking for highly original shots to lure visitors into a site, often employing inspirational full-screen visuals to create maximum drama. Edgy photography combined with clever strap lines are de rigeur, allowing brands to create stand out on the digital landscape.
Keep on moving
As technology evolves, the introduction of animated imagery to tell a story and portray a brand personality is becoming more popular. The simple static drop down menu is being superseded by clever loading devices which provide a source of entertainment to the user while waiting for content to appear and simply ‘hovering’ over a link can now trigger a response. Animation is also being cunningly applied to inject humour when a user error occurs.
Video content continues to dominate the online world smashing the ‘picture paints a thousand words’ theory, with experts speculating that one minute of video coverage is equivalent to writing 1.8 million words. According to Forrester Research, online video is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results; video creates action and moves the visitor deeper into the sales cycle and it’s the best form of content on the market for converting sales. The Online Publishers Association reports that 80% of internet users recalled watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days and You Tube receives more than one billion unique users every month, claiming video consumption is rising 100% year after year. Research has shown that one in three Britons view at least one online video a week, that’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million in the UK alone while a study by Cisco suggests that by 2020, 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video based. Need we say more?
Traditionally scrolling was simply a means of navigating from the top of a page to the bottom, always bearing in mind the unwritten rule relating to keeping the most important content above the hallowed ‘fold’. Today the ‘fold’ is much more difficult to define largely due to the fact that users are viewing sites on a variety of screens featuring different sizes and resolutions. Today scrolling is being increasingly incorporated as a creative device to deliver content. Examples include full screen videos playing and pausing as the user scrolls or static content moving or changing when a scrolling instruction is given.