2014 saw some really innovative design trends that showed how our Web-based experience is changing. As Internet use increasingly moves away from traditional computers to mobile devices of varying sizes, trends like responsive design and the increasing ability of HTML5 APIs have really begun to come to the fore. But, what of 2015? Are we expecting yet another game-changing year in Web design? Here are some of the hottest trends expected this year.
Everything Goes Big
Many developers expect the inexorable rise of massive background images to continue well into this year. Massive background images (and video) are used by companies to create an instant impression on visitors, especially when used alongside rich typography and subtle parallax effects. Many smaller companies will take the lead from innovations spearheaded by the likes of Apple, Google Nexus, and Paypal in this regard.
Speaking of Parallax...
As technology continues to thunder ahead, many websites will increasingly take advantage of the beautiful effects that parallax scrolling effects can bring. For example, take the following engaging and unique use of an old CSS sprite technique to create the effect of hand-drawn animations based on page scrolling by Mint Design Company.
Vertical and horizontal scrolling, as well as animated storybook-type landing pages are all easily achievable using this technique. Many examples of bold and engaging design can already be found on the Web.
The Right to Privacy
The media has made much of how the Internet has invaded our private lives. And with the new "right to be forgotten" laws that are popping up, people are more concerned about their privacy and what happens to their data more than ever. While security has always been a key concern for developers, people will become more reluctant to share the data without good reason as they become more aware of what happens to their precious information and how this can be easily sent (or sold) to third parties. Trust will be a big issue here.
The Box is Dead, Long Live Irregular Shapes
Frames are boring and old hat, and represents everything that is staid and unoriginal about Web design. Several distinct strategies are becoming available for braver, more daring developers: Page layouts made of circles, hexagons, and other irregular shapes are coming in vogue. Axonometric layouts can create a sense of space and movement on a page. Some have even eliminated the impression of a "cage" altogether—Swiss Airlines has created the impression of infinite space where scrolling means flying!
Phantom Buttons Haunting the Corners
These "ghost" buttons have started appearing on certain pages. These are not-quite-call-to-action buttons that aren't meant to distract a user, but just aim to gently nudge them in the direction of further information. All seem to have the same key features: transparent, but with a recognizable shape, thin line border and a light sans-serif font. This method allows e-commerce sites to fully display their products while providing a subtle, yet inviting way for the consumer to find out more.