2014 has been an exciting year on the technology front with the release of numerous superb new mobile phones and tablets. Add to this the huge increase in smartphone purchases in South Africa during 2014 and we can see at least two contributors to the definite improvements that have taken place in web design over the last year.

But why would it be important for you as a business to know about web design trends you may ask?

Keeping up to date with current trends is imperative for any successful company today. Successful online marketing centres on your ability to give your prospects and customers the online experience that they expect from your business. When the bar is continually being raised by your competitors, you simply cannot afford to be left behind.

When you work closely with your web design and web development team to create a website that really stands out for customers, while simultaneously fulfilling all the requirements of what Google considers to be a great website, then you have a far greater chance of securing your rightful share of your particular market.

If you’re planning on getting a new website anytime soon, be sure that you are au-fait with the current and future trends. This will help to ensure that you launch a website with a greater positive impact, for a longer period of time.

Here are our predictions regarding the web design trends that will likely influence online marketing in 2015.

1. Be responsive or lose out

While most new websites will be designed to be responsive today – this really does depend on the quality and experience of your web designer and web developer. Insist on
a responsive website because more of your market is visiting your website from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets than ever before. In truth, responsive websites should not be considered a trend anymore, but rather the new norm. Take a look at some great examples of responsive websites HERE.

2. Be retina ready

We previously dedicated an entire blog post to this new website design requirement. A retina ready website delivers far richer visuals than the
websites that we have seen for so long and this trend has been influenced by the advances in the screen technologies of primarily tablets and mobile phones. There are however some considerations to take into account. Find out more about it HERE.

3. Keep layouts flat and simple

Heavily influenced by the style of the Microsoft operating system Windows 8, the more recent move to clean lines and simple graphics in web design is gaining increasing momentum. In fact clean layouts and flatter, simpler graphics have been given an official term by the designers over at Google, namely, ‘Material Design’. Using mostly solid colours, this type of design uses at the very most – a subtle colour gradient here and there. Drop shadows and 3D effects are pretty much out the window (excuse the pun) and are increasingly considered styles that simply look old.

4. Feature fabulous fonts

Short and simple, yet bold statements using clean, bold typeface is in. The decrease in the cost of purchasing website font sets and the availability of free web fonts from
Google Fonts
 has made it possible for web designers working on a smaller budget, to do something a little extra and different with their website designs. For certain brands, using a type-centric website design can significantly improve how their products and services are perceived and understood.

5. Indulge in large background images

Many well designed, great looking websites have been produced in the last year using large images as the background of the website. We believe that this trend is here to stay. Even if some websites are designed without large background images, there is no doubt that large banner images will increasingly be used in addition to white space for text. Take a look at the Atlantic Beach Golf Club website recently developed by The Formula as an example of a website that uses large, wide angle images on each page.

6. Roll and scroll rather than click

Many of you will have noticed that more modern website designs feature longer pages which require the visitor to scroll down for information rather than click on a series of buttons across the top of the website page. Information is broken up into logical sections and divided between images, text, video content and the diagrammatic representation of simplified information. In addition, we are seeing a move away from drop down menus which can be difficult to navigate when accessing a website via a mobile device. Take a look at a few examples of single page websites HERE.

7. Maximise screen retail with slide-out menus

In line with the simpler look and feel of modern web designs, we are seeing an increasing number of websites being produced using slide out menus which are accessible to the right or left of the screen. Again Microsoft has led this trend with its navigation standard now found in Windows 8. The slide-out menu is a great option for mobile web browsing as space is always a consideration. See some fantastic examples of slide-out menus HERE.

8. Make info scannable with tiled design

Owing once again to the navigation standard found in Windows 8, we can expect to see more website designs which feature text, graphics and images presented in a series of tiles across the page. The idea behind this design trend centres on the need to provide visitors with an easily scannable overview of information in easily digestible portions. Tiles are often designed to expand on click or mouse-over to reveal more information. View a few of the best examples of catalogue websites that have used this style to great effect!

While it is admittedly a challenge to predict precisely what is going to happen in the year ahead, we can say with certainty that the web design trends which have emerged in 2014, will definitely begin taking root in 2015. With the significant increase in smartphone users across all sectors of society, companies will have little option but to deliver better online experiences for their customers.


At The Formula we ensure that we remain at the forefront of design trends and tech innovation at all times. Why not let our talented website design and online marketing team help you boost your business success with a free consultation? Call Garth or Shiraz on 021 556 5661 or email us: info@theformula.co.za to set up your free online marketing consultation today.

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