We love trend research – can’t get enough of the stuff. In fact trawling the web for images of the latest trends is probably the best part of our job. Selecting and editing these visuals into concept boards is a great way to create cohesion for brands. It gets all that creativity bouncing around our heads into a more digestible format!
Yet when it comes to websites if you’re thinking ‘trend’ it might be wise to ere on the side of caution. We love the new cool things you can do with websites. But letting trend lead your vision for your website might not be a smart move. It’s important to think about the long game unless you have a budget to revamp your website every 6 months! Why? Because of the rapid development of technology.
Every day, let alone every 6 months new software allows us to do new things with websites. So if you’re relying on this to stand out from the crowd it’s easy to become tomorrow’s chip paper. Thinking about your purpose is more important than having the latest cool trick. Communication techniques and what you want people to do once they land on your site should be the discussions you have with your designers and developers. Fashion and trends will play a part. But great innovation comes out of seeing what’s done, building from it and breaking out.
Take a look at the full width style for example. In September 2014 industry insiders were getting excited about this being the biggest trend for 2015. However as this insider discovered it wasn’t really a new thing at all but a return. Non other than Apple were doing this in 1996!
So now we’re well in to 2015 and yes full width is big. Of course with an innovated fresher approach. Thank goodness full width sites don’t just look like they did in 1996. But some of these sites are starting to look a little dated and ‘samey’. So much so that the latest bloggers are predicting a return to fixed width layouts. Also done by Apple in 2000. You can’t win right – what goes around comes around.
Full width isn’t going away by any means. But designers will have to keep things fresh with new ideas. One of our favourites of course is typography! Which will keep the developers happy as is it means sites will load much faster. We were more than giddy to see this Typography trend given our idea for big typography on our own site. #FeelingLikeATrendsetter!
Another exciting development will be the split screen as used by Desktime.
Could this be the saviour for businesses with a split personality or identity crisis? Now you don’t have to choose – just kidding 😉
Split sites allow for two purposes to be front and centre. We can see this being useful for someone who is both videographer and photographer. Their two potential customers land and are instantly provided with choice. Or perhaps for a business that sells both a service and a product.
Only time will tell how users respond to this style. It could work. Take for example Mozzila’s homepage.
This offers a landing page with a bigger split. Simple boxes act as entry points. However the website above recently re-designed so was it not working for them – or was it a case of not daring to be different. It will be interesting to see how this idea of dual split screen takes off. Will people find it helpful or frustrating. Please share and comment your thoughts?
Thanks for reading!