Since the 1990s, web design has continued to evolve. Rapid advances in technology and the undeniable rise of the internet have contributed massively to the development of the web and within it, the application of methods that were previously used in the graphic/design industry. Meanwhile, e-marketing has had to adapt to graphic/design trends, while taking into account its own specifics and rules. Take for example the major trend of Responsive Design.
This technique was able to address important layout issues that resulted from the proliferation of mobile screens (smartphones, tablets). Responsive Design perfectly translates the challenges of new design layouts; combining ergonomic techniques and appeal in one search for optimisation. As for emails, the stakes remain the same; they still focus on reactivity and deliverability. There are numerous constraints, such as reduced reading time and stricter policies from ISPs and MSPs that are now based on the reactivity of users. As a result, marketing brand strategies have increasingly impacted email design.
So how do we will combine trends and emailing in 2015, whilst maintaining good delivery and conversion rates?
Preparation of a flat base design for a homogeneous mixture
Flat Design with solid colours will continue to dominate our screens in 2015. Since last year, this trend seems to be defeating skeuomorphism and glossy effects from Web 2.0. Flat Design highlights the important information and scans all the frills deemed unnecessary in the layout. The drivers of this trend are the graphic icons that have been completely reviewed and as a result regained their quality: simplicity. Today, with the diversity and accessibility of screens (mobile phones, tablets), refining and synthesising emails is becoming more and more important.
Furthermore, Flat Design is characterised by the extensive use of solid and bright colours: an effective solution for differentiating elements in a layout. The use of colour has proven to be very useful in enhancing the readability of emails. The trend of using spaces through a minimalist design also allows for emails to be read quickly all the while targeting mobile users.
While Flat Design may seem like a trend to follow in relation to emails, it must be used wisely. Indeed if your design is too flat, it does not allow for a good perception of any ‘calls to action’ (links, buttons…).
Recommendation: contrast your design with appropriate volume effects. In conjunction, other graphic trends can then be used.
Paper Art, Font, Geometry…: Pump-up the volume!
Trends in fashion in 2015 will present good alternatives for using volume while blending perfectly with Flat Design.
The Geometric Design is expressed through simple shapes such as circles or rectangles. These shapes can be integrated into large images or within the ‘calls to action’, such as Windows 8.
Paper Art or paper trend, has entered web design in 2009 bringing relief in the layout. Taking its origin in the art of folding or origami, its purpose is to represent the paper shapes by playing with bright colours like Flat Design, in the spirit of handmade of DIY (Do It Yourself). The highlights of this trend are the craft and playfulness that give relief to clickable elements.
Recently, all types of Typography became compatible with browsers. Because of this development, typography is now considered a central element to web composition. Unfortunately this is not the case with emails, so be sure to incorporate them into your images.
Do you know what Blurred Design is? These are the out of focus background images. These effects are perfect for refining and bringing light into your compositions. However, be careful not to damage the text-image ratio.
Bear in mind how useful it is to follow trends while also taking into account the various email support features. Emphasise readability and modernity by introducing elements of current graphical trends. The choice of these trends should be chosen according to the industry, your corporate ID and the objectives of your email campaign. Never forget that like cooking, email is an art and each ingredient must agree with one another. A deep analysis should be carried out on the design of your campaign every step of the way. The success of your actions will depend on it, so go ahead and cook up some emails!
By Jonathan Murray, NP6 Country Manager.
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