With each new year comes new challenges and new ideas with web design. Every designer wants their client to have the latest and greatest tools and imagery on their website to showcase their goods and services.

Some styles and visuals definitely stand out as popular forms of web design. These techniques are growing trends that are sure to catch your attention as you’re surfing the web. Keep an eye out for the following designs and get a feel for which of your favorite companies are attempting more visually appealing displays:

click on the images to open the bigger and better view (the actual website) in another tab

 

Flexible Typography

Dollar Shave Club        Clockwork SMS

In the past, designers and typographers have stuck to rigid rules when it comes to font pairings, sizes, and visual relationships. Lately, you may have seen some more unconventional-looking font styles, and while the font experts might be cringing to see too similar serif fonts paired together, the rest of us are commenting on how intriguing the website looks. That being said, keep in mind that it’s still a sin to use Comic Sans in anything other than a comic book. Don’t even think about it.

 

Parallax Design

Dangers of Fracking        Cedric Vella

This new thought to web design creates a sleek, continuous movement to your website, guiding the eye in new ways to showcase information and images. Click on the images above to see the Parallax style in use. Parallax design causes the background image to stay pretty much stationary as the text and content on top of it scrolls to reveal new information. This design method is definitely on my list of favorites, because it’s hard to overuse it if you’re utilizing it correctly.

 

Responsive Design

intacto        The Paint Drop

Responsive designing was nearly a necessity last year, so we’re sure to see an uptick in responsiveness this year too! Making sure that your website is viewable and aesthetically organized on all different viewing platforms, browsers, and devices ensures that you send the right information and message to your customers, as well as assuring them that you care about your presentation. In this mobile day and age, you could really lose out on customers if you’re only optimizing your website to be viewed on a desktop. You can test whether a website is responsive or not by clicking the side of your browser and shrinking the width to see if the positioning of the elements and text changes at all. (Click on intacto’s image and scroll down to start the greeting card – I was very impressed!)

 

Flat Design

CMS Advertising Group        Five Tailors

For a trendy, modern look, use flat icons or vector images on your website. This is starting to become a classic look and definitely simplifies the user experience. This year, I’m sure we’ll see an explosion of flat design on websites and more versatility for it’s uses.

 

Bigger and Better Images

Wrangler Jeans        Super Real

I’ve also lived by the motto “Go big, or go home”, and now the same concept is applied to images on websites. The concept of using an image as a background on a website is pretty recent (within the last three years or so), but we’re seeing a huge uptick in various uses of high-resolution images in website design. As a whole, your consumers are visual people, and choosing a great photo to be the focus of your website or to showcase your products and services can really set your website apart from your competition. By simply applying a blur filter or by darkening/lightening the image, you don’t have to let text hinder the placement of your image background.

 

Hidden Navigations

Adidas        Isadora Design

Along with the clean, modern look provided by flat design, hidden navigations are becoming popular for their space saving techniques. Navigations used to be something you had to work around when designing your website, but now that we scroll more than we click, designers have become more creative in the ways they keep answers at their customers’ fingertips. Hidden navigations help you draw your website traffic to the information you want them to view, without detracting from the experience with cluttered text showing off all the pages on your site.

 

Continuous Scrolling

Inzeit        Soleil Noir

Another fairly recent trend, the ability to just scroll instead of click around has grown in popularity for its ease and simplicity. Users of all ages, with varied understanding of computers, can easily navigate a website when all they have to do is scroll down. While there may be some questions about the impact this web design technique has on your SEO capabilities, there are definitely some big bonuses. Faster load time and a more visual representation of your products and services are included in that list, as well as the chance to take advantage of some nice Parallax features.

 

Video Backgrounds

Rekorder        iuqo

Video backgrounds take those high-resolution images we talked about earlier to a whole new level. Utilizing the same methods as with image backgrounds, you can change up your text and video to still allow text to be placed on top, providing a more interesting focus point for your website traffic without decreasing accessibility and conversions on your website. This technique is great for those businesses who really need a visual representation or example to sell visitors on their products or services.

 

Card Design

Cascade Brewery Co.        Containr

The final design tactic we’d like to discuss is Card design, or, as I like to call it, the Pinterest Pandemic. Websites that utilize this design element get to include a lot more information or images on one page without it being distracting or hard to navigate. I think a lot of website users have come to understand navigation of this kind of layout through their interaction on social platforms, especially Pinterest, and as popularity for these platforms grows, so does the use of cards in website design.

 

See if you can spot this web design trends and tools this year! Let us know what else you find.

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