Web design trends are constantly changing. Web designers strive to provide an optimal user experience through a variety of techniques. These six web design trends are examples of the latest best practices.
Quicker Navigation, Simpler Websites
One-fourth of users abandon a website after four seconds of loading time, according to Kissmetrics. To avoid users leaving the site, web design should focus on pages that load quickly and can be understood right away. Design should cut down on clutter and extensive text. Minimalist interfaces are the way to go.
Flat design — a minimalistic approach that emphasizes usability through clean spaces, crisp edges and bright colors — is the most widely accepted design style. But designers still need to spice up a website to make it stand out. Animation offers a good way of not only creating some differentiation, but also displaying copy in a different and more ingenious way. Animation allows a company to display how something works instead of just describing it. Animation can help save precious space on a mobile app or serve as easily shareable web content.
The End of Stock Elements
The mediocre to terrible quality of stock photos is a common internet joke at this point. Stock images are quickly becoming unacceptable in web design. According to designer and brand consultant Zie Darling, using the same stock photo as other brands results in losing “all recognition or power.” Stock photos make a site seem less genuine, hurting the design.
One of the leading web design trends is predicting how users want to experience a website and how to adapt to their behavior. The goal of anticipatory design is to eliminate choices for users by using data, prior behavior and business logic to make steps occur almost automatically. This allows users to focus on the important decisions that they care about most. For example, a travel website automatically monitors users’ Google calendars to give options that fit around open spots in their schedule.
In his 2015 book Microinteractions, designer Dan Saffer explained why small details are essential to web design. Designers must be cognizant of microinteractions more and more. Mobile browsing furthers the focus on microinteractions, and designers must make small moments easier for users on all platforms.
Flat design is the school of choice for today’s web designers, but there are alternatives. Material design — championed by Google through products like Android, Gmail, Maps and more — maintains the minimal, vivid look of flat design but has far more depth. Google describes material design as a synthesis of “classic principles of good design” and “the innovation and possibility of technology and science.”
Understanding Web Design Trends
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