5 Key Website Trends from 2015

December gets away from us. Shopping, wrapping gifts, holiday parties and events and countless end-of year deadlines. You know you’re also supposed to be thinking about marketing plans for 2016. If your plans include a new website, here are some key web trends from 2015.

Top of Mind Marketing_peugeot

One 2015 website trend: split screens. Peugeot uses a split screen to show the emotional connection between a car and its owner

1. Minimalism. Minimalism is the trend that’s driving all other trends.

Google’s April algorithm change placed an emphasis on mobile and elevated the importance of quality content. By minimizing distractions, websites can now focus more on content. Footers, sidebars and borders are all disappearing. Even color palettes are being simplified as companies emphasize one dominant color in their visual design. Love this. Think about what it is you want to showcase—content or portfolio—and white space becomes an important design element.

2. Menus are taking their lead from apps

The mobile market has had a huge impact on the way we think about navigation. Sticky menus and sidebars: Make room for content that readers actually want to see. Menus are at the top of the screen and are mostly hidden, noted by a single icon, that stack of three little lines with which we’ve become familiar on our mobile devices. There’s a name for this—it’s called a “hamburger”–when selected, it either drops down or slides out to provide more options, which is what a menu is supposed to do.

3. Forget boring stock images; step up to Unsplash or 500px

The days of the generic stock photo may be over; move over for stunning visuals. With communities like 500px and Unsplash, the old standbys start to look staid and boring. These images are high-res and seriously beautiful, though if you need those that are business-specific, you’re going to be disappointed. These sites are free, you can subscribe, have images sent to you each week and you can contribute images of your own. With the iPhone 6s’s ability to take stunning high-res images, people are going to be contributing more of their own favorite pictures. This is only going to get better.

4. Single page design

Apparently nobody wants to click through multiple pages anymore. Frankly, this feels like we’re going back to the early days of web design. Remember that first-generation site that we all had a gazillion years ago that was pretty rudimentary? We weren’t as savvy then about organizing information so into a smart drilldown schematic. Scrolling through content on one looooong page is back, and this trend also has its roots in mobile web surfing because it’s infinitely easier to scroll down one long page than to be clicking through pages on your phone. While there’s still going to be drilldown, smart designers will be simplifying their navigation.

5. Vertical split layouts

Split screen layouts are popping up all over the web this year. With a vertical split layout, designers are able to present twice the content in a clean and simple format. Websites are divided in half widthwise, featuring two separate messages. The split screen is a great way to show relationships between two things because standard web layouts dictate the most important things come first. Peugeot uses a vertical split layout on its homepage to blend the human element of the car with the car itself–the relationship between driver and vehicle.

If a new website is part of your 2016 marketing agenda, we’d love to talk with you. Contact Top of Mind Marketing for a complimentary consultation.

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