With growing do-it-yourself website building platforms like SquareSpace and Pagekit, it’s easy for website owners—like you—to put up a website in minutes with minimal cost. But when picking out your template, adding widgets, and changing up the design, there are some trends you’ll want to know about, and even implement on your site. These seven design trends and tips can be your secret weapon to getting more from your site’s design.
1. Large Images/Videos in the Background
Large and meaningful images, along with a strong headline will give your product or service the visual impact to engage your visitors. We’ve added a dark overlay to our own homepage hero image to improve the contrast of text against the image.
Use a video background to engage your visitors. AirBnb’s video tells a story by showing people arriving home, which ties back to their headline of “Welcome Home.”
2. Publish More Video
I don’t know about you but I’d rather watch a 30-second video than read about a product, feature or service. I think more and more companies are catching onto this trend, and we’ll see more videos used to launch a product, guide users through a complex flow, or to share customer stories on their blog. One of my team’s favorite video production studios is Sandwich Video. With witty dialogue and a sense of humor, they know how to entertain while educating us about the product.
Sandwich Video presents Slack App
3. Use Beautiful Type
In the next year, more attention will be given to how text scales to screen size and device for painless viewing with the use of responsive typography. Web designers will use more typographic hierarchy and type kits like Google Fonts and Typekit to create visually balanced, unique type treatments. I collect graphic design inspiration using Pinterest to help inspire my next type choice.
4. Consider Card Design
If you’re designing a mobile experience, consider breaking up pieces of content into individual components called “cards”. They’re great for communicating quick stories and giving a snapshot of the information. Just like a flash card, use a small affordance and animate the card being turned over to create an intuitive experience of getting more detail about the piece of content. Grab a UI kit to get started with your card prototype!
Publica UI Kit
5. Add Personalized Widgets
The personal web is the future, and many websites are catching onto the trend. Just as Amazon and Netflix give you suggestions of more products/movies to look at based on what you recently interacted with, personalization widgets on your site can give your visitors the same experience. 2015 will be the year where more content sites adapt for a tailored user experience, so don’t be left behind.
One of our recent renditions of our recommended content widgets.
6. Use SVG
Scalable Vector Graphic (SVGs) an XML-based image format, ensure your images are always pixel-perfect for any device or screen resolution. With SVGs, your images will automatically display perfectly whether your website visitor is checking out your site on their Android, Retina iPad, or PC. Best of all, SVGs are smaller in file size than PNGs or JPEGs!
7. Embrace Minimalism
When iOS 7 was released, the thin lines and basic forms of the design system were quickly adopted. I think we’ll continue to see more of this minimalist style in the new year. This means we’ll see more “ghost” buttons, more use of negative space, simplified iconography, muted colors, and cinematic photography. Use MNML, a simple template to get your minimalist site up in no time.