The speed of changes in web design industry is incredible. Yesterday we were building shiny websites with layouts full of gradients and shadows, today it`s all about flat design, a combination between minimalism, modern typography and warm colors. Even if you`re an established freelancer or engaged in a creative agency or looking for one to hire you through job classifieds or by other ways, following trends and looking for ways to impress clients with pieces of your work is without a doubt, a winning recipe.
So, today we`ll speak about fullscreen websites.
What does fullscreen mean?
A fullscreen website is considered to be that website which is using the entire screen width and height to display its content. We`re talking here about rich-content media, regularly images and sometimes videos. Of course, text must be present too, no matter what.
From start, I want to clarify one aspect: fullscreen websites are not for anyone. You can`t build a blog based on such a layout. I mean, you can do it, but it will loose the principles of a blog, mainly because a fullscreen website is based on media, big images and in some cases videos, while a blog must keep the focus on words. With this being said, I just identified the key component of a full screen design: the image.
There are plenty of ways to use this kind of layout and it looks like the most common uses of it are for portfolios and product showcase websites. Fair enough! They mainly use images to present their valuable content. The bigger, the merrier!
No doubt, fullscreen websites look awesome. When you see one, you can actually feel that it has a personality and mainly because an image has the power to transmit feelings being way more beautiful than some plain text.
Despite the fact that things happen overnight nowadays, this trend didn`t come out of nowhere. Some factors paved the way for more and more fullscreen elements in web design.
The increase of internet speed made possible the use of larger files in all kind of project types, including web design.
Screen resolutions and sizes are getting bigger and bigger with time.
The development of mobile devices and tablets took to a new level of thinking the way a website should work. Today, a decent website relies on responsive design. In other words, it has to look good on an iPhone screen, but also on a 27 inches monitor, criteria which websites based on big images are respecting very well.
So, what`s the catch?
As usually, there`s a catch and can be noticed while browsing through such a website: it lacks in usability. It`s my point of view, but you can see for yourself what I`m talking about. A fullscreen website is meant to impress users. Because of that, navigating across multiple pages, discovering website`s content and even finding out what the website`s all about can sometimes be really tricky.
People are used to browse websites with regular layouts, with navigation at the top of the page and content under. Getting them out of their comfort zone might influence the first impression about a website based on a full screen layout, but once they find out how things work, the experience should be fun and interesting.
Fullscreen websites are gaining popularity firstly because they can be built with ease thanks to the new web design technologies developed, secondly because they look stunning with all of those images filling up the screen and most importantly, because they can take the user to a whole new experience level.
Everything relies on usability and readability, but once the user finds out how the website works, things should run pretty smoothly!