Website Design trends, like any industry, go in and out of fashion. The industry has come along way in terms of design and style. Long gone are the days when you would log on and watch a clumsy Flash animation, before clicking through to some messy content that was badly structured.
Todays website designs are modern, sleek, sophisticated and clever.
Yet as discussed in this article by Awwwards, there are 6 current trends that you should be careful of when designing the website for your business.
These 6 are:
- Hamburger Menu's (hiding navigation)
- Front Page Carousels
- Parallax Scrolling
- Complex Load Screen
- Complex Typology.
1. Hamburger Menus
It is easy to see both sides of the Hamburger menu argument when it comes to new website design trends.
On the one hand, there is a demand that website design needs to clean and sleek. Hiding the body of the navigation under a side menu is great for achieving this look. Additionally it is great for usage on mobile devices, where space is limited.
However there is a wealth of evidence that suggests losing global navigation puts off end users. Put simply, if they can't find the information they are looking for, they will leave. A high bounce rate off a landing page is most certainly not acceptable.
The overall warning that goes with this trend, is to make very sure that pleasing asethetics is not put above website usability.
This is an example of a website using a Hamburger Menu. It looks great, however it is quite difficult for the user to even find the menu at all.
2. Front Page Carousels
The arguments for and against Front Page Carousels are interesting.
At Reflection-Media we get a large proportion of clients who love to see a beautifully designed carousel on the website's homepage. There is no doubt that when done right, they are captivating, and visually interesting.
However the argument against them, is that they are bad for SEO due to a lack of keywords and that they can be slow to load. Perhaps most compelling of all, is the notion that they push content below the fold, which is never encouraged by Google.
It is claimed that only 1% of users even look at a carousel, and the majority of users will scroll past without paying them any attention.
It is a trend that is undeniably popular however, and perhaps care just needs to be taken to ensure that the bad points mentioned above, are addressed as well as possible.
3. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax Scrolling is definitely one of the hottest website trends of the moment.
The effect created by the foreground and background content moving at different speeds, is different, interesting and creates a real illusion of depth.
However the bad points stated, include that this design is bad for SEO due to pages lacking content, and that websites can be extremely slow to load especially on mobiles.
The overall conclusion seems to be that using Parallax Scrolling can effect usability of the website. However when done well, it can be lead to great website design. The website created for the Life of Pi movie, is a fantastic example of Parallax Scrolling done well:
4. Complex Load Screen
A complex load screen should most definitely be approached with caution. The message behind this website design trend seems to be simple - if a website takes too long to load, no matter what the point, users will simply leave.
However too much can lead to a website performance being slow, especially on mobile devices.
The message with this website design trend is most definitely just enough, but don't go overboard.
6. Too much Typology
There are so many differing typologies to choose from, that it can be tempting to go completely over the top. However the bottom line is if the user can't read it, then it is not going to work.
Using too many different typologies will lead to the website looking cluttered, confusing and the user will simply leave.
It is better to pick one or possibly two complementary typefaces, and just stick with that.
The overall conclusion when analysing all website design trends is the same. It needs to look asethetically pleasing and interesting, but it still needs to be useable. Follow this as a guideline and you won't go far wrong.