Design trends are always changing, sometimes due to shifting tastes and fashions which are only temporary. However, many other design trends are driven primarily by functional and technological factors. There are the most important ones you need to consider.
1) Longer pages
Short pages used to be preferable, because scrolling was considered a nuisance and loading times would be affected. Now, faster internet speeds and users getting increasingly comfortable with mobile browsing have brought long pages back. Infinite scrolling is one of the most popular ways to keep delivering more and more relevant content with minimal effort for the user.
2) The fold is less relevant
As a result of our new-found love of scrolling, the page fold is not as important as it once was. Previously, anything placed below the immediately-visible area of a page was often missed entirely. Now, people tend to instinctively scroll down, as long as they are led to expect more content with subtle cues.
3) Speed is critical
This trend is not new, but it is changing. Having the fastest loading page is even more important now that the majority of pages can be loaded within a few seconds. Accelerated Mobile Pages are performing better on Google’s organic search results because they deliver content to mobile users almost instantly. People will still bounce off a page if they can’t understand its value immediately, though, so it’s about content and relevance as well as technical aspects.
4) High resolution images are expected
One major way to improve loading times always used to be compressing images and using the smallest possible files. However, this compromises quality significantly, and people viewing web pages on high-resolution monitors or phone screens can see the difference. Ultra-high resolution images that can still load quickly are now more common as a result. It’s also preferable to use vector images wherever possible (e.g. for logos and symbols) so they can be scaled to any size without losing quality.
5) Animation may be coming back
At one point, websites just wanted to be flashy and impressive, so anything that didn’t flash, spin around and play sound effects was considered boring. Once everyone decided that Flash wasn’t user-friendly (or search engine friendly) and distractions can ruin user experience, we started taking the opposite approach and making everything as flat and simple as possible. To an extent, some websites have taken this too far and are in desperate need of something more interesting to keep people naturally curious about what comes next. A bit of slick CSS animation can achieve this, often mimicking the more dynamic style of mobile apps which are more engaging than static websites. Smoothly animated pop-up messages are less startling and ad-like, while content that fades in as you scroll creates a very natural reading experience.