Page Design – Four Modern Trends
First impressions matter – especially with Web page design. Design is more than just how a site looks; it includes user experience as well. Since you only have one chance to make a good first impression on a visitor, keeping up with page design trends is vital to your online success.
There have been several design trends to emerge over the past year and not all of them are good. Most will likely fade from popularity quickly, but there are four trends that will most likely stand the test of time.
1. Scrolling and Single-Page Design
It has been a common belief and practice that important content remain above the fold (the area on a page that is immediately visible without having to scroll). Recent studies have revealed that this is just not true. Chartbeat, a data analytics provider, revealed in a study that 66 percent of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold. ClickTale, another data analytics provider, also revealed that on a study of 100,000 page views, 76 percent of people used the scroll bar with 22 percent of users making it to the bottom of a page, regardless of its length.
What this means is that longer pages that require users to scroll down are no less effective than pages that do not require users to scroll. This is great because it now allows for designers to include great effects, such as parallax scrolling (where background images scroll by slower than foreground images to create an illusion of depth) or other scrolling animations.
2. Simplicity and Minimalism
In his book, “The Laws of Simplicity,” John Maeda wrote, “On the one hand, you want a product or service to be easy to use; on the other hand you want it to do everything that a person might want it to do. The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction. When in doubt, just remove. But be careful of what you remove.”
Simplicity isn’t really about less of something, but about comprehension and clarity of purpose. Web designers have long sought out simplicity through more minimal designs and now luxury brands have started moving in that direction as well. Chances are, this is a trend that will continue in the future.
3. Animation and Interaction
Web design in the 90’s often included lots of animation, scrolling text, and other things flashing and moving across the page. These design elements quickly faded away into more “static” pages when it was discovered that these animations were a distraction to the visitor and detracted from the site’s goal.
Those kinds of animations can certainly obscure a visitor from completing a specific task or goal on a site. However, animation can be useful when it shows how items are related, reveals connections between elements on the page, or confirms the successful (or unsuccessful) completion of an event.
These new animations allow not only for a better user experience, but can create a better first impression as well.
4. Typography and Fonts
Typography has always been an important part of web design, so it’s a little surprising that not many new trends have emerged for its use. However, in 2015, a trend toward the use of dynamic typography began to emerge. Dynamic typography is the use of text that draws attention to itself based on its typeface, size or weight. This works well as long as the chosen font is still easily legible. If it can’t be read easily upon first glance, it should not be used.
While not every trend that emerges in necessarily a good one, it can be expected that the best of the trends will continue. So it’s not necessary to try to follow every trend as they emerge, but these four trends promise to remain for quite some time.