7 Things to Watch for in Web Design in 2015

By Drew Hendricks October 28, 2014

The best way to say farewell to 2014 is by cleaning up your web design and getting it 2015-ready. Start by understanding that you need responsive design—it’s no longer an option. In 2014, it became official: There are more people using mobile devices than desktop devices to be online, and the vast majority of Americans research products and services on their smartphone before ever making a buy. If you don’t have responsive design that ensures your website shows up quickly and beautifully on every browser and gadget, you’re opting out of sales.

For your 2015 resolution, resolve to make your web design keep up with the trends. From making sure your web host needs are being met to bringing an SEO professional on board, this is your year to shine:

1. Ghost buttons everywhere

 Peppering in ghost buttons is easy and effective. They’re classic, subtle and feature minimalist designs so that they’ll never be outdated. They also complement big background images well (which is another trend that’s been sticking for a couple of years) and work well with video. Ghost buttons are the diamond stud earrings that go with everything.

2. Scrolling trumps clicking

Like it or not, scrolling instead of clicking is here to stay. Maybe it’s because that’s what the younger (late teens/early 20s) generation was used to and they don’t need that satisfying click that other generations are used to. However, to make sure your demographics want scrolling, a little market research might be in order.

3. Mega images

If you really want to make a statement, choose large images for the background instead of a more formal layout. However, be careful with this: The image needs to be large enough to be high quality, but sometimes large images can slow down your page load and lead to more poor search engine optimization. Studies have shown that the average consumer will click away from a site if it’s too slow in the first one to five seconds.

4. A focus on micro-interactions

These types of interactions are captured within online experiences, perhaps in a specific website module. A common example is when an email signup pops up. You know them because they wiggle on the screen, making what’s normally a droll task seem a little more playful. These interactions aren’t static, they catch the eye and—for the moment—aren’t infuriating the average web user like traditional pop ups do. It leads to better engagement, but tread carefully here: There’s a thin line between trending and overdone.

5. Typography love

Back in the day, web kits that let you design the most gorgeous typefaces and fonts were ridiculously expensive. This meant that only website owners with big budgets had room to play with typography, but that’s no longer the case. There are even free type kits from the likes of Google Fonts that allow for more designer freedom regardless of budget. Your typography can set the mood for an entire site, so don’t overlook it.

6. The UX gets personal

Cookies are old news, but what about the actual personalization of the user experience? The pop-up has made a comeback with mictointeractions, and the use of cookies is also enjoying a makeover. A popular example is how Netflix “remember” what you’ve checked out recently in order to make recommendations. What’s next? Most likely major sites with a “recently read” bar, the hiding of content you’ve already seen, or the showcasing of complementary content.

 7. Better card design

This is a favorite designer tool and crucial for responsive sites. Cards can help you keep things organized, and simple, but offer tons of versatility. It got started in 2014, but will be perfected in 2015. If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, do so.

How can you improve your site in 2015? Get a head start going into the holidays.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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