With technology constantly evolving, the world of web design is a fast-paced one. I’ve been in this industry for a while now and I have seen many trends come and go. I know that if you do not have your finger on the pulse, you are liable to fall behind the competition.
No one wants that. In this post, I’m going to look at a number of current trends in web design. If you’re stuck in the past, it will help you let go and embrace the future.
1. Flat Design
Ever heard of the acronym KISS? It means “Keep It Simple Stupid” and is a great philosophy that applies to web design. Clients want modern designs that are simplistic. I believe flat design is exactly what they are looking for.
Have you ever seen a website that has shadowing, gradients and textures that give it the illusion it is three-dimension? Flat design throws that practice out the window and focuses on complete minimalism.
2. Responsive Design
Everywhere you look someone has a smartphone or a tablet in their hot little hands. In the US this year it was reported that more users were accessing the internet through a mobile device than with a personal computer.
Responsive websites adjust their designs depending on what device is it being viewed from. The smart designers and developers were well aware of this trend a while ago but now it is becoming the next big thing – with good reason too – there is a huge demand for it.
3. Larger & Better Images
It is becoming clear that image centric content is becoming a key player. Affordable pricing and increased loading speed will see larger and better images used in web design. In 2014 and beyond we will see higher quality used in creative ways.
Parallax design is when objects in the distance appear to move slower than those in the foreground. Check out this great example. You are going to see parallax used a lot more in the future, particularly from big brands.
What makes parallax so successful is that it makes a big impact, because it combines powerful imagery with interactivity.
Ever since Steve Jobs introduced a selection of fonts on the Apple Macintosh, typography has been an important part of web design. 2014 is a big year in typography because it is seeing the departure of well-loved fonts like Georgia, Times New Roman, Ariel and Helvetica in place of others. This is because business owners no longer have to spend a small fortune for high quality fonts.
6. Simplicity – focusing on content
If there is one thing all the trends in this article have in common, it’s simplicity. Effective web design works to enhance the content, not to upstage it. The cleaner the design is the more content will be the focus – which is why your customers are visiting your site in the first place.
Even though aesthetics are important, content is king and is the more important part of any website. Anyone who had a content rich website should really consider stripping back on all the added design features so the content can perform its role without needless distractions.
7. Short presentation videos
The presentation video has been around for a while but it is currently going through a metamorphosis. Videos that go for 2 or 3 minutes have to be engaging. If platforms like Vine have taught us anything, it is that people have short attention spans and want information instantaneously.
That demand has seen the length of videos shrink in the past few years to under 3 minutes seconds – the length of a common television commercial. This short format is a far more effective way to get a point across to the viewer.
8. Fixed navigation
If you have ever worked with a web designer before, you know that they love to try to impress you with their skills. However, in doing so, they have a tendency to overdo things – like playing around with the menu bar.
There is nothing more frustrating than having to look for the menu bar under flash animation or some other design ‘trick’. Personally, I love fixed navigation bars and I am happy to see that they are becoming commonplace in 2014.