10 Design Trends for a Digital World

Here at Rawww, we’re continuing with our ten year celebrations by adding another top ten blog and this time it’s all about the best current design trends. Are you staying informed when it comes to the latest ideas in digital design? Don’t worry if you need a heads up, we’ve all the latest news, views and ideas on what you need to look for when it comes to design trends. Stick with us, be in the know and stay inspired.

1. Mobile first design

Mobiles really have taken over our lives, haven’t they? Where would we be without our mobile phones! In fact, there as many mobile phone subscriptions – 6.8 billion – as there are people on this earth (around seven billion) and it took just over twenty years for this astonishing statistic to happen. With this in mind, it’s only right we give mobile first design pride of place as the number one trend in digital design.

Companies worldwide are realising that designing a mobile-friendly site is crucial to their business and how they are perceived is more important than ever. The context – and the content – has to be right though, so using an design agency who knows their stuff when it comes to mobile friendly design will give the right impression and get customers through your web door.

It’s also worth noting that with the recent Google algorithm changes, search engines are now rewarding mobile-friendly websites, so it really is so important that any websites you have are offered as a mobile-friendly version too. Our top tip? Get your mobile site designed first, that way, you’ll avoid cramming it with unnecessary content when you could convey your message succinctly and with ease.

Just remember that your virtual customers don’t need realms of information to understand what they came for. Fortunately, good copywriters know this too and are a great asset alongside designers and web developers when it comes to mobile first design.

2. Card based design

Let’s get a little retro with our next design trend pick, after all, it’s in the cards… Yes, you guessed it, card based design is having a revival! Back in the day, websites were built using cards, and we’re all going back to basics, although not as basic as the first website ever made (take a look, can you believe this was only in 1991?) Now, websites in general, including card based design is being delivered on a much trendier angle.

If you’re unfamiliar with card based design, let us give you a little insight. Card based design is like having a series of cards, packed with interactive information, although using this design trend is not as simple as having a page with rectangles on it. Your cards need to be functional, self-contained and even flippable!

3. Privacy

Privacy is still a big deal to a lot of people, especially as our information seems to end up on so many databases. We’re more conscious (and cynical) than ever when it comes to sharing our information too and web users need assurance from the websites they visit so they can relax if they need to input their details.

A good agency will always emphasise the need to design (especially for e-commerce) a secure, safe website where visitors can give their information with ease and trust the forms and checkouts they may need to use.

4. Digital first branding

Design trends often occur when companies understand that their primary experience and revenue is online. Once this happens, we begin to grasp the need to get ahead with a new way of thinking, such as using a digital-first approach when it comes branding.

It’s refreshing to see companies recognise that by using traditional branding agencies (who treat the web with the same ‘care’ as a branded mug) they are not going to get the fully responsive website they need to stay ahead in today’s digital market.

By commissioning a digital agency to conceive a brand that works online first, companies and services are able to filter this information down into other channels – which always point to the website. Therefore, their website becomes the most important – and integral – starting point.

And branding is, of course, about the logo too. When it comes to digital first branding, so many brands are creating responsive and fluctuating logos, which works when attracting consumers who will think more about a logo from a bigger picture to more minute detail as it scales from small to large.

5. Longer scrolling websites

Scrolling through websites used to be a big no, no when it came to web design, after all, do people really want to scroll down through realms of information? Well, the answer isn’t always no nowadays, design is different now; websites are much more user friendly and you can even forget the fold, it doesn’t really exist anymore! Why? Well, with so many different screen sizes and devices available, the fold no longer exists at one size.

Instead, people are used to swiping on touch screens and scrolling, and research shows if people are captured within the first five seconds of seeing your website, they will scroll.

This is great news as there is no need to cram your information in the first part of the website design; you can be creative and scroll to tell your story. But remember, the key to having a great longer scrolling website is good development, design and copy.

6. Vibrant design

Think bold, think graphical, think intentional.

When we talk about vibrancy in digital design, we’re thinking of unexpected colours and that contrast and spark against subdued, muted environments, large typography, soft directional lighting and shadow…the list is endless! And by combining this with the use of responsive design, best practise and animation that provides fluid, seamless touch transitions you’ll create a website that will stun and delight users.

7. Keeping it simple

Design trends in 2015 all seem to have one thing in common, and that is simplicity. As a business, having the confidence to keep it simple with your virtual shop window and buy into the idea that not all items of a website need to be on show all the time is a smart, modern move. It may even be worth reviewing whether all the information you do have actually needs to be there.

Websites should always be designed with the user in mind and for their convenience. If you browse the web, you’ll notice that more and more websites are removing or hiding non-essential items and going for a fresher, cleaner look that shines through its simplicity, user friendly navigation and design. This new approach really stands out from the old fashioned design heavy, image heavy and text heavy websites…

We’re in a new design trend age and it’s time to strip things back.

8. Hidden main menus / the burger

Talking of keeping things simple, another new design trend is how to present the main menu and if it should be on show all the time. Having the main menu on show was always a prerequisite for websites but mind sets are changing and now, you’ll notice that certain website are ‘hiding’ their menus and using icons – or ‘burgers’ – more instead.

Just look at our website, we use the ‘burger’ icon on all our pages rather than clutter each page with a menu that really doesn’t need to be there all the time! This design trend works really well for us as a design agency, but it doesn’t work for everyone. It depends on what your business or service is and what you need to say; for example, this wouldn’t work for an e-commerce website that contains a deep amount of content. Such a site would need a more traditional menu for usability.

9. Large typography

In 2014 typography was a big design trend that was integral to many site designs and we don’t see this changing anytime soon. Big, bold typography has impact and it’s something we’re championing for a long time to come…

10. Performance and speed

The internet has changed the way we find information, view material and the way we live but it’s made us impatient too. We want to be able to access what we need quickly and with ease…we simply won’t tolerate anything less.

Speed is key for making sure people stay on websites these days. You need to keep your users engaged and with all the coding and JavaScript technology out there, this can sometime be an issue, but a skilled team of web developers can ensure your need for speed runs smoothly and efficiently so that those users stay on your website rather than give up and go elsewhere.

We hope we’ve served up some food for thought with our latest top ten blog. Come back soon for even more good stuff and news about our ten year celebrations – there’s so much more to come!