Hero images and videos on websites are the first thing users are seeing on some of the most popular sites online, but those aren’t necessarily new in 1015. There have always been new trends in web design that have gone relatively underutilized for a year or two before they really find their footing, and with dynamic backgrounds, the same is true: There have been a glut of sites that opt for scrolling, large, images that have been in the background. These backgrounds aren’t on the wrong path, but they may not be taking advantage of all that these dynamic backgrounds can do for your design.
- Animation is becoming bigger with user interfaces and background images alike, especially with the popularity of HTML5. If you’ve seen Paypal.com’s front page, you’ve already seen some very interesting implementation of video in the background. It’s short, it loops, and it looks crisp, a bit like an interactive commercial. The video that’s looped tends to be of people doing business in smaller locations– perfect for the target audience of Paypal, and a good indicator of what you can do with your own animated background.
- Interactivity is another trend in UI design, and it can apply to your background. The level of interaction depends on how much you’re willing to work on the project. You can have the background change to indicate the change of time of day, for example, which is actually an often overlooked aspect of responsive site design, or you can have the background change to actually display info graphics and other data-based graphics that are relevant to the link that a user has clicked on. These dynamic backgrounds can remain at the back, as the name implies, but they can also create the idea of a flowing, productive space.
- 3D elements are also on the rise. With aesthetics like flat design, you already have some pseudo-3D elements that are trending in web design, so a dynamic 3D background is just the natural progression of that idea. You can use your dynamic background to frame an idea or content in a way that will really blow your visitors’ minds, but be careful not to overdo it.
Dynamic backgrounds are no doubt a step toward what we can expect in the years of 2016, 2017, and beyond, but they are still in the earliest steps of web trends and designs. What we can learn from these dynamic presentations is that users are always looking for content that takes them out of their comfort zone, and engages them on a level that is still connected to the content itself.
Blogs that are related to mechanical design, companies that sell architectural services, and more, can all benefit from using dynamic backgrounds intelligently, allowing for the illustration of certain concepts that otherwise lay flatly on the page in text. As long as you don’t overload your users or make you’re loading times too long, it’s hard to ignore the benefits.