It is now a changing-ever society. Everything is changing every day. Something will change a lot, while something will only have a tiny change that you cannot notice it. We even cannot know for sure what our tomorrow will become. One of your friends may ask you that “what about having dinner together tomorrow?” You may say: “Sure.” Then, your friend asks: “Are you positive about that?” Can you answer it firmly again: “Sure!”? Most of people may hesitate for a while, and rethink of your situation, respond to your friend: “Probably OK.”
This situation may happen every day in our lives. It is same with the web design layout. The web has changed a lot over the last decades. The two pictures below show the different kinds of web layout. For the first picture, you may find it is the most common layout when you surf online. These websites always consisted of a specific and apparent header, footer, sidebar and content area. It is more like there is a fixed pattern, and the designer just fills in different contents into the pattern. It is a pattern called pattern of focal point, which is a pattern designed based on the focus when humans scan and read through a design. (Steven Bradley ,2011) However, this pattern over- emphasizes the evenly distributed and text-heavy content. It also makes many designers only cram the pattern without the creative ideas.
At the same time, we may also meet the website like the second picture. It is a new layout emerging these years that does not stick to a strict formula. Based on Patrick McNeil, who is a Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Missouri St. Louis (2015) said, “The new norm as it were, is that there appears to be no fixed formula at all.”
Based on this situation, many website developers may find it is difficult to design the excellent website in the future due to the diversity and uncertainty. However, we can still forecast four most popular trends of web design layout in 2015. I will introduce them in detail. However, I have to stress again that I am not positive about that, and no one can be positive about anything, since the changing world. All of them are only observable high level trends.
Many websites split the screen using a vertical divide, (See the second picture above) since they may have two primary contents of equal importance, or try to express a kind of duality.
Many web designers have thrown away the extra chrome, such as the stereotypical header, footer, and other elements that separate the page into different blocks. From the example of watch website, it is a quite creative layout design which is also suitable to the product itself. The consumers need to take a look of the product’s appearance carefully, and the website satisfies this kind of need immediately after potential consumers open the website. Simultaneously, it removes the block of traditional navigation to make the whole webpage look like wholeness, with the product shining in the page.
Modular or Grid Based
Just like the example below, this website divides the page into four different modules, and uses certain color-adjusting technologies to make the four parts connected. In this design, each module will flex following on the screen size. It is also a popular trend that taken a lead by the responsive web design, which is a design of webpage to make the page delivered in variable screen sizes. (“HTML Responsive Web,” n.d.)
Filling a single screen
It is also a subset of responsive web design. This kind of website will be designed to completely fill in the whole screen. They will not provide scroll bar, either. For this kind of website, the designer must make sure that the content has been focused and the hierarchy of different parts has been established. Since the visual hierarchy is one of the most important communication tools between the designer and the audiences. (Brandon Jones, 2011) The audiences will only focus on the most obvious content based on your subject arrangement. (see the example below)
To conclude, these four trends are like the building blocks of web design in the future. They can be assembled in many different ways. (Patrick, 2015) No one can tell you for sure what the website will become. Actually, in the world of web technologies, no one can tell you they are positive about anything. That is exactly where the attractive and exciting point of website is.
“Are you positive about that?” “No.”
3 Design Layouts: Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern, And F-Pattern – Vanseo
Design. (n.d.). Retrieved from
4 essential layout trends for 2015 | Webdesigner Depot. (n.d.). Retrieved from
HTML Responsive Web. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Understanding Visual Hierarchy in Web Design.(n.d.). Retrieved from