Web design trends are not an evergreen source of inspiration. Some stick around for years, others fade away quicker than they are coded. 2014 was a great year for flat design, minimalism, gorgeous typography and HTML5 video players. However, the limelight is now on 2015, and we are curious to see which trends will gain traction, and which trends will fall into oblivion.
This web design trend was released by Google back in June, amid much fanfare. Material design approaches a modern clean, look; including a lot of depth and substantial use of shadows (expect even more shadows in 2015).
As Google preached, material design’s goal is to create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. In a nutshell, it’s a richer approach to flat interfaces, teasing designers to create more layered interfaces and to use animation as affordance. Having less clutter, the websites will be highlighting the relevant content, sending the traffic through their sales funnel.
Movement in Flat design
Even if 2014 was a blooming year for beautiful transitions and animations for sites and applications (native, mobile or web), the contribution of CSS3 is promising in the future as well. In addition, Android is leading the path with the new material design and iOS pampers its UI animations.
As mobile continues to grow and CSS3 transitions/animation become more standardized for browsers, 2015 will probably bring less conventional navigation components and more standard elements hidden in drawers and hovers (ghost buttons). That means there will be more tools and libraries to help designers with implementing these transitions.
Aside from Google’s Material Design ruling the predictions for 2015 web design trends, Marsala is another item that we’ll hear about next year. Web designers might know it as #955251, but Pantone named it “Marsala” and it is the 2015 Color of the Year. Love it or hate it, there’s nothing much to do about it, because the demand for this colour will increase this year.
Some web design trend-watchers are predicting a big opening for podcasting in 2015, especially due to projects like Gimlet Media. Podcasting is not a new trend, but making money out of it is quite challenging and this years things might turn around.
This trend has been around for a while, mostly used in Google products. Popular in 2014, the cards UI will be even a greater hit in 2015, enhancing the clean, minimal look. Using this modular trend, the website is divided into several columns, easier digestible content chunks that keep your website organized and the visitor is scrolling for more.
Less gap between Designing and Coding
Everything started with frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap, but now we are talking about slighter sophisticated tools that allow specialists to design and to export clean code, in a timely manner. There is a prediction for even greater tools next year, so keep an eye on it!
In addition, Code Automation is also happening. With tools like Macaw, designers will draw code, instead of writing code (this makes HTML and CSS available to a broader, mixed audience).
Video and Interactive Storytelling
The brand that comes with no story doesn’t sale – it’s a fact. So web designers are pouring the creative juices into close-knit websites that recommend the brand. And with the interactivity level raising in 2015, storytelling it’s trending. Whether we talk about a microsite or a landing page, storytelling boots the engagement with the website’s content. Here we can incorporate the Divisible Content, as web designers employ it more and more – e-books became infographics, white-papers resumed to Instagram format – there is a myriad of flexible storytelling ideas for next year.
A lot of websites are using HTML5, especially for creating continuous scrolling websites. The perks of HTML5 are multiple: not only does allow videos to load and display fast on mobile, but helps to easily incorporate storytelling into their website design. In the battle for interactive storytelling, continuous scrolling and parallax (hit trends of 2014) have obviously won, but this is only the beginning. So, for the next 12 months expect a solid partnership between responsive web design, typography, video and emotional connections conveyed through interactive storytelling.
We know, this is nothing new, but seeing the enormous avalanche of typography usage in 2014, the forecast for next year is reassuring: Typography is here to stay. To improve it, web designers are developing open webfonts like Open Sans, Source Sans, TYpekit, Proxima Nova, Futura, Lato and Google Fonts, scaling the content, for a better reading experience.
Furthermore, designers are expecting a revival of hand lettering as well, as it can bring a custom, hand-done approach to a website. On the opposite pole, web designers are already abandoning the chunky letter form, using more slim and delicate typography. The predictions for 2014 are inclining towards san serif and light fonts, simple and timeless. Monoline is also trending next year in typography and illustrations, bringing a very clean and graphic look.
The “Appification” of Web
This trend will be more overwhelming as time passes by, and it is a direct result of the growth of modern MVC frameworks (e.g. Backbone.js, Angular.js, Ember.js). Developers can create single page applications in the browser formerly only possible in a native or desktop client. In addition to this, the raise of Software as a service (SaaS) products, websites are not simple websites anymore, becoming more desktop software/applications.
With Foundation for Apps just being release, 2015 will witness an enormous web app expansion. Designers will push animation and user experience to higher standards than ever (across all medias and platforms).
Adding depth to the minimalist aesthetic and employing movement to fetch emotion, direction and consistency, are some of the expected web design trends of 2015. That said, we are extremely curious to see the websites created in the next 12 months. Happy designing, folks!