Web designers are also beginning to combine tried-and-tested elements in creative and experimental ways. The following five trends are presented individually but, in fact, many of these elements are combined in intriguing ways and will probably drive even new layouts for 2016.
1. Split screens
The split screen layout features a vertical divide that can present two elements. The reasons for this type of layout are two-fold:
- The business has two things to promote, and they are of equal importance, and the split allows users to select from the two.
- The business may want to promote the essentials of its niche on one side and present photos or media on the other half – perhaps to introduce staff or examples of products or services.
2. Block grids
The page is divided into several blocks – symmetrical or asymmetrical. These blocks may be all the same size, if the elements are of equal importance, or different sizes, based upon the order of importance of the content that is displayed. These modules can be used on pages other than just the home page, and, as well are designed to be flexible, so as to change size to fit full PC screens or reduced to fit screens of mobile devices.
3. No chrome
Decades ago, cars were large and encased, front and rear, by chrome embellishments. Today the term ‘chrome’ as it relates to site and page design, refers to all of the containers, headers, footers and borders that encase a page. Many layout web designers believe that this chrome distracts the user, when the focus should be solely on the focal point of the page – the brand/product/service or image representing these things.
By eliminating all of these distractions, a nice clean effect is achieved, and the menus and links are inconspicuously placed on the page free of containers. As well, no border, header or footers pull the eye away from the desired focus.
4. Single screen layout
As well as split screens, (ironically) single screens have come to the fore in 2015, too. These are unadorned screens that have the look of a television screen or a magazine-style opening image, often incorporating a scroll to ‘open up’ the site.
This layout provides a single image to capture a complete picture of the brand/product/service. The idea is to provide complete focus and utter clarity for the user. It is a pretty stunning effect, if the image or illustration is engaging and interesting for a viewer. Again, the clean design and absence of chrome mean no distractions.
5. Big backgrounds/parallax
A final design trend is in the use of big backgrounds that can set the tone and mood of the site. If they are busy backgrounds, than the other design elements in the middle and foreground must be minimalistic; however, a more minimalist background will support busier middle and foreground elements.