‘Change is the only thing constant’ – this oxymoron suits our digital world to perfection.
With each passing day, the web is growing, dilating more and more with online sites and content. 2014, the year, was a big game-changer.
It had witnessed the revamp of so many changes, including, the turning of infographics into a mainstream method of data representation, the resurrection of vintage elements, the sudden popularity of pageless sites and parallax aspects, the full-on experimentation with typography, the ever-prevailing demand for high quality content, and most importantly, the need for responsive web design to satiate the expanding mobile device market.
But, what do we have in store THIS year? Is it a refinement of the trend of yore? Or is it going to be something we have never imagined before? It’s a full ambit of so many possibilities!
You will be welcomed with a massive background image or video:
Front-end developers are extensively making use of imagery tricks to dazzle viewers. After all the typography experiments done last year, these massive images are today being fused with creative and impressive letter styles, and a hint of parallax effect.
Text content has been shrunk, of course, in a positive way. In a nutshell, less has become the new more. Feeling chaotic? Here, check the look of this site. It’s amazing!
Navigation? Where is it?
Navigation buttons shall become ghost buttons, condensed into icons, which open only on request. While this is a breather for many, not everyone is ready to accept the fact that the homepage is sans word piles.
All that viewers will see is a stock of few words on a big image or video banner and the navigation button strategically put out of sight, somewhere in the top corners. The effect is going to be dramatic, almost like unfolding a storybook, page by page.
Here’s an example of how navigation is going to look in the coming years:
HTML5 and the big multimedia mania:
The multimedia experience on online sites is overwhelming viewers. This is perhaps the most dated trend every web design company in India and beyond is devotedly following.
Flash was the thing for these professionals. Today, it is HTML5. The ‘canvas’ element of the markup language will let you conjure up almost any visual effect that you wish to present on your site.
HTML5 sites will storytellers wholeheartedly. The language will remain in the core, with a splash of CSS3 and jQuery here and there. The platforms will be embedded with video contents, infographics, animations, and of course, sound.
A trendsetter for such sites is Jonathan Dagan, the Brooklyn-based musician. This site, The DNA Project, is a blast of clear text, dynamic imagery, customised background videos and soulful music – all placed under one room in the most unconventional way.
Here’s his incredible site: http://jviewz.com/#/dna
Flat elements are dominating:
Being minimalist is trending. Style has been replaced with simplicity. Flat elements have been accepted with arms wide open. And they are dominating the entire market now. Icons have become smaller, menus have turned precise and illustrations have been rendered very basic.
Glossiness is a strict no no these days. Remember those shiny web 2.0 icons? They are considered eyesores now, and are nowhere to be seen. The fresh elements are way better, are easily adjustable, helping sites adapt to changing screens and resolutions.
Yes, the use of flat elements has evolved somewhat. Designers are using mild gradients and drop shadows to bring out more drama in their creations. It’s no way the tacky look of the past; it has undergone a significant Renaissance within a year.
Here’s what a modern-day site with flat elements looks like:
Parallax has stepped up to the higher stage:
Engage in page scrolling or any kind of mouse movement on such sites and you’ll find the elements in animation, all thanks to HTML5 and CSS3 once again. The background seemingly moves at a different pace than the foreground. In other words, you’ll be introduced to a 3D effect, which can sweep you off your feet.
Big news? Parallax scrolling is now available for WordPress, too! This means, more innovation and newer layouts are on their way.
Card-based designs are in:
The web is undergoing a huge transformation. The ‘TL;DR generation’ is finding peace in card-based sites. The motive is to stay away from endless pages riddled with content blabbering. Content is now broken down into smaller pieces and accumulated again in one place. In one way, personal experiences are being encouraged.
The obvious reasons behind the card-based hysteria are those infinite number of screens of different shapes, those loads of data from god knows which sources, and yes, the rising popularity of mobile devices.
Yes, THIS is how we would like to view sites in the coming days:
And, this is only a handful of trends. The market is vibrant with potboiler creations. Are you geared up yet?