• 5 Web Design Trends That Will Stick Around in 2014

5 Web Design Trends That Will Stick Around in 2014

Posted by Abby Tolotti | |

With the launch of iOS7, we saw Jony Ive's "blessing" of the flat design trend, by bringing massive change to Apple's decade of skeuomorphic designs within their operating systems.

Last year we also seemed to solidify the notion that the "mobile web" is here to stay and in fact will be bigger than traditional desktop web very soon. This trend has some nuances attached to it, such as mobile first and UX driven designs, but we will dig deeper into those later on in this article.

To look to the future we must first look at the past, so here are the five 2013 trends we see carrying over to the new year and becoming even bigger in 2014:

1. Even Simpler Design and User Interaction

As we keep moving more towards a small screen approach, this trend will stick around and evolve as users get less patient and more focused on getting the information that they're looking for.

The fact that we're diving into a mobile world, makes Luke's Wroblewski 2 year old mobile first approach even more relevant and up to date, forcing designers and UX professionals (they are also morphing into one) to rethink interaction and innovate in a space where every pixel counts as valuable real estate.

We see 2014 as the year where the 50 year old KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Principle will continue to reign and set the standards of modern design. Focus on the main message or functionality you are trying to convey, make sure it's clear on all devices and your design will stand out and fulfill its purpose to inform and guide.

Check these links out for more on this topic:

2. Rich Typography

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Not too long ago, typographic style on the web was generally limited to fonts people had installed on their computers. Of course there were some ways around that problem (remember Cufon?), but they were usually heavy from a coding standpoint and not always too friendly across all browsers and mobile devices. This made it really hard to predict and understand how a font would behave "in the wild".

Finally, updated versions and new web browsers were launched, the web standards project was founded to "defragmentalize" the browser support to new technology, and we're finally entering an era where typography can be an important, relevant and controllable design element on websites.

With huge corporations like Adobe and Google starting to master the web-font space, there are finally great options, both free and paid, to make typography relevant, usable and predictable on the web.

Check these links out for more on this topic:

3. Flat Design and Colors

2013 was definitely the year of flat design and pastel colors. With mobile becoming bigger than desktop soon, don’t expect this trend to go anywhere.

Flat design allows the user to focus on what matters and not what's beautiful. Skeuomorphic Design is beautiful and realistic, but it can also be confusing and overwhelming. On smaller screens, information has to be objective and clear and there's not a lot of room for distractions. Usability also has to be direct and focused, and with less detailed design and more contrast action items on the screen can be leveraged and made more consistent.

The launch of iOS 7 helped to give this trend a push, and also bolster its existence. We'll probably see Flat Design improving and evolving in the upcoming year!

Check these links out for more on this topic:

4. Big Type, Heavy Use of Imagery and Contrast

We all like them and it's said that they're worth a thousand words. We've seem them become a major trend in modern web design - yes, images!

Experts are finally starting to realize how people read the web, or better, how they don't. It's become known that people don't read on the web, they scan. That's probably due to the amount of information we're currently exposed to, and the more direct content on a page is, the more likely it is for people to actually take away what's written on it, especially on smaller screens.

Better combination of font and contrast is also something that we've seen improving a lot, bringing more hierarchical maturity to designs made for the web.

Check these links out for more on this topic:

5. Multi Screen Experiences

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What if you pressed a button on a mobile version of a website and something happened on your desktop browser? This sounds like science fiction but it's already being done to enhance user experiences across a wide array of devices. This ties in to another trend that grew exponentially last year called "Second Screen", where companies fight for people's multi-tasking needs by providing enhanced experiences on different devices to retain their attention.

Diving into the multi screen capabilities is a very exciting journey that designers will have to keep in mind more and more when thinking about innovative ways to make brands and companies interact with their consumers.

Check these links out for more on this topic:

So what exactly lies ahead in the chaotic and amazing world of web design this year? I guess the only thing we can be sure of is that it will continue to evolve at an amazing pace, as it has been doing more and more every year. With all of the amazing minds that put their skills to use in our industry, we're pretty excited to see designers across the world continue to push the envelope, and keep making web design an amazing industry to be apart of.


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