Top web design styles to suit your individual project
The landscape of web design is ever evolving, from the flat design dominated environment of the internet in its infancy, to the wide array of approaches found today. When starting to design a website, the sheer number of choices can make it difficult to settle on a stylistic approach. You could, for example, opt for a classic flat design, long scroll, or card layout. The problem is that no design approach is inherently ‘better’ than another, generally speaking, so your choice of direction largely depends on the individual aspects of your project.
With this in mind, this article aims to provide you with an overview of the features, characteristics, strengths and drawbacks of several common web design styles. This way, whether you’re building your site from scratch or using a website builder to assist you with the process, it will be much easier for you to make an informed decision.
Flat design is considered the classic, standard option for websites however, at this point some now contend that they have become stale. Nevertheless,underestimate the potential of flat design at your peril – depending on the intended purpose of your site, it could be the right option for you. For starters, it’s highly customizable, so the accusation that flat designs are bland isn’t necessarily true. They can easily be combined with other elements of design, such as animations, large ‘hero images’, ghost buttons, and so on. Plus, flat designs are relatively easy to design responsively. For corporate and ecommerce sites in particular, where a combination of clarity and content is paramount, this design style remains a great choice.
This approach can provide a simple, yet elegant solution when done tastefully. Websites with scroll designs are usually comprised of separate elements, which users scroll down to view rather than having to navigate separate pages. The beauty of this is clear in that the lack of click-navigation avoids loading times and that it encourages you to display the most important information in an easily digestible form. Furthermore, it enables the seamless integration of galleries or slideshow, and it lends itself well to a story-telling format that multi-page sites simply cannot achieve. It can also mimic a multi-page design by utilizing scroll snap points, or use an infinite scrolling style instead. This form of website is ideal for design-focused topics, or to display distinct but related product features.
Hamburger menu design is most commonly used to supplement single-page websites. By incorporating a menu icon in the corner, which expands to reveal navigation to website categories, you can achieve the best of both worlds. This approach is enjoying a renewed level of popularity, in part because it offers smartphone and tablet users the functionality of a menu-bar without encroaching on the central homepage graphic or photo.The result is a clutter-free landing page with plenty of navigation options under the hood, so to speak, so long as you resist the temptation to over complicate the menu.The versatility of hamburger menus also makes them suitable for desktop design.
Videos and animations
When executed carefully, this approach can be a highly effective way to give your website an eye-catching edge. A video or animation to greet visitors will not only provide an alluring aesthetic element, but also help you emphasize your branding or convey an engaging non-verbal message. Alternatively, a simple gif, animation, or video can succinctly explain a product or service, making them a great option for brands and companies. There is a caveat, though – one which web designers will be all too familiar with. Especially if you use a video for your entire background, you run the risk of rendering your site virtually unusable for those who use outdated browser versions or have slow internet connections. Grappling with this is a hard reality of website design, so be sure to make an informed choice about animations based on your target audience.