As the world of web design continues to grow and evolve, you’ve probably started to notice certain trends while surfing the internet.
The influence of mobile devices, studies of user experiences and technological advancements have given way to a group of increasingly popular layouts and features for websites. And if you’re thinking about getting a degree in software development, you should take note.
Below, we’ve compiled six web design principles that are becoming widespread on the web.
1. Flat Design
This is a movement away from 3-D design and toward simplicity.
Flat design eliminates shadows, gradients and flowery features that don’t add anything productive to the website’s content. The focus is on strong lines and creative fonts to give a site a cleaner look and faster loading times.
Generally, the look makes it easier to scan and more accessible.
2. Responsive Design
As companies develop new kinds of mobile devices, ensuring that a website performs in a similar manner across all platforms is paramount. That’s where responsive design comes in.
The idea is to streamline the web design process to create an optimal experience for users on both desktop and mobile devices. While the functionality isn’t always one-to-one, it does provide a more complete representation of the desktop version on mobile platforms.
Example: Globe University
3. Endless Scrolling
Just what it sounds like, endless scrolling allows users to consume large amounts of content on one page, rather than clicking around.
The format gives users the chance to scan content quickly and shortens the wait time for a new page to load. When you get to the “bottom” of what would be a typical webpage, older content continues to populate the site, and users can continue scrolling.
The concept arises from the fact that scrolling is oftentimes much easier than clicking around a website looking for what you need.
4. Fixed Navigation Bars
Fixed navigation bars remain at the top or side of a webpage as users scroll. You make your way down the page and the navigation bar—which typically includes links to the homepage and other primary sections of the website—stays put.
Content-heavy websites can benefit from this format because it allows people to get to other parts of the site without scrolling back to the top of the page.
Example: Monday Morning Quarterback
5. Parallax Scrolling
This is an eye-grabbing function that allows users to manipulate a page simply by scrolling. You scroll up or down and the images, text or other features respond in real time to your mouse or fingers.
This is a complicated method of website construction, but it creates a fun experience for users and presents the content in a unique way. It’s easier to see what parallax scrolling is rather than describing it, so be sure to check out the impressive example below.
Example: Website for the “Life of Pi” film
Less text and a greater emphasis on clean design is becoming more commonplace under the simplicity method of web design.
Images, too, are incorporated into this concept, as well as navigation and descriptions of deeper portions of the site. The idea is to make things less complicated for users and enable them to find what they’re looking for.
Another advantage to the simplicity method is that web designers can easily test which layout functions better.
Example: Motion Theory
Web Design Trends
Web designers are always looking for ways to improve the look and usability of sites.
The methods discussed here are a few examples of the latest web design trends, and we can expect new ways of displaying information electronically to continue to advance.
The further development of products, technology and systems will dictate how websites look in the future.