4 Essential Layout Trends for 2015
Times have changed. Nonetheless, if you try to look back at how websites have been designed in the last 10 years, you can say that nothing much has changed despite the numerous changes on the web.
More often than not, a web design consists of a header, footer, sidebar, and the area for the main content, which seems to be the default layout.However, web designers, UI experts, and layout artists have become brave in breaking the norms and creating new web layout designs, even taking them to a new and exciting level.
The year 2015 is drawing near to its end, and here is our list of layouts that have already impacted the web design industry by providing the users a compelling and dynamic experience.
1. Split Screens
This is one of the most riveting web layout trends that you need to watch out for not only this 2015 but in the coming years. If you want your website to stand out, you should seriously consider the split screen layout. Here are some of the important reasons why the split-screens layout is a must-apply:
Provides equal importance to two primary elements. It is a common thing for websites to rank each element according to its importance, which defines the order and structure of the design. However, what would you do if two elements are of the same importance, and you can’t seem to know which one to put over the other?
This is the advantage of the split-screens layout. With a split-screen, you can give prominence to both elements and enable the user to quickly choose between them. You can easily convey dual importance. For example, if you want to convey to your website visitors that your core strengths are your digital roots and talented staff, you can simply place one on the left side, and the other on the right side.
If you are a business website, a restaurant, for instance, you can place the identity of your brand on the left, and the list of the dishes that you offer on the right. If you are operating a clothing line website, you can use one side to feature some important information about your company while showcasing the photos of the latest clothing and apparel that you sell on the other side.
On the whole, a split-screen layout can either be a single and static page. However, if a company wishes to display more information or content, the content of the dual page can be scrolled down. There are some cases, though, wherein scrolling down one side of the split screens can result to the scrolling of the other side, too.
However, split screens provide a great deal of ease to users, especially if they are potential customers, as they are provided two sections to check so that they can easily find the item they wish to purchase, or a service that they need to avail. They can do it without having to spend a lot of time, thanks to the reduced clutter on the website and its more streamlined look.
Why Go for a Split Screens Layout
The look of your website, especially if it is a business-related, plays an important role in attracting potential customers. Hence, you have to ensure that it covers what potential clients want as you display the relevant information and other elements that will engage them.
Potential clients or customers looking for important information are easily dissuaded from staying in a website if they find it hard to navigate the site. If you opt to go for the split screen type of website layout, you will not only have a website that is visually appealing but is user-friendly, too.
The Rising Popularity of the Split Screens Layout
A lot of websites that have embraced the split screen layout, thanks to its qualification as a part of the responsive design. Responsive designs, as you already know, adjust a website to the proportions of the device where a site is viewed on. This is especially important as more and more people access the Internet using their mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Split screens can preserve a website’s proportions regardless of the device where it is accessed. If you can come up with split screen design correctly, you have a masterpiece. Many people are especially attracted to the vertical split design believing that it is a fantastic tool, much more if it becomes a fully responsive design.
Furthermore, in contrast to many other websites, a split-screen layout design gives a website an edgy look – big and bold, yet oozing with simplicity and power. However, you have to exercise a great deal of precautions when working on a website that makes use of the split screen. If you are not careful, your overall design may look like a before and after photo in magazines, newspapers, or social media.
How to Do the Split Screen
Another great thing about the split screen web design is that you can apply it on any type of theme that you have. With the help of a page builder, you can split the screen easily. The following is a great example of split screens web layout design.
2. Container-Free/ No Chrome Layouts
One of the major elements used in web design is containing elements, such as boxes, borders, shapes and containers of all types. They are used to divide the content of a page separately. However, things have changed nowadays as more and more websites are getting rid of these extra chromes. The new trend that many websites have embraced features the removal of any graphic structure to give way to a more free and open style.
This trend shares some common traits with minimalism. The difference is that it is totally devoid of any visual packaging. The content of the website itself is placed at the center, attracting the attention towards it. On the other hand, the importance of the information is determined by the choice of color, position, or typography instead of the structures and the boxes.
Foreword is one website that clearly makes use of the container-free/ no chrome layout. As you can see, its website has done away with the containers. With the use of colors and fonts, the attention of the users is focalized. Specifically, they bank on typography to provide the most important information about the company itself. On the other hand, the color is used to highlight the other clickable voices. There is no denying that this website is highly minimal, apart from, of course, being responsive.
There are some websites that have eliminated the use of the header and the footer at the same time. Such a move can make the website look like an interactive kiosk. In terms of hierarchy, the content can be done through a left-to-right arrangement. This can make the layout more intuitive. Obviously, there is no need for a chrome that will separate the content from navigation. As a result, the products stand out even more.
Great Way to Emphasize a Brand
If you remove the header and the footer, the brand that your website is promoting can be emphasized. The name of the company can be further highlighted and the statement on what your website does or offers can even be clearer to your visitors. Hence, your visitors are aware of your brand before they start to navigate it. It will make the overall flow of your website become more elegant.
You can easily achieve a neat and nice effect if you get rid of the distractions as you unobtrusively place the menus and links on the page that are devoid of containers. Additionally, if you have no borders, headers, and footers, the eyes will be more drawn to the subject of interest.
These days, the word chrome is no longer related to cars, but it is more identified with site and page design, particularly in reference to all of the headers, footers, containers, and borders that enclose a page. For many web designers, web layout designers, though, chromes are a distraction to the user and take away the focus from the very essence of a website, which can be the products or services that it offers, the photos and images associated with it, or the brand itself.
3. Modular or Grid Based
Each module of these designs is meant to flex based on the size of the screen. When you come to think of it, this isn’t really a new approach. However, since the introduction of responsive web design, the use of this layout design has even become more in demand, thanks to its usefulness. This suggests at the type of flexible layouts one can come up with, especially with the help of plugins like Masonry.
Websites That Have Embraced the Modular Layout
1. Team Bad Company. Without question, this example perfectly exemplifies the idea as the design is totally responsive. Since space is divided evenly, the design adapts evenly, regardless of the device where it is viewed. What makes this website further interesting is that it introduces an element in larger screen sizes that disrupts the stiff barriers between the modules themselves.
2. Madagascar Dreamworks. This example is a powerful description of the pattern. As compared to that of Team Bad Company, this layout features modules that are of varying sizes. You have to remember that the size of the modules is reflective of the importance and order of hierarchy. While it is true that modules of the same size have their own set of advantages, there is a risk involved in going for it, too; that is your website fails in making an emphasis to the major element.
3. Peachey Photography. If your website is meant to showcase your creative works, there is no questioning that you should go for the modular type page layout. For instance, this photography website makes use of this layout. Not only does it make its potential clients aware of the many impressive shots that he had taken, it provides them the ease of navigation, too. The more you can display on one screen, the more potential clients you can entice to go for your products or services.
4. White Frontier. This is another example of a website that has pulled off the use of modular layout. The page consists of 5 modules which are of different sizes. The biggest module, of course, bears the image that represents the products that they are selling. As you click on each module, you are taken to the different elements of the website.
5. Lardini. Another website that has embraced the modular layout is Lardini. After all, it is a must for every fashion-related website to showcase groups of marvelous photos that can be easily viewed non-intrusively. Hence, the use of a modular layout is really apt.
Developers are familiar with employing a grid system as a solid foundation for their websites. Because of this, they can easily overcome the difficulties or issues that they experience when they do the prototyping. They don’t only develop it into a project, but they also get to be creative with it. Hence, they can offer interesting solutions that result to exemplary effects and trendy styles.
Modular layout, without question, is essential in maintaining harmony between the elements of a website as it effectively organizes the multimedia data. This results to a balanced structure that provides a great ease for users. Likewise, this type of layout improves the ease of use as it gives the users a simple and quick access to comprehensible pieces of information. This type of layout can help prevent chaos in presenting your content-intensive website. Although modules can sometimes be slightly disproportionate in terms of their asymmetrical balance, the modular layout is still capable of organizing and managing your documents rather effectively.
WordPress Themes for a Modular Layout
Should you decide to go for the modular or grid layout for your website, you can easily do so if you purchase the following WordPress Themes:
Hybrid. This is a clean modern WordPress blog theme. Apart from being minimalistic, this theme is definitely clean and has a contemporary design. It is sure to leave your website users in awe. It is highly flexible, easy to customize, and is well-documented. This theme is perfect for blog, news, or an online shopping store. It boasts of numerous setting features, such as categories, layout, cover style, and sidebar. Furthermore, this theme is SEO-friendly.
NEO. This is a modern personal WordPress Theme that will enable you to display your content in a new way. This is also readable in all devices. NEO supports 8 post formats and is equipped with the capacity to display images, videos, and audio. This is most ideal for a personal store, blog, portfolio, and journal.
4. Filling a Single Screen
This layout is a subset of the responsive design where the layout completely adheres to the screen size. This type of layout adapts to fill the whole screen, and the whole layout does not contain scroll bars. Since scrolling is not available, the focus is mainly on the content. A single screen features either an image or a video clip.
And now this question: Would you go for this filled single screen layout? Well, when you really come to think of it, since this type of layout makes use of the whole screen, the image or the video that you use will be highlighted even more. In the event that you opt to use large images, and you use a compelling one that best represents your business, those who visit your website will have a clearer idea as to what your website is all about.
The Advantages of an Image-Focused Single Screen
It is said that a picture can paint a thousand words. This adage may have been around for ages, and it still rings true even in this day of technological advances. According to psychology experts, the brain is faster by as much as 60,000 times in terms of processing images as compared to reading texts. Therefore, the probability of the potential clients to be enticed to go for the services or products that you offer is much higher if you use the filled single screen layout, whether you bank on a video clip or a large image. The more eye-catching the image or the video clip that you use, the higher the probability for you to bait in potential clients or customers.
The most interesting thing about a filled screen layout is that all the information that the users need is properly arranged. The information can be placed over a large background image, ambient video background, or full-width sliders. More often than not, websites that make use of the full-screen layout feature a burger menu or fly out.
WordPress Themes for Single Screen
This WordPress theme is the most ideal for a business website. Apart from being modern, it is optimized based on CSS3 and HTML5. With this theme, your website can feature all the relevant information on a single page! You are also empowered to tweak every detail of your website. Since Onetone is highly customizable, you can apply all of your creativity to make your website even more enticing. It provides sections that you can commonly see on a professional business page such as gallery, about, clients, services, and many more. With the use of the versatile admin panel, you can add an unlimited number of additional sections, too.
Helix is an amazing website template for building a personal portfolio style blog. Helix is a free full-screen WordPress theme with a flat style menu on its left side. Additionally, it is a WordPress 3+ ready theme that boasts of features such as custom menu, full-screen slideshow homepage, widgetized sidebar etc. Helix also comes with an intuitive options panel that makes it possible for you to adjust several settings existing on the theme. With its broad and expansive full-screen slideshow on the homepage, capturing the attention of your online visitors is, without question, highly probable.
This is a free full-screen slideshow portfolio theme that is most suitable for creating personal, photography, and wedding photography blog or website. Wallbase offers a very unique and fully functional layout that will surely make your content stand out. With its professional and modern look, your website visitors, especially your target clientele, will surely be captivated. This theme provides you an option to use a regular blog with image slideshow as the background or a full-screen slideshow. Since this theme is fully responsive, its width adjusts automatically, regardless of the device where your site is viewed. This impressive theme boasts of multiple page templates for various purposes, such as contact page, full-width page, and many more. Wallbase also comes with a custom background color, custom post types, and an ad management feature.
The above-discussed layouts can be likened to building blocks. Just like building blocks, they can be assembled in more ways than one. The truth of the matter is that many of the mentioned samples can be moved to other categories that have been discussed. The design layouts of 2015 are a clear demonstration of the fusion of diversity and experimentation that results to the blending of the traditional and novel ideas. Finally, gone are the days of predictable and monotonous web page layouts.