If you want to design a modern website, you should also look at current web design trends. Because a contemporary web design skilfully uses the appropriate trends.
Trends – combination of design & technology
Web design trends are not only limited to design topics, but are usually accompanied by technical implementation. If you would like to take it a little broader, then you could also add marketing and communication aspects.
When, for example, a few years ago the CSS3 property gradient was supported by browsers across the board, large-scale gradients on websites (again) came into fashion. One can therefore often say:
The technical possibilities are generating design trends.This is how some trends have emerged in recent years. Some have already reached their peak, others are currently on their way.
Should web design trends be followed?
If you read the annual articles in the specialist blogs on the coming trends, you will notice that these are often mentioned over years as the same or “trends”, which are actually none such as “Responsive Web Design”. Because “trend” sounds – rightly – like a development that will disappear again. And sometimes it’s not that easy: Were the processes in web design even gone? Are they back now? Will you leave again? Or were, are and will they not simply be a possible component of a design, one of several options – no more and no less.
Web design trends exist for a good reason
They affect the current appearance of many websites. That’s why a web designer should know what’s “hot” at the moment and be able to monitor these developments and use them himself if necessary. To follow a trend means above all to adapt to the current fashion, to the showmanship. A website that follows trends has a modern look and doesn’t look prickly. It does not provoke and is not out of place – positive or negative.
Following a trend may create a contemporary website. But somehow it also includes the fact that the website will no longer look contemporary in just a few years. But a few years in web design, in the digital world, those are many years in real life! And since a website should be constantly developing with regular major relaunches, yes, the implementation of a design “trend” can be adapted after a few years.
To stick with the “progress example”
Anyone who increasingly uses gradients on a website today and in a few years is virtually frowned upon can change back to monochrome surfaces (or whatever else is hot at the moment) in three or four years for the relaunch. Because to design a timeless website whose design will “survive” the next ten or twenty years – well, you notice yourself…
For the web designer, following the majority can bring security that he cannot do too much “wrong”. Of course, it is not a creative masterstroke to adopt current design trends. But to implement and enforce one’s own style (towards the customer) also requires courage (on both sides).
The following is an overview of the current web design trends:
Standard layouts / design templates
I would like to start with a development that came about through a changed workflow. (WordPress) themes, coding libraries and front-end frameworks have led to websites often looking very uniform. What is, of course, a uniform mush on the one hand, has proved its worth on the other. Not only that the users are familiar with it. This layout arrangement has not prevailed without reason.
It follows some design principles that ensure good usability and user experience. For example, to start with a striking, expressive headline on an emotional (background) picture. This type of elevator pitch shows the visitor immediately what to expect on this site. In the best case, it captivates the visitor both rationally (headline) and emotionally (picture).
And the design templates help even technically and/or creatively not so talented to create a contemporary website. In addition, the implementation time is (significantly) faster than with individual programming.
So the templates are a kind of curse and blessing at the same time. One could still enumerate some pros and cons, but this should not be the subject of this article. In any case, recognition and individuality are more difficult to achieve.
But instead of seeing it only as a uniform mush, one could also say that the average of the websites has become much more attractive in recent years – also and especially through these templates!
Webdesign Standard Layouts
They look like copies of each other – the web design standard layouts. And the presence of such ready-made design solutions and trends does not exclude that you can do it differently (better?) – without templates.
Tips for the use of design templates:
Experimental layouts – fallen out of the grid
No trend without a counter trend, one could say here. Many uniform layouts are opposed by a few innovative designs. Yes, the template trend is not mandatory. There are still enough courageous web designers and experimental layouts.
The easiest way to create experimental web designs is to literally fall off the grid. The grid offers content a structure and web designers a framework to create balanced layouts that look harmonious. Having single – or even multiple – elements protrude from this grid not only loosens up the whole design, but is also a great way to stand out from the crowd of websites.
This is rather unfavourable for very text- / content-heavy websites. Here a clear structure is beneficial and necessary to guide users through the site and to convey a clear content hierarchy.
For traditional companies, or companies that want to appear more classical, more innovative layouts will be less of an alternative.
But for everyone else it is. “Experimenters” can already be smaller out of the box elements that only set subtle highlights. The appeal of asymmetrical layouts lies in the fact that they are unmistakable, striking and sometimes experimental.
But really innovative websites are looking for new solutions in terms of content presentation, user guidance and navigation.