Mobile devices have become so popular that Web designers have started to reconsider the way they approach development. As the number of people accessing the Internet via mobile devices continues to grow, websites will have to evolve. Here are five mobile Web design trends that you can expect to see gain prominence in 2015.
1. Longer Scrolling, Fewer Links
Clicking a link is easy when you have a mouse. It isn’t quite so easy when you’re smashing your finger against a smartphone screen.
Links will play important roles in 2015, but more websites will start to minimize the amount that they use. Instead, they will offer longer scrolling that lets visitors navigate by moving their thumbs up or down.
2. Hidden Navigation
Some websites will take link-minimization even further by hiding navigation tools. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about how people use mobile devices to browse websites.
Navigation tools claim a lot of real estate on your screen. By collapsing those tools into a single icon, designers can free up space for more important information. If you need to navigate to another part of the site, you simply tap the icon to open the navigation bar.
Some people will have a difficult time with this at first. They will look at their screens, wondering how they can actually get somewhere. It won’t take long before they get used to clicking a navigation icon to travel through a site’s pages. Eventually, they will come to understand why this makes so much sense.
3. No More Sidebars
Hidden navigation will make it easier for designers to get rid of something that they’ve disliked for a long time: sidebars. Sidebars are convenient navigational tools for people using laptops and desktop computers. They’re blocky and ugly, but they’re useful.
When it comes to mobile devices, sidebars can make a website practically impossible to use. The sidebar constantly interferes with content, jutting out where it doesn’t belong. Sidebars also make it too easy for clumsy thumbs to click links unintentionally. It doesn’t take long before visitors get frustrated and abandon the site.
Hear this 2015 motto loud and clear: No More Sidebars!
4. More Mobile First Responsive Design
Today, consumers can choose from a wide range of screen sizes. Successful websites will automatically adjust so that mobile first responsiveness on your iPhone 6 doesn’t look the same as mobile first responsiveness on another device. In other words, what can look great on the iPhone 6’s 4.7-inch Retina HD display won’t look the same on the 5 or 6-inch screen of another smartphone.
Websites need to adjust to the specifications of each device to keep visitors interested.
This will also become an increasingly popular trend because more platforms have made mobile first responsiveness their default setting. Designers won’t even have to think about it much. Viewing a website on multiple devices has already become one of the most important ways for designers to decide whether they need to make changes. That will only become more important as people keep using smartphones to access the Internet.
5. Better Images
Good images used to cost a lot of money. If a designer wanted a great photo, he or she would need to work with a professional photographer. It was either that or rely on cheesy graphics. The Internet has matured a lot over the past decade. Those graphics do not cut it anymore.
The good news is that professional stock images have gotten easy to find and cheap to buy. Companies like Getty Images and Shutterstock offer millions of high-resolution images at affordable prices. Instead of hiring a photographer, designers will use these services more often so their pages look professional and trustworthy.
Mobile devices are making big changes in how people use the Internet. What other trends to you expect to see in 2015?