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Tim 15 Mar 2013

5 more trends in web design

Being a trailblazer is not all its cracked up to be with a lot of investment in untried methods. Better then to see what the trailblazers are doing well and then pick the best bits for your own project.

Of course once it is trendy, it is no longer unique, but if you are looking for a quick hit with traffic, following trends and having a familiar but funky feel is a great way to go.

Here’s five ways you can try:

Icon driven

We live in a mobile dominated world. How easily they can access a site on a smartphone or tablet is how many people assess a web site design. Hot on the heels of icon based websites and moving it to a next level are also a host of infographic driven designs too.

Fixed Header Bars

Giving your visitor the ability to quickly understand the navigation of your site and move from one section to another is vital. If your site looks complicated many will just not bother. Effectively stapling the navigation to the top of the screen wherever the user scrolls to, ensures they are only a short movement away from moving deeper into your site, making them also less likely to be one short movement from moving away altogether. The fixed header bar isn’t anything radically new. Using CSS to position it is a fairly simple task that many have been performing for a while, but as with every trend, it is growing immensely popular and more and more people are using it. It offers constant support for your navigation and a clearly identifiable route back to the home page. It doesn’t matter what your website is about or what content it features, a fixed header rarely looks out of place in modern design. Aesthetically pleasing and a big boost to the user experience, it is no surprise this is a rising trend.

Big Photographic backgrounds

A picture tells a thousand words, so a larger picture must be a winner? Not in every case, but with the dramatic improvements in and tumbling costs of high quality digital cameras, almost everybody is capable of taking a top photograph. Unsurprisingly then, more and more of these are slipping into web design and becoming the background for many a new website. It is not just the creative types either, corporates are into it too as it is a very dramatic and engaging wat to capture the attention of your visitors as soon as they arrive at your site. The biggest hurdle is making any big photograph blend simply with the rest of your design. Text over photographs is not always easy and done badly can have a dramatic negative impact on the user experience. It is not only the image themselves that need to be pleasing on the eye, but the overlays too and how they interact.

Infinite scrolling

Another feature that has been about for a few years, but only really beginning to take off now as more and more mimic it. The dramatic success of Pinterest and Tumblr, especially last year for the former, has no doubt had a big impact on that making the concept much more mainstream and accessible. Once again in terms of user experience it works beautifully. It simply is simple, and those are the sort of designs that work best.

Cleaner space

Ironically, while some are following the trend of the big photographic backgrounds, others are moving the other way with the trend for white space an eternal one that has ebbed and flowed since the start of web design. It is what Apple do well. Crisp, clear lines with lots of white space in between. It is a minimalist-style approach, aimed at focusing the visitor’s attention on the actual important content rather than distracting with the fluff around.

 

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