We know, we know… it’s been a couple of months since the New Year officially started but here at Pixelgroup we just wanted to make a note on what’s happening right now in the web design industry that we’re all a part of. Most of the features or elements we’re seeing now have been out there for years and are coming to the forefront of the web business again because, obviously, that’s what being ‘trendy’ is all about. So here’s a list of few of them. Let’s dig in!
Website animation has been a recurring feature over the last few months and it seems that it’ll stay for a long time now that most designers are getting used to it. You evolve or you die, as we’d say.
Everyone who is part of the design industry knows that good design comes along with good usability; it’s a tool to provide a proper context to the users and a crucial part of the basics of any mobile, web or software app.
Well-considered motion interface design that both helps and delights users will therefore become a higher priority when designing in 2015. We’ll see more designers and animators taking better control of the user interface production workflow and performance across different kind of devices. Rally Interactive offers an interesting vision of shapes as Invision app experiments with different approaches to their prototype animations.
Storytelling mini sites
It’s not really a new thing, but it is growing really fast. The power of storytelling brings high-detailed content, multiple points of view and, in most of the cases, a sharp and clean web design.
‘The Keys of the Kingdom’ is a good example of storytelling. Microsoft describes a new project with a New Yorker narrative style and innovative visual ways to introduce Project Spark, a tool to create videogames since the very beginning with your own laptop.
Video engagement and full screen background images
Influential web design sites agree that video will be more relevant in 2015. Therefore engaging short video clips will be necessary for any basic website to create a much richer user experience. Used as a changing atmosphere or storytelling element, videos are allowing a more accessible web.
The website of indie rock band Arcade Fire displayed an interactive video as a background when they promoted their album ‘Neon Bible’ while the German film manufacturer company Moodboard features their own clip movies to elegantly present what they do.
Graphics and data
Let’s be clear on this: most of the times, graphics and big data resources are boring and sometimes don’t even consider a good design and user experience approach (See “good” examples of that here). That is why information design should acknowledge the data, the context, a good structure and typology equally as well as narrative and ethics.
The Guardian shows in this minisite how social media platforms changed our approach to life from technology using simple and intuitive graphics to clarify the information. Because everybody knows that is much better to wish a happy birthday to your friends on Facebook, but just be aware that is not that trendy anymore.
Personally, I believe that Google just made this point up from flat design, combining it with some shadows and small animations and interactions. Don’t get me wrong, it is informative, and a helpful design, and probably is where flat design is leading this year, plus years to come.
They describe it as “a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science” in order to help the users “quickly understand affordances”. Research more on their online style guide.
Google Maps integration
Yes! Google one more time! As the American company have the most powerful mapping app, it is just common sense that web design studios are adapting those geographical graphics into their own client’s needs.
The guys from Snazzymaps offer a helpful personalisation map tool for Google Maps, so intuitive that anyone could make their own version.
New level of parallax scrolling
Going a step further, websites are working on new stunning scroll parallax features. Using animated elements for backgrounds and mini parallax effects on images to give them an in-depth look will lead to more complex features to be aware during 2015.
This online gaming studio from Isle of Man also have a smoothly done homepage with horizontal scrolling using parallax.
Flyout / slideout app-like menus
Mobile first. Mobile first. Mobile first. We’ve been listening to this since the iPads and iPhones arrived a few years ago. Or maybe just since the industry has realised that there’s more people browsing on mobile devices than a desktop or laptop computer.
It’s not a surprise then that the actual desktop and app design is absorbing elements from this. A good example is the one used by this London based web agency. On the flip side, in this case, the menu is not as obvious as it could be, getting lost on the screen.
Split screen design
An approach that will save a lot of time when thinking about what content is more significant on a website? No problem. We’ve got the solution. Two primary elements of equal importance vertically split showing a perfect hierarchy and well designed visual structure. The guys from Eight&Four know what we’re talking about.
So that’s all for now folks. There are thousands of singular and attractive demonstrations illustrating what’s going to arrive this year, we just made a quick selection so feel free to add your own suggestions.