Website design is constantly evolving. New trends emerge and old trends disappear and then after a few years old trends sometimes reappear. The two dominant themes for 2015 are going to be mobile and user experience and user interface (UX/UI). The best designers focus on user experience because that’s what matters in the end. Design and style are highly subjective and debatable, but it is the user experience that measures the actual success of a website. Therefore, most of these trends relate to UI/UX.
What’s Hot? Simple, flat design elements.
What’s Not? 3-d graphics, drop shadows
The concepts of flat design are pretty simple; strip the object off any design element which is not 100 per cent purposeful in its function. This includes removing any special shadow effects, 3-D graphics and using only flat shapes, buttons and indicators.
What’s Hot? One website that works on all devices.
What’s Not? Separate mobile sites
Responsive design is here to stay – it just doesn’t make sense to run dedicated mobile websites anymore.
What’s Hot? Websites with long scrolling pages.
What’s Not? Sites with too much navigation
It took a while, but long scrolling pages have become the norm because it’s far easier to scroll through a site than clicking on buttons and links. This has been aided by the growth of responsive web design, full-width sites, and the use of white space. This doesn’t mean that endless scrolling is everywhere, but it is typically found on home pages and e-commerce product pages. The most notable example is Apple’s page for its iPhone 6.
What’s Hot? Rich custom background.
What’s Not? Stock image or white background
High Quality Custom Background
Plain stock photography no longer works in website design. Websites want to look unique and need to grab a visitor’s attention. Professional photography that is customized to the website’s theme and purpose ensures that a site is unique. HTML video is also being used as a way to establish a distinct, custom look. Bing’s search engine frequently uses HTML 5 powered video backgrounds.
What’s Hot? Interactive storytelling.
What’s Not? Boring websites
While great content has always been a requirement for a successful website, in 2015 the best websites will be the ones that can tell and sell content through a story. The best example in this regard is the Tesla Motors Your Questions Answered page. The page uses large images and embedded infographics to answer consumer questions about the cars and their features. This website is a very successful example of all of the best 2015 website design trends.
What’s Hot? Parallax scrolling.
What’s Not? Non-interactive backgrounds
Parallax scrolling is a design technique where the background scrolls at a slightly different pace relative to the foreground. This adds some depth to the page and is very popular on magazine style websites.
I think we are going to see iterative developments of 2015 website design trends like flat and responsive design in the coming months with an overall focus on optimizing the user experience for mobile and devices of all sizes.