There were a lot of amazing design trends in 2014. Many of them built upon great foundations of design and took the capabilities of the web to new levels. As new devices that folks use to read/interact with the web are produced they can enhance user experience. In turn, many times design trends change, improve, and/or are limited by these popular devices (can anyone say goodbye Flash?).
Here are a few, in my humble opinion, good design trends that are here to stay. At least for another year.
1. Mobile-first design
The stats are in and designers can no longer ignore the fact that XX% of users browse websites using a mobile device. Mobile-first design means that your website is designed to function well and look awesome on a mobile devise FIRST, then scaled up using responsive code to look great on all devices, no matter what size screen they are viewed on.
2. Content-first websites
Folks love reading, looking at images, and watching videos. They also love consuming this great content on all sorts of devices: phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs; the list is overwhelmingly large. This is why simple, content-first designs are going to be a bigger trend in 2015. Forget the fancy bells and whistles. How does the user experience your content on multiple devices? This will be an even more important factor in site design this year. Watch for website design to be more about the content (helpful videos, valuable text, and large hero images) and less about the fancy stuff (sorry, parallax scrolling) this year.
3. User experience
When the user experience is flawless, the content stands out. Good design decisions in 2014 saw an emphasis on user experience, personalization, and interaction. User experience must not only be seamless, but the design and interaction must FEEL easy. Look for navigation to mature and personalized user experiences to become even more popular this year.
4. Flat design
This trend also supports the trend toward enhanced mobile user experience. By removing gratuitous design elements that imitate depth in graphics, flat design means sites will look cleaner, load faster, and complement content better.
5. One-page websites
Readers still prefer scrolling over clicking (or tapping on mobile) as it allows for a more dynamic experience, reduces page load times, and is physically easier to navigate on more devices. Look for this trend to become more sophisticated in 2015.