September 17, 2015
In 2015, a renewed emphasis on originality has put an end to "cookie cutter" websites and has made quality, creative web design much more than a luxury, but a necessity. A functional, up-to-date website is a clear and obvious prerequisite for success on the Hill. Constituents expect a basic level of website organization and usability that allows them to easily email a Member, read press releases, connect on social media, etc. However, we believe in 2016, this expectation will go a step further. Constituents will expect not only to be able to consume relevant information on a Member's website, but to be able connect and interact in a way that is unique and reflective of both the Member's personality and the constituency as a whole.
Read on to learn about some of design trends of the future that our team of designers is ready to put into place on your website today.
Big Background, Small Movement, Even Smaller Header
In recent years, home pages adorned with big, full screen photos have become increasingly popular among consumer brands as well as the public sector. As ISP bandwidths increase, browsers can handle these large images much more easily, allowing designers more creative freedom. This style mimics traditional print advertising where a custom, high resolution image runs to the edge of the screen with dramatic, contrasting text indicating a call to action. We predict this trend will continue into 2016 with two small variations:
1) Traditional headers will be replaced by compact navigation panes that can expand and contract by clicking.
2) Video/animated backgrounds featuring subtle movement will replace static background images.
Flat Design Continues to Evolve
The end of textured, gradient-heavy "web 2.0" design elements is certainly not breaking news to anyone with an eye for design. In the last several years, "flat design" has become more in vogue thanks in part to iOS and Android's heavy use of flat elements in their mobile platforms. Web designers love flat design because of its minimalist, classic characteristics and the amount of white space it allows. This is why we believe, in 2016, flat design will move from primarily mobile platforms to desktop applications as well. In fact, Google has already hinted towards this trend with their recently updated logo and their use of the term "material design", an updated interpretation of traditional flat design concepts.
Old "web 2.0" Facebook logo (left) and new "flat design" Facebook logo (right)
Whether we call them "micro experiences," "mini apps" or "micro interactions" these tiny moments of online activity are here to stay. A few quick examples of what we're talking about:
- Retweet on Twitter = micro interaction
- Thumbs up/down on Pandora = micro interaction
- Zooming in on a product on Amazon = micro interaction
Clearly, these types of engagement opportunities have been around since we could "like" something on Facebook. But we believe in 2016, micro interactions will become a major focus web design rather than a slick side component. The constituent of tomorrow will not be satisfied to simply consume information from a website--they will demand engagement and interaction with the site too. Micro interactions allow the constituent to customize his/her experience by engaging with the site in small but meaningful ways, slightly altering the path of navigation as they continue to interact with the site. Snap polls, interactive maps and easy web forms are just a few examples of micro interactions that our designers can build for your website to get you ahead of the curve.
LinkedIn uses micro interactions in several interesting ways. The endorsement function allows users to quickly and easily interact with their network and customize their own experience while they use the site.
Contact us today to schedule your free web design consultation. With no charge and no comittment, our design team will meet at your convenience to share ideas for how we can help get your office's website ahead of these trends and ready to lead in 2016.