As we round the corner into the final quarter of 2015, we have continued to see the refinement of the “Great Flattening of ’13/’14’‘, some interesting web design trends have emerged from websites trying to better tell their story. Today, we are going to look at five of these.
As bandwidth continues climbing upwards and web delivery systems become better, large image backgrounds have evolved into using video where text is overlaid onto, giving the website a really cool effect that was only previously seen on high-end outdoor advertisements. Here are some great examples:
Airbnb’s background video is a fitting way to articulate the emotion of its ‘Welcome Home’ tagline, with scenes of people, presumably enjoying their local routine, whether it’s enjoying coffee at the local café or enjoying the morning paper from a balcony.
Bloomberg’s advertising arm uses a three-way split screen to demonstrate its global reach across the major regions, each with its own background video, giving a very dynamic and energetic feel to its site, foreshadowing the key propositions further down in the page.
Fernando Maclen is a designer and uses his website as a landing page that you can use to explore what he’s done across different networks. His site itself is a clever domain hack that randomizes the text that appears on the screen, but the blurred out background video consistently makes it clear that he’s serious about his craft.
Grids are a cornerstone of the field of design and aren’t new. So to call it a trend or resurgence would be somewhat misleading. However, their modularity lend themselves very well to responsive designs, adapting to different screen sizes while still keeping informational and aesthetic integrity. Here are some examples:
Slate’s homepage is made up of distinct modules which morph to fill the different screens, a signature design style of block grids, rather than merely resizing accordingly.
Compliments is a Danish furniture retailer whose site is a clean and uncluttered experience. They make use of block grids to showcase both their categories and products within each.
Subtle Parallax Scrolling
Like block grids, parallax scrolling has been around for a few years – it uses multiple images that scroll across the screen at different speeds giving the effect of depth or interactivity. While we’ve certainly seen this used as a gimmick in the past, used sparingly it creates a great experience.
This Atlassian infographic that depicts the biggest productivity killers at work and uses a background of flying money to emphasize the point.
While this was certainly a marketing stunt from Burger King, the site itself was beautifully designed site where they used the parallax effect to show the ingredients of the burger in question being put together.
Website elements that made a website look like a website used to be a good thing. When people were not as used to the web, these embellishments signaled a difference between the content, the navigation bar and the widgets that many sites had. These days, it is becoming more common for sites to ditch this ‘chrome’ to create a cleaner experience.
Uber’s brand site reflects their modern brand, with hardly any chrome, while still making it clear to the user to navigate and find what he/she is looking for.
Braun Japan’s watch/clock site also ditches the chrome, in alignment with its brand promise of “Less, but better” making the web experience clean and fuss free.