Whether a website design is minimalist or maximalist in style, one layout element remains true – the design must be sharp and easy for the user to navigate. Grid and card layouts have become widely used for sites of all types, but primarily for pages with a high volume of data or relevant calls to action.

The popularity of cards can best be attributed to the rise of mobile usage. Though it is used widely by designers and developers – the trend will certainly continue – and for good reason. Delivering digestible information in a clear way allows a user the ability to consume a great deal of information at one time. Acting as ‘containers’ for content, their usually boxy shape lends easy arrangement across multiple devices.

Originally gaining ground via image sharing and social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, cards have become one of the go-to implementations for designers looking to organize content, particularly for a responsive approach to web design. Frequently paired alongside the technique of flat design, cards are a successful framework for organizing visual and contextual assets built around many individual pieces of content. Without a structural system such as cards in place, a steady stream of information can become unmanageable and a turn-off for users.

The use of cards are used across various formats within the container style of web design. Used in grids, magazine and the previously mentioned pin-style and flat design formats, cards offer a structural style that can greatly increase user interaction and experience. When designing with cards, it’s important to understand how they will serve the content and ultimately, the user. Each card is part of the content ‘sphere’ of the brand or organization it represents. They should be consistent in aesthetic to allow the user to quickly understand where the content is, providing the space to contain various images, calls to action and interface elements – usually leading to a click through to explore deeper content. When designed well, cards have shown that they are one of the most flexible layout formats for creating a consistent and experience by seamlessly adjusting to screen and device.

Despite cards being around for some time already, new implementations and development are rampant. Regardless of device, users will always seek out information quickly, with cards being the perfect solution. With the proliferation of technology shifts and advancements in mobile, wearables and the Internet of Things – the use of cards will continue to rise making content more accessible to the user.