Web design has come a long way. The web design trends were noticeably different a few years ago. These trends constantly evolve and change some trends lasting longer than the others.As an example HTML has frames and always had.
The websites approximately 10 years ago had frames, in fact all of them had that. However the websites being designed these days have nothing to do with frames. Frames is something that is not likely to come back.
This article provides a good insight into what designing meant approximately 10 years ago and what it is now. Hence acting as a good guide for any new web designer with new ideas and at the same time reminding the veteran designers of some of their own designing practices in the past.
Here I lead up to what is current and happening in 2015 by first showcasing the how the last 10 years have been for the website designers.
The past Web Design Trends
Define: With the layouts in the past there was a design technique that had gotten quite popular and that was disorganized layouts. The layouts were designed such that they could carry the maximum amount of information and in doing so the beauty and symmetry factors were considered secondary.
Pros & cons: The advantage of designing this way was that a lot of information was available on just one page however the disadvantage being that it with so much information it was hard to find the relevant topics and hence resulted in an increase in the bounce rate.
Verdict: Not in current use
Unique color schemes:
Define: The subject of Color schemes has historically been a sensitive issue. The reason being that not everyone has the same tastes when it comes to color. Let’s face it, after all girls like it pink and boys like it blue. On a more serious note the decision on which colors to choose lays with the designers and the clients themselves.The designers do like to be creative and hence their layouts may or may not be suitable to an average client whose vision of a perfect website is based on something that he has researched on the Internet.
Example: For example there was a time in 2000 that the pale color schemes where used on websites to making the websites seem soothing to the eyes and make them easy to read as well.
Verdict: This trend did continue for a while and is still used in some way or the other.
The lingering Flash effects:
Define: Flash was very popular and was used in almost all websites. There were also all flash website and the effects, graphics and animation that was possible with flash wowed everyone. I personally liked flash too and had designed several websites (including my own website) in flash. There was a steady decline in the use of flash after jQuery was introduced and the final nail in the coffin was HTML5 and CSS3.
Issues: Flash can be viewed as one of the most controversial design element. It came in a flash and is now gone. There was a time not long ago that.
Verdict: Although flash is not used to a very large extend now there are still a handful of website that use it.
Highlighting information with design:
Define: What we take for granted these days is using innovative textures and patterns to highlight a topic or an area on the layout to make it stand out.
Verdict: This technique is popular today and is expected to remain popular for a long time to come. However this technique originated a long time ago, approximately 10 years ago.
Define: The header of a website has always been viewed as the best place to insert important design elements. The websites today are seen with a horizontal menu, a quick contact number, language changer and country selector all in the header. But it was not always like this. What I am driving at is the website navigation that we so naturally place in the horizontal format in the header.
Verdict: The importance of a good navigation was realised early, however the technique of placing it in the header in a horizontal manner is only approximately 10 year old and is quite common.
CSS – Fonts – XHTML:
Define: Designers began to experiment with fonts a long time ago however at this time the options were limited as it was dependent on what was installed on the user’s computer. This was also a time when Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) started being used in a large way to design and format the website.
Standard website template:
Define: It has been a long time ago that the 5 section of the website became popular. Web design to some extent meant designing 5 section, the header, footer, content and side bar and the menu. This is true to some extent even with the layouts being designed today.
However there are several designs and layouts that use a different approach and the origins of ignoring the conventional 5 section layouts date back to more than 10 years ago.
Define: When it comes to using fonts and text styles it has been done in so many ways already that one wonders which the best way of doing it. Big fonts began to be used a long time ago to attract the attention of the visitor and they were quite effective.
Website also used badges and labels in a big way to draw the attention of the visitors. Color has been used in several ways too. In fact it was approximately 10 years ago that color gradients became very popular on websites. Just about every element was implemented using color gradients like the background, header image, title images and even all the graphics elements.
Verdict: Color gradients is something that is popular even today.
Define: The designs started getting fancier then and the headers starting making use of glossy patterns and even the navigation menu and buttons used glossy colors. Though this is not very popular today it was immensely popular about 5 years ago. This was the same time when the Grid interface was getting popular and many websites were designed using this kind of UI concept.
Verdict: This type of design went on to influence several other design formats however the Grid format is not used very extensively today. That said it is a practical design format several types of websites.
Define: Oversized elements was big a few years ago when everything from typography to web page graphics was using the large size. Although this did not last very long it may have had a lingering effect and set the stage for the introduction of the full page background image websites.
Define: Transparent text enhances the website and has many applications as the website designers of today know all about. This is a trend that has its origins in the year 2009 when many new trends took shape. The method and ease in which transparent elements are extensively used today has evolved into something much better and hence it seems that this trend is here to stay for a bit longer.
Define: Just about the same time as the transparent elements popped up, a couple of new layout styles were also introduced. The websites started to have a magazine look and feel. The magazine style web layouts were surprisingly effective as well, however this trend didn’t linger on.
Traces of this second trend can be still seen today however. The advent of one page layouts was roughly the same time. One page layouts with all information squeezed into a single page were being introduced. Such web pages used long scrolling techniques to spread out the information over the length of the websites. This meant quick access to information and almost was like a new form of navigation system.
Verdict: This type of website design was never really popular however this technique is still implemented in a few website today. For example a quick search of the ready made templates online will provide you with many new one page layouts which are highly optimized and practical.
Define: There was a time when the web design process started by first choosing the textured background. The content design and design of the other elements was later then influenced by the background. However fewer websites make use of textured backgrounds at the moment and that is likely to be the case in 2015 as well.
Growing background sizes:
Define: The size of our monitors was increasing and being widely accepted as well. There was a time when the maximum width of the website was 640px and this reflected on the background image as well. This then increased to 1024px and remained that way for a long time too. With increasing monitor sizes it also grew to 1200px.
But then there came the full screen photo backgrounds which had a big impact on websites designs. A lot many more website layout are now based on such full screen photo backgrounds and they are highly optimized as well so that they do not make a big dent in the loading times of the website.
Verdict: This is one trend that is likely to stick around for a long time to come.
Verdict: This type of design was very popular with game developers but it became mainstream and is still considered a good design option.
Responsive Website Design:
Define: Responsive website design is one design method that has made a massive impact on the way in which website were being designed. The fact of the matter is that it is likely to change many things and continue to influence future developments in website design.
It was introduced as early as 2009.
It only became really popular later in 2012.
Facts: The big reason was the mobile internet usage. The figure of mobile internet usage say it all. There was a large increase in the number of mobile internet users in the year 2013. According to the statistics it grew by 73% in USA and by about 69% in UK. Furthermore several prediction were made based on these statistics as per which the total number of mobile internet users is set to surpass those other platforms this year (2015).
Verdict: Hence responsive web design is becoming increasingly popular and the trend is likely to remain that way for some time to come.
Define: Then came a time when sharp corners and straight edges where not good enough anymore. Hence the designs started implementing curved edges and a lot of circular elements. The viewer’s look an instant liking to curved elements and the way they fit with the overall design. Hence this successful trend is still implanted to some extent even today.
Recent Web Design Trends:
The last few years have been those influenced a great deal the responsive web design, in spite of which several new trends have emerged like the flat design, video backgrounds which was waiting to happen after full page image backgrounds. Besides which the metro style web design also became very popular being influenced from the Windows Phone 7 UI. Full width pages is another recent trend that is very popular.
Web Design Trends 2015:
With the start of 2015, we are bound to set some new trends this year and it is likely to be greatly influenced by the mobile devices. Amongst the ones that are likely to make some noise is the Material Design by Google. This is a design that encourages bold graphic interfaces, with motion objects that make the page seem more realistic. As the year progresses we will soon find out if it is one of these existing Web Design Trends That Will Rule 2015 or with their be a new one. However the Web Design Trends To Look Out For In 2015 include Material Design, Parallax scrolling, further optimized responsive website design and even full page video backgrounds.
We are likely to see a lot more new designs a trends this year. Some of them will be based on previous trends and some ground breaking. As long as the website designers remain creative and continue to dish out new ideas we are set for a good set of new designs.
The job of a web designer is not easy since they need to base their design choices on what is current, the client’s preferences and what is relevant according to the theme of the website.
Alakmalak is one firm that has witnessed several trends changes in website design. The designers are thus not only experienced but also well aware of current trends and requirements. This makes them more than prepared to deliver new, creative and innovative designs to our clients.
Thus it is not surprising that they crossed the magical figure of having developed 2000 websites a long time ago. Besides which those clients which happen to be from all across the globe really appreciate the design and development work and continue to remain our clients.
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