Web design trends come and go, but there are some that stay and play a huge role in changing the scope of web design. In some cases, designers leave no stone unturned to educate themselves on how these can be implemented in their web designs. While the longevity of such trends can never be predicted with precision, we can always use some educated guess work, observational skills and knowledge of design to come up with a list of trends that are all set to make an impact.
We are well into 2014 and here is my take on the design trends that I believe will rock 2014 and beyond:
Flat will Rule
Skeuomorphic design is well on its way to the dustbin of history; simplicity and clarity of UIs will be the order of the day. Flat is a hot trend already and indications are that it is all set to become a revolution. The focus will be on ridding design of beveled edges, reflections and gradients. Designers will focus on leveraging the potential of digital interfaces, preferring visual clarity to striking visuals.
Experiment with Typography
No long will typography be ignored as an important design element. Designers have already started experimenting with type and this is one trend to watch out for this year. Typography will now have to share the burden for improving the visual quotient of a website and giving it some personality.
Scrolling Makes More than Just a Special Appearance
Designers have got the hang of using scrolling to improve the engagement quotient of the site. Parallax was supposed to be a dying trend but, it’s well on its way to becoming more entrenched in the psyche of designers. Also the rise of horizontal scrolling portends ‘scrolling’ will be in fashion for some time.
Mobile First, Desktop Second
This was already a trend in 2013, but it will pick up some crazy steam in 2014. Web designers, knowing a large percentage of their website’s target audience is going to access a website from their mobile devices, will dig deeper into their skillsets and technical knowledge to build better websites for mobile. The focus will be on achieving a high degree of functionality and visual appeal for mobile web.
The Rise and Rise of HTML5
Web designers will get even more confident with their HTML5 abilities; and with this language improving all the time, this will lead to the re-emergence of rich media on websites. Text animation, page transitions, full-screen images are making a solid comeback largely because of the rise of HTML 5.
More Synergy between Content and Design
Designers will get more serious about their content and how it needs to fit into the website’s design motif. The focus will be on seamless integration of content in the web page layout and making it an integral part of the website design as a whole.
In the not too distant past, content was developed after the website was designed. But today, content development and website design is increasingly walking hand in hand.
Navigation will be stripped down to its bare essentials. Shrinking navigation as you scroll down the page is getting very popular and with the focus on ‘mobile first’, navigation is all set to become minimalist than ever before.
Very Little Website Copy
Website content is becoming lesser and lesser through the years. Unless it is absolutely essential, businesses choose not to go with a lot of content (textual variety) on their web pages. They prefer the use of as few words as possible to make their point, and put the onus on visual design elements to help website deliver the brand message with decisive impact.
Videos – The Hot New Favorite
Videos might become the norm on those websites that want to up the creative ante. Interesting videos forming the background of websites will be the trend to beat this year. Videos are all set to be the driving force of creative engagement on websites.
Color will not be a Decorative Element
Designers will start seeing color as an essential design element rather than just something that is used to make the website look good. The focus will be on using color to enhance the website message and put the psychology of color to good use.
Website visitors are getting more impatient and website designers will find a way of holding their attention through ‘storytelling’. It’s a great way of telling a brand story and in the way that will make the maximum impact. Designers could pick one particular aspect of the brand to tell a story for e.g. ‘their services story’ or just add a whole new page that tells a particular story, if it’s an important point the brand wishes to get across.
The focus will be on pixel perfect large sized images whose sole purpose is to make a visual impact on the visitors psyche and carry the brand message. Web designers will be forced to invest a lot of time and effort to find the perfect images that represent what they want to say, in its entirety. What’s more, the focus will also be on choosing images with emotional appeal baked into them.
Already we are seeing plenty of web designers adopting the use of these trends. If you notice, each one of these trends seeks to improve user engagement and pique their interest. There is very little chance of a website not delivering the returns it is looking for if these trends are implemented into the website’s design.