Full day training course

Emerging Patterns for Web Design

Innovative trends that impact the user experience

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
    • Hamburger menu
    • Search icons and input fields
    • Search box placement variations
    • 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
    • Ghost Buttons (Hollow buttons)
    • Material-design inspired form fields
  • Large hero spaces: Using imagery for identity and brand
    • Full-width background images and videos
  • Long pages: How much scrolling is too much
    • Design techniques to encourage scrolling
    • Infinite scrolling
    • Stacked containers and color blocks of content
    • Single page sites
  • Fixed headers and sticky elements: What should stay in place as the user scrolls
    • Sticky navigation and persistent headers
    • Fixed footers
    • Elements that follow users down the page
  • Videos: User behaviors and effective use of audio-visual content
    • Background videos
    • Auto-playing video
    • Silent videos
    • Playback options and controls
    • Combining video with written content
  • Animation: Moving elements on the page
    • Transitions and animated navigation
    • Micro-animations
    • Context considerations
    • E-commerce animation on product listing and detail pages
    • Material design’s movement principles
  • Updated 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
  • 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

Participant Comments

Participant Comments

"This course really gives you a complete overview of current trends in web design as well as a way to evaluate each of these for your own business or clients. Highly recommended!"

Laurie Versteele

"Excellent course. Very relevant content to the discussions we have back in the office."

Christian Young, Aviva

"Katie is a very polished, engaging instructor. This class was great for a Friday. I loved learning about what NNg is seeing in the tends, whether its working, and how to implement."

Angie, Idaho Falls

"It's great to see how trends actually hold up to user research. The video casts were especially helpful."

Paula Popowski, NCSA

  • More Participant Comments
    "Very enjoyable and engaging course. Loved all the videos Katie showed from her tests. Really backs up the course with expertise and evidence gives a taste and reinforces how important it is to test any new trendy development."

    Daria Gordeva, Visual Antidote

    "One of the best this week — so practical, well-reasoned, and directly applicable to things I'm working on right now. Thanks!"


    "Very useful. What I was wondering these days about are covered. Now I decide which I will adopt or not."

    Sotoshi Kikuchi, Web Directions East ULC, Tokyo, Japan

    "I liked being brought up to date so quickly and easily, Katie's enthusiasm is unflagging and infectious."

    Susan Raab, GCE, Seaside, CA

    "Katie's enthusiasm for the web, solid design patterns, and effective usability is contagious. She effortlessly guides you through the pros and cons of current trends and provides concise guidelines."

    Evan Portwood, Publix Super Markets, Inc.



Amy Schade

Amy Schade works with clients large and small in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, e-commerce, government, travel, automotive, music, publishing, banking, non-profit and education, including extensive work on corporate intranets. She has conducted worldwide user research, including longitudinal studies, remote studies and eyetracking research, running studies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. Read more about Amy.

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