With the online space expanding so rapidly, the significance of web design is growing, too. And with this fast-pace development, keeping up to date with the trends is essential in order to be able to stand out from the crowd. 2014 is shaping up to be a year of many changes in web design – changes that you too can and should adopt. Let’s take a look at the five most boldly pronounced web design trends for 2014.
You are bound to hear this term many times this year. The advantages of the flat design have been recognized and it has been adopted by a number of websites all around the Internet; and let’s not forget the redesign of Apple iOS either. If you have not come across this concept yet, flat design abstains from using shading and 3D techniques, which were common not so long ago, and instead adopts simple layouts, flat colors and an uncluttered look. The outcome of all this is a sleek interface that looks clean and unobstructed and has a very modern feel. This has brought this web design concept to the forefront of the design trends.
However, the advantages of the flat design go far beyond the aesthetics. With less visual clutter to distract the viewers, websites offer better usability and an enhanced user experience (and thus a more pleasant shopping experience for the potential customers). The human brain has to process each visual stimulus on the screen – an image, a link and even shadows – and the higher amount of these stimuli is taxing for the eyes and the mind. If these obstructions are minimized and the site has a simplified design, the mind of the customer can freely be engaged with purchase decisions or reading valuable content, and that in turn leads to improved brand impact and revenue.
In the past, when dial-up internet and low computer resolutions were still common, web designers had limited options that were confined to repeating backgrounds in solid or simple colors. However, with the high-resolution mobile devices and retina displays we now have on the market, web designers have widely adopted the use of attractive photographic backgrounds in large formats. But for optimal viewing of these images and maximum aesthetic impact, they should be capable of getting accommodated by a range of different devices with various screen resolutions.
With the growing trend of adaptive layouts in web design, the adaptive approach should be adopted not only for the navigation or font size, etc. but for the photographic backgrounds as well. This is necessary for achieving a consistent experience throughout different platforms – both mobile and desktop. An image should be presented in similar formats on desktop and mobile sites so that the site and the brand can maintain their identity. Thus, adaptive and smart implementation of photography is vital.
Images are by far not the only element that requires consideration in web design. In the early days of the Internet, almost all the text was delivered in the default font of the system. Later on, more fonts were added to personal computers, but web design was still limited to only a few of them, as if a font was not available on a computer, it would not load on it. In time, developers have come up with solutions to this problem, enabling the loading of different fonts and thus allowing the accurate displaying of the initial design of the websites on browsers. This has given rise to more expressive typography.
However, the greater design flexibility goes hand in hand with greater responsibility, too. The designers have to use the available resources smartly. With so many attractive fonts available, your website has the potential to incorporate expressive typography in order to convey your message more successfully. Large fonts can turn the headers into attractive displays and serified fonts in the main body content can make reading easier. In 2014, the web designers are fully recognizing the significance of typography for improving usability and conveying the brand message. You should acknowledge and adopt this trend, too.
Text is Replaced by Video
This trend clearly contrasts the previous one. Video is quickly gaining popularity and it is now commonly being used to replace big quantities of text. Video has the capability of conveying meaning a lot more successfully than text. Thanks to the enhanced feeling of engagement, the human face and the more effective product demonstration options that it opens up, video is quickly getting recognized by the businesses as a strong tool of viewer involvement and they are making changes accordingly.
On many websites, the transition from text to video is really notable. A single video in a large format occupies the top portion of the landing pages and it is supplemented with text underneath, but the main focus is definitely on the video. While some types of content like in-depth discussions and research are still conveyed better through text, video is now predominantly being used for efficiently and quickly demonstrating convenience, usability and the value of the product. Users are showing an increasing trend of making decisions momentarily, and in this context, a strong first impression has the ability to make a difference when it comes to sales conversions.
Scroll-To Page Sections
Previously, websites were built with comprehensive navigation trees that segmented each part of the content in a separate page. On the downside, this method required users to search for the information and wait for multiple pages to load. Now, impatient visitors are in luck, as clever web developers have come up with a new approach to the issue of multiple page loading through incorporating elegantly structured navigation in the web design.
Multiple pages and unnecessary loading are now replaced by a single-page layout in which content is differentiated through changing the typography and background color as the viewer keeps scrolling down. Furthermore, the users, who would like to get more info without the need to scroll, can click on the links that will move the web page down until the desired section is reached. The overall outcome of this approach is a more consistent user experience, which is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but can also be easily navigated even through casual browsers.
The web space is getting more adaptive, more informative and visibly sleeker in 2014. Complex navigations are replaced by single-page layouts and flat design, thus minimizing the headaches for the users. Adaptive images and impressive typography make websites easily usable and tap on the psychological levels of deriving pleasure of the users. Video is strengthening its positions as the best means to convey brand image and messages, while at the same time engaging the users, too. Constant improvement is the main drive of growth and success and if you comply with the web design trends for 2014, your website as well as your business can catch the eye of the public.