4 Top Web Design Trends
The ever-changing world of online business may seem difficult to penetrate, but one of the most important things in striving for success is to keep on top of the changes and trends in Web design and marketing. Nowadays, people access the Internet in a variety of different ways and no longer are the vast majority of Web users just using their desktop computers to surf the Internet. This year will carry on the trends of previous years, but they will be even more pronounced with the fast move to mobile, the introduction of full-screen, interactive browsing in Windows 8 and the increasing popularity of HTML5 and CSS3. Following is an overview of some of the most significant trends in Web design that you can expect to see.
1 – Responsive Web Design
There was a time when all Internet users surfed the Web from desktop or laptop computers, but today things are quite different. No longer is the 1024x768 screen resolution almost ubiquitous as it once was. Today, desktop and laptop screens have higher resolutions than ever, with the most popular desktop resolutions being 1920x1080 pixels and 1280x720 pixels. iPads and some other tablet computers use a portrait or landscape resolution of 1024x768 white smartphones tend to have resolutions of 320x480, 480x320 or 1280x720. In addition to that, there are also a variety of other resolutions which are less common.
Imagine having a website that automatically scales to the size of the screen or window that it is being displayed on. This is precisely what responsive Web design is. When viewing a responsive website on a large screen, the page will scale to take advantage of the available screen space, while on a mobile screen, the site will automatically scale to a more mobile-friendly version without sacrificing content or multimedia.
Responsive Web design allows you to have the same version of your website for all devices, rather than having completely separate sites for mobiles and desktops. It allows people to view your site on any device and enjoy an optimal experience. Designing your website solely for the large screen, by contrast, means that mobile users will have a hard time viewing it.
To get started with responsive Web design, check out some of the many suitable templates for popular content management systems. There are many free and paid themes available for WordPress, for example, which make designing a responsive website easier than ever.
2 – Bigger Buttons
With the move to mobile Internet access comes many new aspects of Web design. Keep in mind that almost all smartphones have touchscreens, as do tablet computers and an increasing number of desktop and laptop computers. Windows 8, Microsoft’s current operating system, for example, is designed primarily with touchscreen input in mind. The keyboard and mouse, while still the most popular input methods on traditional computers, are no longer the most common things people use when surfing the Internet. With the increasing popularity of touchscreen devices, larger buttons and links have become essential. Bigger buttons does mean that your website will be somewhat more graphics-intensive, but it also makes the site much easier to navigate on any device which uses a touchscreen.
3 – Parallax Scrolling
Parallax scrolling effects were first seen in old platform video games where different layers of the background move as the player progresses through a level. In recent years, the same special effects have also been used on some websites to provide immersible graphical content. A website designed with parallax scrolling allows different elements of the page to move at different speeds when the viewer scrolls up and down. Parallax scrolling can be quite graphically-intensive, so it is important not to overuse it and to ensure that your website remains well optimized for slower Internet connections. Used poorly, parallax scrolling can make for a very untidy website which is uncomfortable to use.
4 – Advanced Typographic Effects
There was a time when Web designers were restricted to using a select few fonts which were available on almost every computer. Websites all looked relatively plain and similar to each other compared to how they do today. Vast improvements in Web design methods and content management systems have made advanced and highly customizable typography a viable option. Trendy typographic designs can make your website stand out and emphasis a certain artistic style, but it is also important to take time to choose your fonts carefully and use them consistently. Advanced typographic effects which are now possible using the latest design tools also allow you to have a less bandwidth-intensive website. A few years ago, the only reliable way to have headers and other page elements with fancy typographic styles was to have them in the form of an image. This uses more bandwidth and is generally lower quality as well.