Cameron FrancisSeptember 09,2015

Top Web Design Checklist for 2015

Category: Web Design
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top web design checklist for 2015

Online marketing is changing at a rapid rate. Businesses are becoming overly dependent on the internet for their marketing needs. With web design being the driving force behind online success, you need to keep updated with the latest trends to stay competitive.

Some of these trends simply underpin the common norms in web design. But they have become particularly essential in attracting and converting web traffic into viable leads.

The bottom line is know what your audience needs. Every button, colour transition and fresh feature should captivate your visitors. No one understands this better than today’s web designer. And with that mindset we have studied the market and put together the leading trends dominating this year’s design marketplace.

1. Ambient Video Backgrounds

Web design is all about conveying the right message to your target audience. Every attempt to edit an existing design should be geared toward improving your message delivery, thus creating a better user experience.

Regardless of your market niche, a well-planned website ensures that your message will get home to your audience, earning you a loyal following of repeat visitors. You will succeed in your bid to connect and interact with your target market.

Nothing succeeds in fostering engagement and communicating a message better than videos.

The use of ambient video backgrounds is gaining popularity in 2015. We are seeing more and more video content featured in ads than any other types of media.

The average internet user has a high preference for videos. Images have a similarly strong appeal but videos carry some lively touch in them. Plain text is informative, but not the most interesting thing to internet users.

To level the playing field, incorporate some background video in your web design. This will go a long way in bringing life to your website.

2. Innovative Typography

Today’s web typography is comprised of effective design strategies that include the use of whitespaces and typefaces to enhance readability, and the use of ghost buttons with different colour schemes. This year, web designers are more inclined towards the use large typefaces.

Typography plays a significant role in web design. While designers are working to create fresh designs, they are also applying some old techniques that form a powerful mix that provide users with more variety and flexibility.

3. Responsive Design

Responsive design is not exactly new. But, being an indispensable component of good web design, its importance cannot be overemphasised.

When we talk about responsiveness, we are referring to a website’s ability to adapt to various layouts depending on the user’s screen size.

A responsive website renders well on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop computer, iPhone and iPad. It detects the device automatically.

Most of today’s users browse the internet using mobile devices. 2015 is seeing a marked increase in smartphone and tablet sales compared to previous years. This only means one thing: more users are switching to mobile devices.

This situation is furthered by the increasing acceptance of the Bring Your Own Device policy by many companies worldwide. As more companies encourage their staff to bring their own devices to work, the number of mobile users go up.

This exponential increase in mobile users is making responsive design even more important. Because a non-responsive site means a limited audience base.

Your site just cannot afford to be non-responsive. Do not force your site viewers to constantly have to slide the screen to see your content. Otherwise, they will simply move to the next website.

4. Minimalism/Flat Design

Clean, minimalist web design means cutting down on noise. You leave out all that is not important so you can rivet your site visitors’ attention on what you consider important. Your message should get all their attention.

Users are increasingly showing a strong preference for a flat design as its uncluttered layout allows them to get the information they want quickly and easily. On top of that, the pages also load quickly even with a slow internet connection.

A flat web design is achieved by employing these vital elements:

  • Simple colour scheme – just one or two colours
  • Minimalist typography – influences the order in which users read your content
  • Ghost buttons – transparent, unobtrusive and interactive navigation buttons
  • Hidden menu or flying menu – appears only when a user scrolls or hovers over them or on certain sections of the webpage.

5. Infinite Scrolling

The norm in web design has always been a strong focus on having all important information appear “above the fold” of each page.

This was guided by the assumption that users don’t bother to scroll down the webpage to notice anything that was placed down there. In 2015 we’re shifting away from that paradigm.

Information is now presented either in complementary chunks one below the other or in one continuous story.

Every website owner wants to be the leading content provider for their niche. Everyone is scrambling for viewer attention. So, as the design changes to embrace an infinite scrolling paradigm, you have no choice but to follow suit.

Infinite scrolling is popularised by the increasing use of mobile devices where users enjoy scrolling and swiping on, rather than clicking. Visitors will keep scrolling down the same page for as long as they get plenty of meaningful content or visual elements.

6. CSS Animations

Another popular trend in 2015 is CSS animations, which allows you to animate your webpage using CSS.

CSS Animations are comprised of a set of key frames indicating the beginning and end states of the style of an animation together with possible waypoints and a style describing the animation.

CSS animations is gaining popularity in 2015 because of the various advantages it offers over traditional animation techniques. First, they are easy to use where simple animations are involved. You do not need knowledge in JavaScript to create them.

CSS animations also run well on various platforms. They are not hampered by low system resources. If you let the browser control the CSS animation sequence, it will optimise efficiency and performance for instance by reducing the frequency of update of the animations running in invisible tabs.

7. Colour Palette

Choosing the right colour scheme helps ensure a successful web design. The colour scheme will have a lot of impact on your outcome. Whether it’s the font, page layout or grids; everything needs to agree with your chosen colour scheme. This is how you achieve greater cohesiveness, readability and elegance in your final output.

Sometimes creating the right colour scheme from scratch can take a lot of effort.

So in 2015, various colour palettes are made available to assist web designers in creating the right colour scheme for their project.

8. Browser compatibility

The year 2015 has produced a new breed of perfectionist web designers. Nothing is left to chance. They aim for rich animations with the help of plugins and extensions that produce spectacular outcomes. These features can only be successful if they are supported across all major browsers. Because anything that is not compatible with a given browser will signify a limitation.

So, as designers make choices of different platforms, inter-browser compatibility is at the heart of all considerations. Components that are supported by all modern browsers are the preference. And those that are not yet supported are upgraded to enable such compatibility.

9. Parallax Scrolling

If you are not using parallax in 2015, then you better reconsider your approach to design. Folks love parallax scrolling. You can tell your whole story on a single page with beautiful layers of graphics that cascade on top of each other.

Nothing thrills the 2015 web visitor like the deep visual effects of parallax. They are effective and convenient. Prepare yourself to see a lot of parallax scrolling all over the Web as the rest of the year unfolds.

10. Sitemap

If you have been observing for some time, you will realise that most websites have a sitemap. All pages would be listed out on that section. The sitemap’s role is to help users and search engines find information on the website.

Today the trend has changed. Websites in 2015 no longer have a sitemap page. It has instead been brought down to the footer section.

Conclusion

This 2015 checklist is all the information you need to create an appealing website. However, if you’re new to web designing, it’s okay to seek the help of a professional. A reputable web agency can provide you with all the assistance you need to turn your website into an effective marketing tool; improving your UX, conversion and bottom line.

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Author: Cameron Francis Cameron Francis is the Director of eTraffic Group. He has been engaged in all aspects of online marketing for the past 8 years. He is actively involved in SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Optimisation, and Web Design.

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