Full day training course offered at Usability Week San Francisco

Emerging Patterns for Web Design

Innovative trends that impact the user experience

Course Date: October 08, 2014

Learn about new design patterns, UI trends, and the impact they have on the total user experience. Get evidence-based insights to help you decide which practices will work best for your site and how to apply them effectively. This course will look at patterns emerging from a broad range of websites and industries.

"I found myself looking back and evaluating design decisions more critically and informed. I can already tell there are several things we will refine and new ideas we will adopt."

Katherine Joplin, Associate Web Designer
Blizzard Entertainment

Please note: We update this seminar continually as new trends develop. The following list gives you an idea of the areas covered, but specific topics may change.

Topics Covered

Topics Covered

  • The relationship between originality and usability
  • How to evaluate an emerging trend to see if it is worth following or adopting
  • How designing for tablet and mobile is affecting desktop design
    • Navigation optimized for mobile devices
    • Menu and search icons
    • Larger page elements
    • Horizontal scrolling and mimicking swipe on desktop
    • Off-canvas content
    • Hidden menus and secondary content
  • Clutter-free design: Retaining clarity while eliminating distraction
    • Minimalist designs
    • Fewer words on a page
  • Flat design: Simplifying visual elements while retaining clarity
  • Large hero spaces: Using imagery for identity and brand
  • Long pages: How much scrolling is too much
    • Infinite scrolling
    • Single page sites
    • Stacked containers and color blocks of content
  • Fixed headers and sticky elements: What should stay in place as the user scrolls
    • Persistent headers
    • Fixed footers
    • Elements that follow users down the page
  • Videos: User behaviors and effective use of audio-visual content
    • Background and hero videos
    • Playback options and controls
    • Combining video with written content
  • Animation: Moving elements on the page
    • Transitions and animated navigation
    • Parallax scrolling
    • Micro-animations
    • Context considerations
  • Masonry layout: Grid formats for galleries
    • Images of variable or equal-size
    • Text and images used together
  • Infographics: Using visual displays of data to convey meaning
  • Modal dialogs: Alternatives to traditional overlays and prompts
  • Product and feature tours: Educating users about products
  • Gamification: Using game mechanics to engage and reward visitors
  • Smart devices, networked objects: Looking ahead toward the ever-expanding Internet of Things

The seminar does not discuss the coding techniques used to create these designs.



The basis of the course is a lecture format with a couple of group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.

The course also includes:

  • Findings from our own usability studies
  • Videos from usability testing of people's behavior in response to a design
  • Screenshots of designs that work and don’t work, and why
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers



Katie Sherwin

Katie Sherwin is a User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. She specializes in helping organizations utilize principles of user-centered design and strategic communication to achieve their goals. Read more about Katie