Design trends come and go, but there’s one thing that stays the same: the desire to get back to the basics without tacking on unnecessary features. Cluttered pages overflowing with information and animations are no longer the norm. Instead, simplicity is replacing all things busy.
Users respond better to simplicity. It helps them understand what they need to do when they get to your website. It also prevents them from being confused or overwhelmed, which is one of the main reasons why users bounce off a site. Knowing that getting back to the basics is a good thing, let’s check out these six design trends that are taking over the internet.
1. Line Icons and Ghost Buttons
Iconography and ghost buttons are rising in popularity, in part, because of Apple’s new iPhones. These transparent buttons that are outlined with a thin line create a simpler aesthetic that makes icons and buttons feel lighter. At the same time, ghost buttons don’t compromise the ability to support larger and more colorful images. Another reason why line icons and ghost buttons have increased in use is because they fit in seamlessly with the highly popularized flat design.
2. Google’s Material Design
Material design is a progression of flat design that focuses on clean, minimal colors, shapes and typography. It was developed by Google and combines the principles of flat design with some light animation. Material design also does a wonderful job at creating order that has purpose and meaning.
Even though they’re probably a bit biased, Google is already a fan of material design. They’ve updated their OS using some of these elements, such as on their YouTube Android display that is colorful and playful. Because Google is behind material design, expect to see more of it popping up in all sorts of places!
3. No Header Background Image
For some time, brands have been giving more preference to large, customized images, particularly in campaign areas. While this trend is still popular, a recent trend is to make the imagery less and the campaign space cleaner.
The purpose of simplifying the background is to allow the typography to stand out. When users visit your website and see your message right away, they’re less distracted by other elements. If you can hook them in with a compelling statement or bold fact, you have a few seconds of their attention.
Today’s users are inclined to notice the subtle details on a web page. These details can, in essence, separate your brand from your competitors. Small animations, or microinteractions, engage users and make the content more exciting. Most users appreciate these small animations because it’s refreshing from the standard blocks of text or stock images that so many websites possess.
It’s also interesting to note that motion being used in material design helps users focus their attention on the content and transition between states. You’ll see good examples of microinteractions on sites like LinkedIn and Amazon.
5. Interactive Infographics
Infographics were wildly popular back in 2014, and they haven’t slowed down since. Yet now they contain another ingredient: storytelling.
Users have a more engaging experience when they are presented with some type of web interactivity. It helps them make better sense of the information given, and they can navigate through the infographic in a beginning-to-end sequence, much like a story. This is especially helpful when sharing infographic-type data such as numbers, statistics and short facts.
6. Full Screen Video
Full screen backgrounds and videos are becoming more popular, even though minimalism is preferred. However, we can all agree that there’s something subtle about a background video, providing that you set things up the right way. The key is to hook users in with some form of media that allows them to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
In the past, it was difficult to make videos subtle because of the limitations of Flash. With the integration of HTML5, more brands are able to use videos in ways that weren’t possible before. HTML5 is compatible with all browsers and recognized by the search engines. It’s pretty awesome.
It’s a good thing that web design trends change from time to time, otherwise everyone’s websites would look the same! While it does mean more work on your end (keeping things up to date and whatnot) you’ll appreciate the many advancements that have come our way, including flat design, HTML5 and improved navigation. All of these developments are intended to enhance the user experience, keep visitors on your website longer and increase ROI. Luckily, they do it, and they do it well.
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