A lot of web design predictions have been passed around lately, some of them ironically outdated. “We’ll see large image headers and video backgrounds in 2015,” one article stated. Now let’s take a look at a few upcoming trends that are worth paying attention to.
More Than Words and Pictures
When I first started building websites over a decade ago, I could count the number of web design blogs on two hands. Many designer portfolios (mine included) had a “Links” page, which was like saying, “I’m up-to-speed in web design and you know it based on the people I follow.” Oh, times have changed.
With the help of WordPress, Medium, and other publishing platforms, everyone is an author these days. We’re inundated with an overflow of design news, making it increasingly harder to get your own content noticed. Do ever feel like you’re creating solid work but no one is listening? You need to get creative in how you deliver your message.
In 2015, using video and audio in addition to writing will be key ways to stand out in the blogging crowd. Authors who put their actual voice on the web—not just written words—will create a stronger, more memorable connection with their audience. Ahead of the curve, Sean McCabe is already doing this and has proven it to be very effective.
Adding Meaning to Motion
As I scroll through most modern websites, headers minimize, SVG icons draw themselves, parallax is everywhere, images slide around, and even the body copy fades into view. We’ve happily escaped the Flash-era, only to crash into a web made of CSS3-jelly. Overuse of animations without meaning is a chaotic mess.
I predict (and sincerely hope) that in 2015, web designers will continue to study how we can use animations as a tool rather than pure decoration. Paul Stamatiou has a great article on the importance of motion in design. Google’s Material Design is also a step in the right direction and includes guidelines for creating authentic, meaningful motion.
Visual Editors Will (Finally) Have Their Place
Any developer worth their salt knows that if you want to build a website properly, you have to code it by hand. WYSIWYG editors have always exported bloated garbage that added unneeded file size and made future maintenance a nightmare. Only recently, we’re starting to see better editors like Macaw, Webflow, Adobe Reflow, and many others.
Are were there yet? No, nothing competes with quality, hand-written code. But I do think visual editors will eventually become “good enough” in some situations. If nothing else, I can envision these tools being used to create interactive prototypes, or to aid designers in learning development.
Adapt and Survive
I love my job because I know that a year from now, my work will likely be very different. Web design is ever evolving and that can be both exciting and daunting at times. The important thing is to keep learning.
What do you think we’ll see in 2015? What are you most excited to work on? Let me know in the comments.