Web Design Trends for 2015 - Storytelling

23rd January 2015

As the state of web design has evolved and grown over the years developers can no longer be satisfied by putting content on to a website in an organised manner. As the capabilities of the web grow, so do viewers expectations. People no longer want to only be fed information, they want a story to be told to them.

Over the last couple of years scrolling has become the new clicking. No longer are there journeys through websites but there are now journeys through individual pages. When a user starts at the top of the page and works their way to the bottom they want their journey to be as interesting as possible.

So what the hell does that mean?

Take a look at this pretty cool example from the New York Times which will help me illustrate my point:

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

In days past this would have just been a plain text article with little to spice up the viewers journey aside from the odd picture here or there. However in 2015 I predict we're going to see a heavier steer towards developing not only the information given to the viewer, but also the way it is presented.

All of the individual parts that go into a page - the font, colours, imagery, copy and interactive elements are all narrative tools that can be pieced together to embody concepts, values and tell a story.

What I've seen spreading across the web is the use of parallax scrolling and waypoint trigger based events to animate and bring to life the content of a web page as the user gets to it. This can range from full fledged parallax driven masterpieces to simply fading text or image blocks in as you scroll to them in a subtle attempt to draw the eyes gaze.

A quick google around the web and you see some websites presenting an interesting and engaging journey:

http://bricedarmon.com/

http://defydesign.no/

http://zorbixdesign.com/themes/sequence/

This trend seems to go hand-in-hand with other key concepts. These user journeys seem to lead more “get to know us” feel than the “we are so great” feel which is refreshing. A lot of these designs seem to be fueled by custom professional photography rather than stock photography. You're getting to see real people and real places. These honest and more personable approaches are great selling tools.

Of course not every website is going to be able to tell a story, but just from these examples it's not hard to imagine this technique popping up all over the web - which I think it will. The way the web is evolving there are now very few limitations as to how information is presented to the user. As a result 2015 should see a vast enrichment in storytelling, and I'm definitely ready for a fun journey.