It seems like web pages are beginning to only a few basic formats, are there any new ideas for designs? How can you add to what is already being done?
Hmm some of the latest trends on the top of my head - big images and typography, animations, carousels, lots of scrolling, the hamburger menu, flat design, minimalism.
Yes, web pages are starting to all look the same, isn't it? But I believe trends are being followed because it works. Ideas come and go all the time, but like everything, the good ones stay and the bad ones fade away. For example, grid design is everywhere and more designers are adopting the style because it's simple, easy to the eyes and gives a smooth experience to the users. In a way, users are sort of used to this design style so major innovation will only be harmful in the long run. A quick example would be that many people expect the login/signup button to be on the top right of the navigation menu. Putting it elsewhere will only complicate things for the user so why change that? In the end, the basic principle of "making the user experience easy" should be the main focus. Of course, there are current trends which do not follow this principle, and I believe those will die out in the end anyway (hopefully sooner rather than later heh).
There aren't any new ideas for designs that has caught my attention so far so I can't give a solid answer to that question. It's also difficult to notice new trends in a way; most of the time, changes are integrated slowly and they slowly evolve... and then everyone is suddenly following it. At least that's how I see it from the perspective of someone junior in the industry (I'm sure the experts out there may disagree). I do hope something will come by and blow my mind though haha. The flat design revolution was a very "whoa" moment for me.
I am actually more keen on seeing current trends being tweaked around and optimized rather than adding a new idea 'just to be different' so to speak. Some not-so-good trends can be great if given more thought/precaution when using. For examples, sites overuse animation all the time and it just becomes annoying. And now I hate websites with these crazy animations (from the user perspective. I close the site if you expect me to see 20 objects flying around for no good reason). But when used smartly/subtly, it really adds to the UX and can be a great guide for users.