This is a guest contribution from Owen Andrew.
Since mobile internet began to overtake desktop internet usage in January 2014, there have been major innovations in website design in light of this trend. In general, websites have been opting for a simpler, mobile-friendly design. Maintaining a blog in such a fast-paced environment can be a huge challenge, but staying on top of trends is required for success. In order to keep your blog interesting and relevant in the upcoming year, there are five design trends to keep in mind when continuing your work in 2015.
Emphasis on Mobile
With so many people turning to their mobile devices when going online, it’s no wonder that many blogs have begun creating content that is easy viewable on smaller screens. While mobile used to be a consideration, for web-savvy designers, mobile is now the focus. If a site doesn’t work on mobile, you are now neglecting what is likely the majority of your audience, so start any web design process by focusing on mobile, and adapt that design to work on a desktop screen, rather than vice versa.
Focus on Typography
Thanks to Google Fonts, a free package of various typefaces, and a recent decrease in typography package prices, there has been renewed interest in creating a unique look through higher-end typography. Typography is not only useful for creating a more beautiful, unified look for your blog or website, it can also have a large impact on the readability of your text– especially on mobile platforms. For example, fonts such as Verdana and Georgia have been shown to have the best readability on screens. Small touches such as typography can lend a lot to a site, and help it stand out among the competition.
Because of the new emphasis on mobile, the web design landscape is expected to be much more minimalist than in previous years. The emphasis on flat designs and stripped-down icons will be more present in 2015. Apple, Microsoft, and Google have all embraced two-dimensional buttons and icons recently, and other websites are beginning to follow suit.
Large Background Photos
A major web design trend in the upcoming year, large background photos have become popular because of their ability to fill in an otherwise sparse, minimalist site. This trend has been facilitated by an increase in bandwidth across the globe, and allows for scrolling sites filled with large pictures and lots of information. Using large background pictures is great for home pages, and when used with flat-design buttons lends any website or blog an expansive, elegant appearance.
To accommodate the simpler look that is currently prominent in website design, bloggers and blog sites have started utilizing expandable menus in order to keep the blog decluttered and clean-looking. These expandable menus are often integrated with flat designs that use intuitive, minimalist icons rather than three-dimensional ones. These expandable menus are especially well suited for mobile, where they can stay out of the way of the text and media.
Blogging, especially for a living, is an extremely competitive field. Keeping up-to-date on current trends in design will enhance your content by supporting it with a cleaner, more modern look. The internet is estimated to contain more than 152 million blogs! Staying ahead of the curve on advances in technology and design will help your blog keep ahead of the pack.
Owen Andrew is a tech journalist and Apple enthusiast. When he’s not writing or drooling over the latest Apple announcement, he’s usually hanging with his kids and doing family activities. Feel free to give him a shout on G+ or Facebook.
I’ve always loved Georgia :)
Thanks for this, very helpful
Nice entry! I agree with most of the points here, particularly on placing a larger emphasis on mobile, as well as on typography.
I love seeing large background images on websites and when used correctly with parallax scrolling, it makes for a nice effect.
Great insights! Now, I just need to figure out what direction I want my blog to go in the next year or two.
Owen I am huge on minimalist designs and figure that by filling my blog with less I’ll move the focus to my content. Loving these tips! Why distract my readers with countless ads and images and filler? Keep it simple. For both your desktop and mobile readers. Especially with all these folks reading on their iPhones these days if you keep things lean your content can be read and consumed in a timely fashion. Or, people’ll see your content because that darn iPhone really chops down blogs lol.
Smart share Owen. Keep up the great work!
I would love to websites move away from slide-based articles. I understand why some use that approach, but it’s very annoying to end users especially on mobile devices.
I appreciate your thoughts on a simple design. Most people tend to go for the bells and whistles!
I’ve recently revamped my author site. I had purchased a theme that was supposed to work on mobile, but there were issues with the menu bar. Ugh!
I ended up using a free theme instead. I am still revamping the colour scheme, however, and will continue to work on that site until it looks perfect.
Wording Well, on the other hand, which is my business site where I offer various services such as writing, editing, and coaching/consultations, works great on all devices!
Brilliant points. Thanks for the tips to remember while choosing a template. (Y)
Thanks for this post. I also think that view on smart phones became more important than desktop because its growing popularity.
When designing a website especially for mobile you have to design it in such a way that is strategically designed and developed to communicate to your visitors and make them do something subconsciously.
A topic close to my heart – website or blog design. Good points and I almost agree with all of them. Whilst I try to keep my blog simple and minimilist but can not help sometimes when several functionalities are to be added. One such example is the Sidebar, I have been avoiding it since day one but there is a constant growing need to introduce it again and use it for some important widgets which don’t go anywhere else.
Thanks for sharing some solid and robust advice.
Andrew, thanks you have categorically helped and supported newbie to understand what going to be future… this will help us plan for next…
Thanks a Lot
Thats right, and responsive design will be helpfull to use.
This post has come at a good time! I would like to make some changes to my site and update the look a little bit.
Thanks for sharing. I never heard about this before, I just learned something new.
So cool! I’m actually changing my domain / blogname and I’m currently working on the design. (And still have to change all my social media accounts and links etc… that should be fun haha!) As a fashion blogger I really love the minimalistic design so I did incorporate that in my new site. The expendable menus were also a big plus on my new site as it’s much more user friendly now I think!
Most people use either a smart phone or tablet to view the websites now. A website must be able to be viewed easily on those devices now.
Creating an app for your blog or website is so inexpensive now as well.
The shift from computers to mobile phones and smart phones and for this responsive design will play a major role.
Thanks for sharing this info. I think the user percentage for mobile devices would increase exponentially in the near future. I hope we see much more focused efforts from web designers and developers for creating mobile user friendly web entities.
The competetion level has really increased, Bloggers in 2015 must keep in mind that if they are not adopting these types of advice from Pro blogger then they are not likely to survive any more.
Thanks Darren, You are always in my list of Super Heroes :)