Web Design Trends 2017
Estimation of the development of design in an industry is not without perspective for the future because the trends are changing very quickly.
So the more we rely on trends, the faster is the work we are doing getting old. Therefore a designer should not be copying trends but creating them. We should able to anticipate how a new trend can serve us and accordingly work with it so that can be useful as long as possible.
Today’s internet environment and trends in web design are changing so rapidly that the problem often arises already in the actual implementation of the proposal, namely, as it can take even a year or longer in larger projects. Therefore, the designer must be able to think several years ahead, so that the result doesn’t seem dated at the time of its launch.
We have prepared a list, made by our graphic designers at Lundegaard, who have come up with the following timeless trends, which we would like to promote to the level of ‘principles’ for we believe they make sense to keep on developing and following.
Probably every designer pursues designing innovative solutions, but it is important to keep in mind that such solutions come hand in hand with certain risks. What you don’t want is to confuse the user by particular features used. That’s why we suggest following the rule of: “Don’t make users think!”
Solutions users are used to eliminate certain degree of necessary concentration, which may serve well us often. That’s why you should use innovative solutions only when you know it is really better than the one already used. When in doubt, make use of the advantages of the solution people are accustomed to.
2. Simplicity is Clarity
Web design has gone through major changes in recent years. The technology is evolving, demands grow, and there are more and more functionalities. What's in it for the user? Often it is confusion. Pages overloaded with all kinds of functional elements result in taking up more and more space, but more importantly, this also distracts the user's attention from the most important - the content itself.
When visiting a web page for the first time, the user usually tries to skim through the content in hierarchical order organising it into smaller better digestible blocks.
3. White Space
White space is not used only for its positive aesthetic properties, but also for its effect on the transparency of information, cooperation among various parts of blocks and directing the user's attention to a particular direction.
How to use white space:
- To balance out visual elements (pictures, icons, blocks of text),
- To balance out the overall layout (margins, paddings, and gutters),
- In text itself (Spacing, separation of individual blocks of text).
It is no coincidence this phenomenon has recently been a commonly discussed topic. At a time when we are literally oversaturated with information, white space feels almost like a beneficial effect for our wellbeing.
Animations and page transitions are certainly the hot trend of the last few years that is constantly evolving and improving. Animation gives us a visual continuity and context within the meaning of the action / reaction (I am here, click on this and this will happen ...).
They help present our flow of thoughts. More and more web pages look like interactive animations videos or games.
The most used animations these days are the following:
- Micro interactions – loaders, hovers, etc.,
- Animated page transitions,
- Scroll-triggered animations,
- Lazy loading.
5. Video and Visual Storytelling
Video is the king of content – we can’t deny it, and it is backed by many studies and statistics. Whether you use a video as the main form of transmission of ideas or just as a background on the main page, you can be sure it gets engraved the user’s memory.
‘Visual storytelling‘ is another trend worth mentioning.
Storytelling is a presentation in which we unfold the content for the user, to make it as clear as possible; the idea is then passed at its best efficiency. We can sort the content into blocks and slides - often animated, which user leafes through like an interactive book (vertically or horizontally).
There are many options. A well-designed layout can work like storytelling too.
The main purpose of cards is to sort the content into well-organised blocks, which are easy to read for the user, and which are easy to work with in the context of the whole page, either visually or as part of responsive design.
Cards come in many forms. There are not just cards with framing as you may imagine.
Cards may have no framing; it's about clearly visually separating them from each other. For example, a card can be defined only once when hovering over it with the mouse. We are talking only about clearly defined blocks of content that are clearly divided from one another (even if it's just with white space).
7. Big Bold Typography
Typography is now finally taken seriously and is way easier to work with. There are many options where to get the font and services. An experienced designer uses typography not only as a mere means information transfer by reading, s/he also transfers the atmosphere and character of the content. Whether used subtly and unobtrusively or loudly and powerfully, typography is certainly an excellent means to express visual identity of a company.
8. Creative Layouts
After a long time when web design had been dominated by so-called ‘flat design’, we have reached a stage of oversaturation by this style. Flat design, despite being a strong, sophisticated and timeless trend seems to have worn thin. It has also manifested itself in forms such design icon, which has indeed been seen everywhere. What clearly defines flat design and what is the reason for its success is its simplicity. Though in many cases it can be bordering on boredom.
Even though the simplicity of flat design offers many ways how to express a company’s visual identity, inexperienced designers often create sites that are way too much alike, which definitely is not an aspect we would want from a website - ideally every company wants to distinguish their website from the competitors.
Many designers are now once again trying to work creatively to give a new face to this sophisticated sleekness. However, we don’t necessarily need additional graphic features for that. We just need a smart, yet inspiring layout, defining the user’s flow of attention where needed through its form, and at the same time also working creatively and intuitively.
Don't Forget To Think It Through
This article is not trying to say you should avoid trends, but it is trying to have you think about whether you want to be sheep following trends or whether you want to be the one who shapes and shifts current trends towards better UX.
Since various aspects of quality design are related, it is no coincidence that many of the examples in the article show more than one of the mentioned trends / principles. This is the reason why we decided not to point out individual aspects in specific sites solutions – as we do not want to be directing you to a particular stream and thus limiting your perception. We want you to find your own thing in the examples given, and figure why you find it good.
We don't want to give you the recipe; we simply want to inspire you.