To maintain an effective online presence, it's crucial to stay abreast of the latest web design trends. Without periodically refreshing and updating your site to reflect the latest innovations, you're going to be surpassed by the competition at every turn. Internet users are savvier than ever, and they expect the best. If your site is clearly outdated, it doesn't reflect well on your business. With these points in mind, what does 2015 have in store for us in terms of web design trends? More importantly, how can you incorporate them into your site? One thing's for sure: Don't waste your time with ready-made WordPress templates or cheap web design services. To make the most of the latest web design innovations, the help of a talented and experienced digital design agency is in order.

Without further ado, here are the top web design trends to watch in 2015:

Scrolling Overtakes Clicking

You've probably already noticed this trend. Many sites are abandoning the click-to-view-the-next-page concept in favour of pages that scroll much, much longer. This trend largely arises from the skyrocketing popularity of mobile, which is much more conducive to scrolling than to clicking. This is translating well on desktops and other devices too because people tend to get frustrated when asked to continually click just to view all of the content on a page.

Interactive Sites that Tell Stories

Instead of dryly presenting information to visitors, sites are increasingly conveying that information in a more approachable, story-like way. This lends a site a more personal feel and makes it easier for people to relate to whatever is being presented to them. To drive home the main point, these stories are increasingly being enhanced with interactive elements that grab and keep people's attention. For instance, different elements may appear based on how someone scrolls or hovers while viewing a site. This is an excellent way to hold onto someone's attention long enough to get your point across, and it tends to make the experience much more enjoyable and interesting too.

Custom, High-Quality Photos

Stock photography will always have a purpose. However, it's increasingly being overshadowed by high-quality, custom photos on many business websites. Web designers are realising the importance of establishing a unique brand for a site. These days, it's the only way to go if you want your site to stand out. When people see the same stock photos again and again, those sites become little more than a blur in their minds. With custom photos, you can establish a truly unique design. You can even incorporate photos of people who work for your business to make the site even more personable and approachable. There's one catch, though: The photos need to be of exceptional quality lest they lend your site an amateurish appearance.

Huge Typography

This one is partly made possible by the increased trend toward scrolling versus clicking. Scrolling sites free up lots of real estate on a webpage. When space is at a premium, using large type is wasteful. When space is less of an issue, large typography can be used to make a bold, unforgettable statement. Sites tend to reserve large typography for their most important messages. If there's something your audience simply must know before anything else, splashing it across the page in a bold, oversized font is the way to go.

Design Influenced by Load Times and Performance

With the proliferation of mobile devices, creating sites that load quickly and reliably is more important than ever. Google has even stated that site load times and performance have a huge impact on SEO, so it's crucial to put a top priority on these factors. Not surprisingly, the emphasis on webpage load times and performance has influenced web design trends. Sites have become cleaner and less cluttered. File sizes have been pared down. The use of clunky, unneeded graphics has gone the way of the dodo. As a site is designed, keeping an eye on how it performs across all devices is absolutely vital, and a talented design agency will keep that in mind.

Responsive Web Design is Evolving

Responsive web design isn't a newcomer to the scene anymore. It's not really optional, either. It's the simplest way to ensure that your message is received clearly and effectively across all devices. Now that it's been embraced by the Internet at large, it's evolving. In 2015, you can expect to start seeing responsive web design incorporated into more native apps. This trend is especially being pushed along by the increased popularity of wearables. Before too long, all online content will be accessible whether you're on a desktop, a smartphone or using a smartwatch or other device.

Bold, Vibrant Design

Visually arresting design elements are taking the Internet by storm. As the year progresses, you can expect to run across more and more sites that incorporate bold, graphical elements into their designs. These elements are typically arrayed over simple, clean backdrops for optimal "pop." What's more is that animation is increasingly being used to make these elements all the more arresting. However, they're not done willy-nilly. They are done with a purpose in mind and are usually triggered by visitors' actions.

Motion

Flash may be a thing of the past, but that doesn't mean sites are destined to remain static. If anything, motion is becoming a more integral part of modern web design than ever, and that will become especially apparent in 2015. The difference now is that motions and animations aren't just happening for the sake of it. They are being used in response to actions by the user. This helps to enhance the interactive quality of a site in a big way, making visitors feel more like they're engaging with a site rather than passively viewing it. This is enormously beneficial to businesses too because it increases engagement and enhances the likelihood of conversion.

Flat/Material Design

For a while there, web designers were attempting to create sites that reflected "real life" by incorporating things like 3-D images, shadows and other elements. Internet users aren't wowed by this kind of thing, so the pendulum has swung the other way. Flat design is the result, and it refers to a design that has a classical, digital style that doesn't attempt to look "real." Usability is the point here, so a minimalistic style wins out every time. Open space, clean, crisp lines and edges, 2-D images all converge to create the "flat" aesthetic. In 2015, you can expect this to increasingly evolve into "material design," which has already been championed by Google. Inspired by classic design principles, material design then enhances them with innovative, tech-savvy touches that help them translate well across all devices.

How many of these emerging trends are reflected in the design of your website? Unless you've updated your site in the very recent past, chances are that none of them are being used. By upgrading your site to include them, you can ensure that it remains fresh, relevant and compelling to modern Internet users. WordPress templates and cheap web design won't cut it. Contact Quantum your digital design agency today to get started.