The latest web design trend (especially among design agencies, it seems) is to create long, scrolling homepages, essentially keeping all of the site content in one place. The top navigation menu is still there, allowing the user to pop around the site. The traditional topics (about, work, contact, etc) are now screen-size chunks, perhaps divided by background colors and styles. This design style allows for great creativity, guided messaging, large graphic backgrounds and some very clever animation. And perhaps there is an SEO benefit; as the user scrolls up and down, they cross all of the “pages” and send Google the message that users are viewing more pages per visit.
As visually appealing as these sites are on first glance, they take a little getting used to. Once I’ve enjoyed the creative designs, and I’m ready to just find the information I came for, I find myself slightly disoriented, or slightly annoyed at all the dazzle rather than the straightforward presentation of information. The floating, changing menus are useful and fun, but can be a little confusing. However, it is a much more creative attempt to create an online version of a brochure than a pdf viewer or the days of text wrapped around a picture or two. I’m definitely interested to see how this trend evolves over the next year.
With the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, the top navigation morphs into an anchored bar once you begin scrolling down, but the floating bottom menu remains the same.
The SpokesEclectic Pedicabs site is highly creative, with entire scenes changing as you move down the page.