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Halfway through 2015, one may look back on the evolution of professional web design and feel nostalgia and hope for what's coming next. Design-wise, everything is going through a continuous, fast-paced change.
The difference in appearance can be striking, especially if one compares the way old websites used to look to what's presently going on in the world of web design. Although lots of innovative web design alternatives have been constantly tested, marketed and implemented, there are only a few new elements which managed to really stand the test of time.
Scrolling Is the New Clicking
Whenever you used to grab a mouse and surf the internet, your interaction with websites was mainly made up of clicking. Each time a website was opened, the attention of the user was immediately directed to the upper right side of the screen, looking for a very old-fashioned web design element called "the scrollbar". By clicking and dragging this ancient design element up and down, one could interact and go through the content of that particular page. Developers have been constantly trying to simplify the interaction between users and websites ever since. Presently, it is far easier to scroll through websites, than it is to click. On mobile devices you may even scroll using your thumb. Modern websites already have less things to click on and larger scrolling areas. As websites are turning into single scrollable pages, we will finally start to experience fewer links and richer content to scroll through.
A huge progress was also made in the iconography department. Transparent, simpler and more esthetic buttons are taking over the web. They are most commonly called ghost buttons and they differentiate from the old trends through their transparency and fine, white outer line. This particular technique takes the focus of the visitor away from the menu and allows larger photography areas to be displayed, improving user experience.
Larger Content Areas
While headers and footers are slowly heading to extinction, content areas are getting wider and taller. The frame of a website has gradually lost the interest of audiences and designers are now focusing on content quality and larger display areas. Customized photography and maximum width images are now a must for a modern-looking webpage.
Originally developed by Google, material design is slowly replacing flat design by combining flat design elements with animation, gradients and 3D elements for a richer user experience. Inspired by paper and ink, we will all experience a huge growth in simplicity and interaction as they become better integrated in worldwide desktop and mobile devices.
The merger between interactivity and useful data makes any learning process more fun. Infographics became familiar in 2014 and they have been steadily growing in popularity. Instead of looking at static, informational images or text, you may now experience horizontal scrolling and interactivity of charts and hard data. Infographics are successfully used in web design to engage costumers and draw attention to the marketed product or information.
As design trends keep evolving, their interpretation by various designers may differ. Still, old web design elements continue to be integrated into modern aesthetic principles and only time will tell whether they are heading to elimination or if they continue to adapt and to evolve.
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