We have all read one too many headlines similar to this one. We start reading the article and the first item on the list is, “More brands adopt a mobile-first approach”. Okay, that's not a trend of 2017, and we leave looking for something better. All this to say, you won't find that here, these are the trends that I have noticed working at Dorey Design Group, where we develop Wordpress and Drupal websites.
The following trends might seem a bit off putting, but constantly being up-to-date is also mandatory in web design. Meaning, there are reason to follow trends as they have a purpose as technology changes, we must adopt.
Websites are used in countless different ways for different goals, by no means are these rules or guidelines, merely a slight shift in the digital world as technology changes.
1) Scrollable sites
For a long time now one-page website that scrolled through eternity, with an anchor link header at the top almost became the standard way of doing things. However, non-scrollable sites have been finally been gaining some traction. With an increase in color, typography, and animations often times all the information is readily available on one full width screen.
There are a couple ways in which scrolling has been evolving and I think this is displayed well with tastefully-executed parallax scrolling. Scrolling is being used to enhance the user's experience by the way of encouraging user interaction. This is best explained as an interesting storytelling method that doesn't slow down the user experience with any extra clicking through navigation.
Another way scrolling has continued to change is through gestures as well how one interacts with a site on mobile.
2) Interactive background
Images that fill the whole browser window is nothing new and neither are video backgrounds. However, what has leveled it up is the addition of some mouse hover effects that cause the increase of user interact with the background of the site.
This isn’t a feature for every website, and it probably only excels with certain sites, but when it does, it has the ability to really take a site to a new level.
3) Card design and grid layouts
These types of design can be seen on apps like tinder or websites as Pinterest. Card design layouts continue to shape and influence web design trends and we will only be seeing more of it as we go into 2018. The benefits that make cards so appealing is the organization matched with its flexibility. Cards are a great way to display an abundance of data that is informative and enticing to scan.
Another aspect from card layouts would be split screen layouts. In most cases the screen layout falls into vertical panels for smaller devices, making it a good fit for responsive frameworks. Split-screens uses the card concept instead of using containers. The screen is divided into two different containers, each associated with a user action.
4) Micro Interactions
Well-designed micro interactions are extremely powerful and can define an entire product. These have been popular with many apps on mobile devices, but micro interactions have really stepped into most digital areas of the web. Again, an example of this would-be Tinder as the swiping action can become easily addictive as many users mindlessly do with without realizing how much they’re on it or what it's making them feel.
The art of storytelling has become the foundation of design. Stories have the ability to convey ideas and information, that might otherwise be forgotten. When it comes to content on a website this is how to make it more engaging and memorable. Each story has a hero, so it makes sense to write a story that people could see themselves in that hero's shoes. Contrast this to a problem with the "bad guy" and how the problem can be solved.
To convey your story, best practices would be using a range between six to 75 characters per line should achieve the best results, depending on the font size.
Everything can’t be communicated in bullet points or flash animations. You need to create stories that are enhanced with visuals and present them in an interactive appealing way.
It’s been an incredible year for the web design industry. As technology continues to evolve there are more and more resources every day. This continues to make web design a path of personalization and customization, as each user is getting their own unique user experience. Combined this is creating an online world that is more intuitive and human-like more than ever.