2014 was a great year for the web design and especially for WordPress. In that year, we had three major releases of WordPress – 3.9, 4.0 and 4.1. We also got a huge number of quality themes and plugins published throughout the year. Now that the year has ended, it is time to focus on the New Year and get started with the new trends.
2015 is expected to be another great year for the web design with lots of new design trends. In today’s article, we will focus on some of the most promising trends for the 2015. Let’s start the list with responsive design, a definite trend at this moment.
1. Must be Responsive
I think you already know the importance of sensitive design and your website(s) is already responsive. However, it is more important this year due to Google’s introducing mobile-friendly markers in the search results. Before that, being responsive was only a UX factor, but now it is a huge factor for SEO ranking too. As mobile devices account for more than a third of the web traffic and the rate is rapidly increasing, there is no reason to ignore this anymore.
2. The Rise of Flat Design
Flat or material design has been the talk of the trade in the designing arena during 2014. And the trend is expected to gain more momentum in 2015 too. The trend was popularized by Google as it marked material design to be their new direction in the design sector.
That means we will be seeing less of those gradients, drop shadows or textures and more minimal designs in the upcoming days. Flat design may include some layers or some shadows, but that will largely depend on Google. Whatever it does, the ultimate result will be more similar to our everyday life.
3. More Scrolling, Less Clicking
This is another trend that became very popular in 2014 and is expected to gain more popularity in the New Year too. This trend forces the visitors to use their mouse wheel more than the mouse buttons. Rather than clicking on navigation menus or buttons, endless scrolling reveals more content as the user scrolls downwards. Almost all the one-page themes or websites follow this trend. Some advantages of continuous scrolling include attractive and smooth transition between pages, less loading time, enhanced visitor engagement, etc.
Parallax animation was another big factor behind the popularity of endless scrolling. Parallax effects allow image, text or any other element to have different speed and different directions. By using these effects, it is possible to create attractively and engaging one-page websites. There are already hundreds of free and premium one-page themes available for WordPress. But if you want to apply endless scrolling to your blog section only, you can try JetPack’s infinite scroll mode.
4. More Pinterest-based Design
The increasing popularity of Pinterest has had a significant impact on the web designing industry too. Inspired by the modular design of Pinterest, some experts have already declared that 2015 will be the year of modular designs. As Google is promoting material designs, Pinterest’s boxy design is also gaining immense popularity. Other than providing a symmetrical layout, this design trend is ideal for responsive designs too. As the boxes (or cards) are small and separate, they appear friendlier to the visitors. This also encourages the visitors to check out more content.
If you want to create a brand new website with the Pinterest style, there are lots of WordPress themes similar to Pinterest.
However, if you don’t want to apply the Pinterest design on your gallery only, you can check out POWr Photo Gallery. This free plugin lets you create simple Pinterest type image galleries quickly.
5. Large Background Images
If you like to use large, high-quality images on your website, then here’s some good news for you. It seems large background images have not lost their appeal at all. Rather, they are gradually becoming more common. While large, HD quality pictures are already used in one-page themes; most other popular themes are also making use of the large and attractive images. And various Parallax effects have provided some extra use for the pictures.
Using large images in WordPress should not be a challenge anymore. Just browse through the popular WordPress themes at various marketplaces, and you will find plenty of themes featuring large images. There are lots of free themes too.
6. Fly-out Menus
Very few design elements have got this much attention as the ‘hamburger’ icon. The three horizontal lines have become a universal sign that there’s something more in it. However, besides the high number of supporters, there are some harsh critics of this icon too.
Mostly used in mobile apps and mobile versions of websites, this icon has started appearing in the regular desktop versions of some sites too. Using this icon can help you in having more space for your content and could become a unique signature for your website. As it seems, either you love it or hate it, you will see more of these lines in 2015.
Lots of WordPress themes have already adopted this menu style. And if your theme does not have the feature, you can use plugins like Responsive Menu or Genesis Club Lite if you are using a Genesis child theme.
7. Ghost Buttons
Don’t run yet! Ghost buttons have nothing scary at all. Rather, the name has become familiar due to the transparent background of the buttons. I think you have already seen ghost buttons in many places.
Do you remember the Divi theme by Elegant Themes?
Well, that was one of the first WordPress themes which used large ghost buttons. Now they are everywhere. As I said, you will find ghost buttons in most premium WordPress themes. Nonetheless, if your theme does not have ghost buttons and you are okay with a bit of CSS, then you can create ghost buttons on your own.
8. More Emphasis on Typography
Before Google Fonts, typography in the web design was limited to a few options only. But with the emergence of Google Fonts and other affordable or free typefaces, typography is considered to be a game changer in 2015. Now designers can test with different fonts and focus more on the typography aspects.
Larger and bolder fonts are being used in the titles, headings, and other prominent places. When you combine the large fonts with high-quality background images and ghost buttons, you have got the recipe for an attractive website.
All new WordPress themes have an exclusive focus on typography. And if you don’t like the default styling of them, you can always customize the font size, color, weight, font family, etc. You can also select from the available typography plugins for WordPress.
9. Rise of Micro-interaction
Micro-interaction is a relatively new term in the web design arena. It is another design trend which is highly inspired by Google’s material design principles.
So, what are micro-interactions exactly? These are effects or methods of interaction that are aimed at performing a single task. Typical examples would liking a status in Facebook, elements moving out in web pages, notifications popping up from corners, etc. The particular goal of all of these events is to focus on that part of the website and ultimately, increase user engagement.
Though the term is new, micro-interaction is already quite popular among the UX and marketing experts. In order to promote your content, you can use free plugins like GetResponse Integration, QeryzMicrosurvey Tool or Q2W3 Fixed Widget.
10. Advanced Personalization Techniques
With some smart thinking and a bit of an experiment, I think using cookies will be another huge trend for 2015. Especially, news, magazine or blog sites could be benefited by using cookies correctly. They can use the browsing history to show the readers what they have been reading recently, or hide the read articles altogether.
Well, these were my picks for top 10 designs trends for 2015. What do you think about them? Does your website follow these trends? Let me know what’s your plan for implementing them in your future sites.