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Web site design has come a long way in the last 10 years and now, more than ever, web designers are working closely with clients to ensure the pages they produce have the best chance of being seen by the viewers that they need to be seen by… There are some interesting trends in web site design that are worth exploring in some detail. They are not new but they are getting more popular and so they are worth considering and maybe incorporating into your web design work in the future;

1 Large Background Image

A large background image can be an important focal point for a home page. There are many examples out there of well- designed contemporary web sites that use this. It is a great strategy that allows the designer to have a more relaxed approach to their page design, allowing a great photograph or illustration to do a lot of the work for them. Instead of having to come up with lots of different graphical elements, a large engaging background image and a simple user interface with a menu and minimal clutter has a fresh, open feel that many clients are opting for now. It also gives the site a memorable “look” that corporate clients are very enthusiastic about presently, so as a design trend, it has to be recognized and considered. Once a nice image has been chosen and agreed on with the client, the designer can then overlay some graphically appropriate text and link elements in the open spaces in the image (the image may well be chosen or cropped/manipulated to allow this) like sky, for instance, in a landscape shot.

2 Single Page Web Sites

Along with the big background image we now see more and more sites that have all their content displayed on the home page, eliminating the need for a menu and also requiring less in the way of written content. This minimalist approach seems to be gaining popularity possibly because people want to get their information quickly and with the minimum of searching. Instead we see a trend towards single page sites with their content sub topics separated by colour scheme, often with smooth scrolling clickable button links. So, for example you might have a home page that starts with a large image then as you scroll down there are different subjects and colour schemes and so on that separated from each other graphically while being fast to navigate through.

3 Subtle Graphical Textures

The effectiveness of subtle textures in the graphic elements of a well- designed web site cannot be understated. It simply makes the site more visually enjoyable to use, when the textures are organic like granite or simply made from digital “noise” as long as they are used subtly with a sense of integration and continuity, they can make a web site really stand out from the pack. More and more corporate and entertainment sites are opting for a more textural approach to their design elements but subtlety is the key feature. Used without subtlety you can easily end up with a visual nightmare but when used carefully and intelligently, the results can be alluring, engaging and rewarding for the user.

The use of gradients, layering and tonal subtlety are becoming increasingly popular in modern web design and should be a at least a consideration whenever designing modern web sites for paying clients.