Modern Web Design Styles
SUMMARY & CONCLUSION:
At this point of our discussions about modern web styles, we have already covered 28 style categories which I consider as specific design trends of today. Now we have reached the final destination; to draw some general conclusions based on our discussions of these different web design styles.
We know that technology has advanced a lot since the start of the 21st century. So has the web industry. The web has become increasingly more integrated into people’s lives in recent years. It has led to significant changes in the way people access and utilize the web. Consequently, new web design trends and concepts have emerged. We have reached a point where sole web presence does not actually work. To be successful, the incorporation of a few features –– such as usability, functionality, and dynamism –– is essential. In the very beginning of our journey, I mentioned that a modern web design includes most of the following features: Simplicity, Content-oriented, Interactive, Subtle colors, Customized typography, Parallax effects, and Responsive design. To summarize it, modern web design has become more straight-forward, simple, human, aesthetic, and above all functional. The usability weighs much more than before. As we know, the good news is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Thanks to the emergence of all new techniques, creating a website from scratch does not fit into a true definition of modern web technology. Even if you wish to entirely customize every single detail, it is still much easier than the way it was in the past.
the future of web design?
What about the future of web design? In which way is it heading? Considering my above interpretation of modern web design, I predict that the eventual new web design trends are going to address the same concept. They will emphasize on simplicity, usability and even more content (call it message) hierarchy. To be more specific, I have identified the following design styles and features to be the dominant trends in the coming years.
- Minimalism: I can say for sure that Minimalism is going to retain its position as a popular design trend, especially among many business owners, for many years to come. The challenge of Minimalism in modern web design is to maintain its integrity against the temptation made by the emergence of popular visual and interactive effects. As an important feature of a clean design, we will see even more white spaces in websites of the future generation.
- Parallax: We know that interactivity is an important element in modern web design. Parallax style is based on such a feature. As the visitor scrolls vertically or horizontally, an illusion of movement and dealing with live elements is created, and hence an interaction materializes between the webpage and the visitors. Parallax is a relatively new trend that is going to be a favorite choice even in the future, especially for business sites.
- Fixed Headers: Easily accessible sight navigation is one of the most important aspects of any effective web design. There are different options for achieving this attribute. In the 'Fixed Header Bars' variant, headers and top menus have a fixed position. They remain constant at the top of the page as the visitors scroll down the web page. By offering the users steady support for navigation, it is a very user-friendly feature. This technique –– which has been around a while –– is a main ingredient of majority of the websites created in Parallax design style. Therefore, we will see more of it in the future as Parallax style is gaining more and more popularity.
- Big Photography Background: We know that anything which is big in size in a web page easily captures the visitor’s attention. Utilizing a big background image as a focal point in a website mainly belongs to modern web design. I think this trend is going to be popular even in the near future. My judgment is not merely based on the fact that this design style has a modern look. The underlying informative message which these attention-grabbing images convey is another important factor.
- Typography: Along with form, color, texture, scale, and space; typography is classed as one of the basic elements of web design. It does not either fall in or out of favor, rather it has always been there. As mentioned before, big elements on web pages are eye-catching and invoke a user’s curiosity. The fact applies to over-sized typography as well. Therefore, it is safe to say that both Typography and Super-large Typography styles will continue to be still major trends in the future.
- Desaturated and light colors: It is really hard to predict what colors are going to be the most common at any given time. However, desaturated and light colors will more than likely dominate the color palettes of new websites and mobile apps. Also, white and gray colors are expected to be used as the primary colors even more in the future.
- Grunge: Grunge style has been around for a while and I do not think that it is going to disappear anytime soon. It stands apart from other design trends by giving a web design a less uniform/structured layout, hence creating a fashionable unorthodox look which seems somehow old and worn out. It is not true that Grunge layouts cannot be controlled in web design. As a matter of fact, they can be incorporated into specially prepared grid layouts. If done properly, it will result in an terrific web design.
- Responsive: Responsive design technique has been the most functional and versatile web design trend for a while now. It is its layout flexibility which differentiates it from the other styles. In fact, it should no longer be considered as a specific web design style, rather an important functional complement for other web design styles. Considering the prevalence and popularity of smartphones among the users today, it is a MUST ingredient for almost all other style trends. According to a survey, about 60 % of Swedish people used mobile phones to connect to the internet on a daily basis in 2015. Based on these facts, I predict a further employment of this technique in the coming years, even to the extent that all websites are going to to have a Responsive design layout.
What about those web styles that do not seem to have a real chance of surviving in the coming years? I think the following trends are not going to belong to the future; at least not in a way that they are prevalent today.
Kitschy Skeuomorphs: Considering the fact that modern web techniques are pushing the boundaries of creativity –– specifically regarding the usability and functionality features –– superfluous Skeumorph designs do not appear to be a realistic option. Although it seems to be somehow popular at the moment, this popularity is going to fade away over time. Based on the conception of association, this style utilizes visual items that remind the users of real life objects. It is mostly used in order to facilitate a user’s transition into new mediums. However, web technology is established enough to not be considered a new medium anymore. Since the web technology is growing at a fast pace, web users -- particularly the more experienced ones -- are likely to find redundant skeuomorphs unnecessary and gaudy. Therefore, I do not believe that the web design’s future incorporate a focus on pretentious skeuomorphic designs that we have seen a lot in recent years. If it happens to appear as a successful layout in the future, it has to be a completely innovative one.
Flash: As I mentioned in our discussion of this style in its respective article, I am against a web design which entirely relies on the usage of Flash. I believe that web design is far more mature than being an animation program. This said, Flash -- when utilized sparingly -- can in some cases be justified as an effective web design technique. However, I do not think that there would be much of a future for Flash in web design. In view of the increasing need for rational content management and designs based on best practices, Flash is not the appropriate tool to be able to materialize these requirements. Furthermore, regarding the extensive usage of smartphones among the users, Flash does not just simply cut it. It does not have enough strength within the mobile environment. Additionally, Flash is not a good option for those who are concerned with its lack of SEO quality. Among the search engines, Google is the only one known to officially index Flash. Most experienced designers are aware of the Flash shortcomings and already try to seek other options like jQuery and HTML5.
To round up our notes on the web design styles, we have prepared the following list which presents a summary of web style categories and showcases that we have previously discussed. All images are clickable and will lead you to the respective articles. As I mentioned in the very beginning of our discussions in the first article, I consider these articles as live documents. I am going to successively update them based on my further studies. I also make sure to regularly remove the dead links and non-actual sites. If you happen to be the first who discover such cases, please let us know. We really appreciate your feedback.
Enjoy your further reading and thank you for following us through these articles.
2) Grid-based Design
3) Minimalist Grid-based
5) Retro (Vintage)
7) Ornamental Style
9) Big Photo Background
10) Nature-inspired Background
11) Water-themed Background
13) Image Navigation
17) Texture & Pattern
19) Big Typography
20) Handwritten Typography
21) 3-D Effect
24) Watercolor Effects
25) Parallax Effects
26) Flash Technique
27) Responsive Web Design
28) Modern Business