Trends signify a general shift in perspective as an industry grows and adapts to their target market. Responsive design, and web design in general, is a rapidly changing field where trends take center stage. Here are some top trends to be on the look out for as we move into 2018.
Photography is still one of the top ways to engage your visitors; however, as the web continues to evolve users are too, and they can tell when you're using overly staged or stock photography. This can lead to an insincere connection to your users. Authentic photography evokes emotion and connects with people on a sentimental level, which leads to developing a better relationship with your current and potential client base.
A good example of this trend in action is the Blue Wave Orthodontics site that was developed originally in 2016 but had their design refreshed to meet design standards of the current year.
Vertical Split Screen Layouts
Dividing the layout into two half-with columns, such as the layout we designed for our client Just for Grins Orthodontics, has been picking up speed in the last year. This layout's rising popularity is no doubt due to the fact that it creates an easy way for your users to view your written content while still presenting the emotional impact of your visual. By ensuring both types of content are on stage the user is presented with an online experience that resonates on both informational and emotional level.
The Power of Video
Video takes imagery to the next level and let's you tell a story to your target market. With the growth of technology and code standards video is becoming more and more easily accessible to use on your website. Background video accents catch the users attention, while prominent videos with valuable content can create a relationship with your users even before they take the plunge and make contact with you or your company. Noble Crust , a restaurant in the Tampa Bay Area, is a great example of this trend in action. Throughout their site video is used in a creative way to set the overall mood of the online experience.
Animations and SVGs
Using animations, both illustrative or a pictorial such as an GIF, is another great way to develop a dialogue with your users and contributes to the attitude in which you'll address them. A funny GIF can make you appear lighthearted, while an expository animation can develop you as a thought leader in your industry. With browsers now supporting SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) & CSS animations, such as the bouncing faces present throughout the Kids Smiles website, it's easy to add this layer to your site and make sure it looks great on every device.
Parallax and Creative Scrolling
Offering unique scrolling and parallax effects are a way of adding interactivity to your static content such as hero images and text. Having your website scroll horizontally, or have multilayered parallax elements scroll by as your user navigated the page also provides a wow factor that will make your website memorable .Fishbein Orthodontics utilizes both smooth scrolling and parallax effects to create a fun and inviting tone to their digital footprint.
Gamification & Micro Interactions
Interaction is at the core of how we use the internet. The more engaged a user feels the more likely they are to digest the content your website presents. Adding a layer of simple interactivity, such as content appropriate on-hover animations, helps to hold your audience's attention. Moreover, adding gamification elements, such as a Reddit's implementation of “Karma” or Twitch.tv's use of “Cheers” can help foster your online community.
Another example of using these principles appears in Periodontal Health Center's website. This design embraced this trend by using an interactive method to showcase important information about periodontal health in a fun and exciting way.
Blending the digital canvas with textile elements such as subtle patterns, cut-out imagery, and creating a depth by using parallax elements, is a great way of creating an engaging user experience. It created an inviting atmosphere by letting your website feel more accessible and less technical.
Even though these are all design trends don't expect them to disappear over night. They've become popular because they cater to how we use the internet to digest information and interact with individuals and companies. We will continue to see shifts in perspective as responsive design grows one year older in 2018, and we will most likely see extensions of the methods above well into the future.