There has been a constant emphasis on websites to perform at high-speeds and this is set to have an impact on the trending web layouts for the year ahead.
Traditional web layouts swore by the utilisation of a header, footer, sidebar and content area formula, however, this has been exchanged for a far more polished option.
The rise and demand for a responsive website has resulted in no fixed formula needed for the layout of a website. This allows web designers to broaden their minds and delve into their creative options.
Although the trend may be heading down a minimalistic route; the saying has come into play that ‘the design is complete when all the non-essential elements have been removed.’
Starting out with the list of trends that are set to de-clutter the world wide web; surprisingly, Chrome is out.
The content containment element is an obvious feature on websites and has previously contained quite a bit of Chrome. The trend is set to eradicate all of that Chrome and structure around the content.
2015 is the year of simple finishes, as they are considerably more stylish.
The simpler, matte finish can be reached by using a flat user interface – this will remove all fo the distractions that may present themselves in the website’s design.
Previous web design trends were the applications of gradients, round corners, shadows and other elements that could alter the layout to make it as realistic as possible.
2015 is the time of removing all of the nonsensical alterations; notable web giants that are a step ahead of the game are Apple’s iOS 7, Google’s Gmail, Facebook, and Microsoft Windows 8.
The answer to whether a user will know what the hierarchy of content is if there is no structure to guide them is in the typography.
2014 saw typography lead web design and web layout, this year will be no different as it remains an important element.
Typography, specifically the font size of the content, is the current indicator of content hierarchy and this year denotes bigger is better – large, eye-grabbing fonts are trending and are most definitely efficient at delivering a business’s primary message.
Removing elements such as scroll bars and filling the screen, is now a common sight as the year progresses. The result denotes and much more focussed website.
This is achieved through the hierarchy of content that will need to be definitively well-established so the user can comfortably navigate the site, thus making the site appear stream-lined.
Because of the simplicity of the trend, expect many websites that have heavy colour and images running throughout, with complex layouts slowly dwindling, in favour of the more toned down layout.
The previous large headers with a corresponding large background image that pairs with it will be replaced with image free headers.
It is possible to attract more attention to a header, if there is one at hand, by going against the grain.
Selecting images carefully will not only increase the performance of the website, but it will also contribute to the ease of which a user will be digesting the website.
Standing out among the simple layouts
A website can stand out, and stay on track with the simple trend, by utilising the technique of a split screen. This will allow a business to present two vital marketing messages to a user at a first glance.
It’s quite a beneficial technique when comparing two primary elements that hold equal importance, as an example; women’s and men’s clothing, or perhaps the embodiment of a company’s two equal characteristics, if that is a part of the equation.
Another element of websites will be the reduction of stock imagery. Instead, 2015 should see the utilisation of personal and custom-made images that present an air of professionalism.
Sticking with the idea of images, there has been an increase in illustrations. These may vary from the detailed to the fairly humorous, both of which communicating with users, thus a brand’s personality is shown through these illustrations.
As a way of maintaining the sleek and simple website design, the mobile first approach will launch its effects throughout the year, universally setting up similar to an app with pop-out navigational bars – they will be hidden, until the user interacts with the website.
Circles are rearing their heads with the ‘mobile first’ approach also, as a growing number of designers are utilising this method for touch screens; the circles present the ideal drive for a call to action as their round shape is a direct translation of buttons in the physical world.
Not only do they act as a tempting call to action because the shape is perfect for the finger on a touch screen, they also present a point a difference in the web world as linear rules dominate.
Concluding that the speed and efficiency of a website being of the utmost importance, the idea of removing all of the unnecessary, even though pleasant to the eye, elements, makes sense.
The distraction of these elements is subjective, however keeping with the trend presents the simpler, sleeker website design is more appealing as of now.