The web is constantly evolving and web designers are adapting their styles accordingly in order to reflect the new technology and the expectations of today's web users.
When employing the services of a graphic designer to create your website it's important that you are confident that your designer is up to speed with not only the latest style trends, but the latest technology and how users expect the be able to interact with your website.
The overall look of your website will obviously vary depending on what line of business you are in and who you are aiming your product/service at i.e. your target audience. But there are still some basic trends that are developing that will no doubt influence the appearance of your site.
Current trends in the design of web sites tend towards simplification. Modern, clean and simple designs make a site more arresting and easier for the user to read and understand.
Here's a brief summary of some of the main trends:
Use of strong colour – backgrounds are kept muted saving the strong colours to pull important areas of the web site to the fore. Whether it be text or graphics bursting with bright colour – trends focus on bold reds and other intense colours demanding attention.
Neutral Backgrounds – Use of white, greyscale or pastel backgrounds prevent the eye from being distracted from important areas of the site being emphasised by the use of strong colour, flashing or 3D effects, all of which are now frequently used.
Copious amounts of whitespace – To convey a message quickly and effectively, the eye and brain respond well to large amounts of white space surrounding the content. Space is the vital issue; it doesn’t necessarily have to be white.
Simplified Layout – Clear and uncluttered pages enable the reader’s attention to be drawn to those areas the designer wishes to highlight. Multi columns are being revisited as they ease readability and save the reader from having to scroll to the next page to keep reading.
Alignment of Text – Text is usually centred and aligned to both left and right margins within the columns. This creates order and balance, assisting the reader.
Frugal use of Icons and Logos – Whilst it is vital to highlight a company’s branding using logos and icons; their overuse can clutter and cheapen the look of the page. Less is more, use them sparingly, but make them count when you do.
3D and special effects – As with Logos, special effects are often be used to demand the attention of the casual browser, but by common consent it is agreed that their overuse will dumb down a site and take the overall image down market.
Text Size – Unsurprisingly, the fashion to use larger text for the most important messages on a site, ensures that the reader’s attention is directed to the principle points.