If you're planning a new website for 2015, or updating your old one, you'll want it to look fresh, modern, and dare we say it, trendy.
In the past, trends in website design have been driven not by a sense of fashion so much as a desire to embrace the latest technologies available. Recently, however, trends have been drive by something much more fundamental; how customers view websites on devices such as mobiles and tablets.
Thanks to technical elements that used to be the preserve of big brand websites now being available to those with much more modest budgets, the web is a far more exciting and visually stimulating experience in terms of web design.
So, what are the fads and what are the must-haves? We've sifted through various predictions of website design trends for 2015* and filtered them through our own experiences, to come up with our own top five Canadian website trends!
1. Full width images
In 2015, images will be big, bold and impressive. Whether a full page background that is overlaid with your text, or a scrolling header display with big, clear lettering, these features look particularly amazing on today's high resolution screens. To make the most of this trend, you will need high resolution, striking images that look good when wider than they are tall. If you don't have these, you can buy them from stock image sites. You can also use full width video - see the Paypal example below.
Akira client example: http://www.akirastudio.com
Video example: http://www.paypal.com home page with coffee shop scene
2. Mobile friendly
We know, we keep going on about this, but it's important that your website can be viewed at its best on any device, from mobile phone screen to large desktop monitor. With the arrival of really tiny screen devices such as the iWatch, you need a website that'll do all the hard work of converting your design automatically, It's called responsive design, and it is going to be everywhere in 2015. At Akira, we design all our new website using responsive technology, and we're busy upgrading many others to be mobile friendly. Remember that all-important figure: over 50% of online searches are now made from mobile devices…
Akira client example: http://www.haldimandcountyhydro.ca
3. Keep on Scrolling
Want to scroll down a webpage on a mobile device? Just swipe your finger up the screen! Yes, clicking to scroll is dead in the water, which is why parallax scrolling is going to be huge in 2015. Parallex scrolling is when the background image moves more slowly than the foreground. So, if you've got a really nice image as your background (see 1, above) and text laid in areas over the top, the top layers appear to scroll over the top of the background image. The result is a pseudo-3D effect that guides visitors to your site through a 'journey' of information. It's not suitable for every business, however; call us to discuss.
4. Flat Design
Flat design websites are those clear, sharp websites with lots of white space and clearly defined edges. It's the sort of website we at Akira design all the time, featuring clear text and nice icons. Flat design websites also have the added advantage of being quick to load, making them great for mobiles. Flat design works particularly well for services companies, as you’ll see in our example below.
Akira client example: http://www.cleanone.ca
5. Speed and Performance
As broadband and Wifi technology speeds up, customers are far less tolerant of slow-running websites. Simple techniques such as reducing image sizes can help a lot, but as websites age, some are simply too weighed down by old technology. If your ‘much loved but rather long in the tooth’ website is slow, customers will be quick to click elsewhere. Call us for a chat about how we can help turn you website from a snail to a Mustang!
To discuss your 2015 website requirements, call us or send us an email.
* Including a survey by Founders Grid http://foundersgrid.com/design-trends-2015