Web Design Trends in Last 5 Years (Secret know-how)

I’ve been surfing on the web over the years, rambled on here and there with a keen eyes for well designed websites. I saw web design trends come on go. Some stayed for a while & some took a lot time to disappear. A non geek usually thinks that he needs to get his website up and running for once and he is set for life. It’s not THAT easy. Web design trends change a lot. And, eventually, a famous trend fades away with time. As a result, your business falls off cliff.

The most basic example, which even a newbie would understand, would be the rise of flat design. Few years back all the websites were 3D-ish (With the use of flash, gradient, drop shadows and so on).

An old 3D-ish Website.

As you can easily see, the website is full of shadows, gradients and 3D look.

Then, flat UI components started to enter the market and all the web designers ran after it. I still remember designmodo’s flat UI kits.


Flat color palette & simplicity really won designer’s heart. Supposedly, the main trendsetter behind flat design was Microsoft. They set the design trend in web industry for the first time with their Metro Style.

Microsoft’s Metro Style

After that flat design constantly ruling the market, but there are subtle change going on. For instance, Big blurred hero image ruled for a while. But it didn’t last long.

Website with Blurred Hero Image

After that, iOS introduced parallax effects which blew everyone's mind. It became a buzzword in the web design industry. Every client wanted their website to parallax (whether they understood it on not). To understand this effect, you need to experience it practically. Visit these websites to understand parallax effects.




I, myself, am a big fan of this effect. I used this effect on my product, too.


Website made by me http://goo.gl/FdN7Vi

Meanwhile, super minimal websites also got some attention. Some designers like that style. It was introduced by Sqaurespace. Elegant typography, killer photography, and “less is more” theory made Squarespace pretty famous all around the web.


In recent days, Google came up with Material design which got attention in design industry. It’s flat, too. However, there’s this subtle drop shadow going on in some of the UI elements that made Material design unique from others. Google set a Material design guideline and many people are following on their web design projects. Android phone and most of Google products use this style of design.

Old Blog example

The last example is actually the interesting one.

The website you’re on right now, Medium, set the trend in web industry, too. In the past, blog posts were busy and boring with sidebars going on, in each post. Medium changed it all, all the modern blogs have Medium-like look these days. No sidebar, whatsoever.

Simplicity took over.

So, as you can see, web design changes a lot with time. Change is the only constant thing here in design industry. Being Avant-garde is hard, really. If you have any questions tweet me at @gfxbucket. To end it up, I’ll leave the famous Bob Dylan lyric here:

And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.