Are Flat Design, Parallax & Other Design Trends Right for Your Website?
Apart from easy navigation, search engine visibility and high quality content, the look of your website is, of course, an incredibly important component of a high performing, conversion-driven website.
Similar to other design industries, styles come and go for websites too. But which trends should you take note of and which will become outdated in a few years? Let’s discuss.
To Flat Design or Not?
Though flat design is a trend that started back in 2012, it reoccurs often and has recently seen a resurgence. But should you use it on your website?
Studies of user experience have found that an overuse of flat design can cause serious usability problems, such as the lack of signifiers for clickable elements which can leave users confused as to how they can navigate through a website.
Another factor to consider is that whilst flat design can look sharp and clean it can also come across as childish and simple. Consider your industry and whether this style is suitable before committing to this design trend. If you run a law firm for example, is this the kind of impression you wish to portray?
What About Colour Trends?
Gradients came back into the picture in 2015. There are two types of gradients, linear and radial. The former refers to linear colour changes between two endpoints while the latter refers to concentric colour changes from one centre point.
Triggered perhaps by the popularity of hand-lettering and adult colouring books, coloured, hand-drawn logo designs have come back into fashion. Skeuomorphism refers to the art of designing items to look a lot like their real-world counterparts is a popular trend and can help logos look unique and modern. It is important however to consider how an intricate logo design will scale and relay on different screens. The design may look great in development when you are viewing it full screen but may lose impact when scaled down and sitting in the top corner of your website.
Pantone declared Serenity and Rose Quartz as the combined colours for the year 2016. While Serenity, a specific light blue shade offers tranquility and coolness, Rose Quartz, which is a particular shade of rose offers warmth. Keeping track of annual colour changes is fine and can be a cool way to keep your business current. However you should avoid swaying too far from your branding or you may loose recognition from your customers.
Parallax scrolling changed the way websites look in recent years. This style can look great however according to recent reports, some users find parallax website more difficult to navigate.
With increasing numbers of websites also including video within the parallax design, the load time for such websites can be higher which by all accounts is never a good thing.
Is Your Font Outdated?
When it comes to lettering styles, sans serif has come into the picture with a bump. The Los Angeles Clippers and Google being two of the big hitters recently changing their branding to a sans serif logo. Serif refers to a tiny line that is attached to a symbol’s or letter’s stroke.
Since many tablets and mobile phones have a low resolution, sans serif fonts are better for easy mobile readability.
It is worth to not however that 4K resolution, which is called as ultra-high definition, is becoming increasingly popular. It has four times the resolution of 1080p, giving much clearer pictures. This potentially means that serif typefaces could come back into the picture in the future.
Web Design Trends in 2016 and Beyond
What do you think of these trends? Do you think they’re fads, or here to stay?