Is your website last years design?

Is your website last years design?

New trends in website design for 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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Web design concepts are always changing and as a result it is fairly easy for a web designer or a seasoned browser of the Internet with a keen eye and a knowledge of the new trends in design to detect whether or not your website is cutting-edge or "old school".

The truth is that for the last 10 years we have had a pretty general "go to" pattern, defined by the traditional header, footer, sidebar and content area. Then with the huge shift to macromedia we have found the new trends are anything but fixed. The new norm produced a season of no-formula websites that are flexible and exciting.

The one thing that is here to stay, however, is the responsive website trend that was unveiled back in 2010. In fact, with the release on Tuesday of "Mobilegeddon", Google is adding as a requirement that websites be fully functional in mobile devices if they hope to rank in the visible search engine results at all. Google has now provided a tool in its Webmasters Tool Kit on which you can check your site to see if it passes Google's mobile litmus test.

The elements that are still dynamic and that will continue to change are the varied designs that are possible within the responsive framework. There are four core trends that seem to be at the foundation of the most popular and current website design layouts for 2015. Of course professional design customisation can take any of these and make them into something totally unique and specific to a particular brand or product but these are the "bricks" that are laid at the base.

Web design trends in 2015

The most popular of the trends is the "split screen". This is charecterised by a split screen home page where both sides are most often equal in size and separated by a vertical line down the middle. The two most used functions of the split screen are to display two elements of a business that may otherwise have been hidden behind a second click, or the structure of the website's navigation, when they are of equal importance. Now with the split screen, both can be placed out front and one click will take the potential client directly to the item or service that they are interested in.

An example of a split screen design can be seen at www.carelpiethein.com.

Another popular usage is to convey an element of duality in a business. Perhaps there are two areas in the business that when paired make this a better choice than the competition, and there is no better way to display this than by the use of the split screen.

Another trend is the "outside the box" design where there are no boxes, shapes or lines to confine the navigation elements or the content. This style is free and open and considered to have an artistic flair. This is minimalism in its purest form. No lines to hold the information, no navigation bar. Expertly used colour highlights the information to encourage clickthrough action from the user in this instance.

An example of an out of the box design can be seen at http://foreword.io.

The third of these new trends is the use of modular or grid-based themes. As the name suggests, the page is laid out in the form of a grid or boxes, which flex according to screen size. The concept is not brand-new but the responsive element has made this wonderful design have an even greater "pop" effect to it. To emphasise importance of one module over another, a larger-sized box may be used. This has the desired effect of encouraging the user to click through on this box to the information beyond the box.

The full-screen site is one of the more frequently used latest theme options for 2015. The visual effect is powerful once quality high-definition images are used, of course. The content on these full-screen sites that adapt to fit all devices must be clear and focused as there is no scrolling, so every "call to action" must be obvious to the user once the site is loaded. These sites have a very clean and appealing appearance if done tastefully.

The key point to remember here is that each "type" of site described above is merely a "block" on which the site can be built. No two sites need look the same as a good developer working with a clean design mock-up can customise each site making it unique and exciting. These modules or grids are merely the web designers' palate. It is up to the web designer to interpret the vision of his/her client and to deliver a website that accurately displays the pertinent selling points and attributes of their business to potential prospects.

Melanie Phillibert is a web developer and Internet marketing consultant. A multiple-award winning online marketer, she has studied Internet marketing and web design/development, SEO, PPC, Spcoa; media management and e-comerce development for the last 10 years. She can be contacted via e-mail at melanie@internetmarketingsynergies.com.



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