Jonathon Harrelson

Web Developer & Search Engine Optimization Specialist

Web Trends 2015 Recap

Web Trends 2015 Recap

2015 was a year littered with some good, and some not so good UI/UX trends. This list is based on my opinion but I will try to explain my point-of-view and you can agree or disagree on these. Please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of this page or hit me up on Twitter.

The Good

Good Use of Background Videos

On of the biggest trends we are starting to see is the use of full-page background videos. If done correctly this can make your site look beautiful. I have seen some great executions of this on sites such as SquareSpace or AirBNB. They have done a great job without interfering with the experience on page load.

Awesome Typography

As a developer I never really learned much about good typography I’ve just been kind of picking it up as I go. Now that I’ve had the honor of working with great graphic designers such as my co-working Willie Blue and Sean Ferguson they’ve taught me a lot about how a certain font type can portray certain feelings. Google Font’s is a great place to find web fonts and it will even give you pairing recommendation ideas, which is what I use to pick my font selections for sites that I build.

Flat UI with Brighter, Bolder Colors

Finally the age of skeuomorphic design is over… for now. The web has gone back to basics with flat color pallets now. Flat designs make digesting website information quite a bit easier without having to look at all of the beveled and embossed buttons of the past. A flat UI is simply easier on the eyes and keeps people on a page longer because they don’t have to decipher the content through distracting designs.

Minimalistic Approach to Pages

These days you have about 3 seconds to catch someone’s attention before they bounce off your page, that means your web page has 3 seconds to deliver a message. OMEGA Watches does a great job of this. 1 Simple sentence and a huge background image is all the need to send their message. Short, sweet, and concise messaging will convert more visitors into buyers.

The Bad

Hiding Navigation behind Hamburger Menu

A trend that is starting to take off, which I don’t care too much for, is hamburger menus on desktop versions of sites. Ever since mobile design has taken off, hamburger menus are becoming more and more common because it’s easily recognizable on mobile. I believe in the old saying “Out of sight, Out of Mind”. Hiding all of your links behind a hamburger menu you might not get people to explore around your site because they can’t see your navigation. There are some sites where the hamburger menu is small, inconspicuous, and hard to find. Those types of problems end with a lost conversion and lost money at the end of the day. Sites like I’ve stated above SquareSpace and OMEGA Watches follow this practice and I think if you hide it, people wont find it.

CMS Dependency

Now days almost everyone relies on some sort of content management system (CMS) to power their website or blog. Why should every site run off of a CMS? Take a step back and think about this. Part of the way Google ranks pages is by user experience and page speed. Almost all CMS’s use a database in which it stores the content and then when the browser is requesting the page, the database serves up that data, it takes extra time and it turn is hindering you in Google’s eyes. If your website is never going to change or not change very often (once or twice a year), then there is no reason that your site should be built with a content management system. A static site would be much more beneficial for you as the end-user would not have to wait for content to be served up from a database.

I wrote in a previous post about Making the Move to Jekyll about how I moved from WordPress to Jekyll and why I did it. I will recap a little from that post for relevancy sake. WordPress has a ton of extra code that 90% of sites won’t even need. It can also be difficult to optimize for page speed. Another downside to it and other CMS platforms, is, since they’re database driven they are at much higher risk of becoming compromised and being hacked. With a static site you don’t have to worry about that.

Big Sliding Banners

Slideshows are becoming a thing of the past. Remember how I said you only have 3 seconds to grab someone’s attention? Think about how many times you’ve gotten on to a website and sat there and looked at each one of the slides. Probably a few times but most likely you’ve never done it. Well my motto is if you’re not going to do it, why should you expect someone else to? Save you effort and put that content where you know it will be seen.

Welcome 2016

I’m really excited to see where the web goes in 2016 and I know there will be some people who don;t agree with my views on what should stay and what should go but I live in America where I can, for now, speak my mind. If you have any comments please share them down below, let me know what your predictions are for trends in 2016.

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