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Web design trends are changing from year to year and sometimes even from month to month. It’s vitally important for web designers and business owner’s webpages to stay up-to-date with the trends to keep their websites looking fresh and to avoid having an outdated website that will turn away visitors.
A very large trend overall in the year 2014 is simplicity. You probably think that simplicity would be obvious, but most people are probably thinking about it in a different sense. I’m not talking about the websites being plain or overly simplified, but it should give visitors an easy to navigate interface and be as seamless and as easy to use as possible. Simplicity is the avoidance of cluttering your website and adding useless junk your users don’t need or appreciate. It’s a good idea to do some basic split-testing to reach a data based conclusion on whether to include a feature in your website or not. Remember that retaining your visitors and giving them the useful information they came looking for, is the most important factor to consider and not your wants.
Simplicity in the context of the design also refers to the minimalism design. It’s all about getting your messages across without having tonnes of unnecessary design elements for no reason. Design is meant to get the message across effectively and easily, and it’s not all about fancy design just for the sake of design.
Responsiveness has been growing for years now and is quickly becoming the norm for the majority of the web, both with websites and marketing material. It really is the standard now; there is no upside to not making your website fully mobile device friendly. As tablet and smartphone usage continues to grow over and above computer usage, expect this trend to continue for years to come.
3. Flat UI
Flat UI is a nice mix of fun and often brighter colours used in a simple manner. Lots of major platforms have been adopting a flat UI; with notable examples being Apple with their latest IOS 7 update and Microsoft with their Windows 8 and Metro. Clean and simple almost always beats fancy, currently.
4. Single Page Websites
This trend is exactly what it sounds like. Lots of website designers are now putting all their content and images on a single page, which allows visitors to just scroll through it instead of clicking links to get from page to page. It works well with responsive design because we are already used to scrolling through things on our smart phones and tablets, so the single page websites are familiar to us.
Increasing average broadband speeds and innovative new web technologies such as HTML 5 video are leading to a trend of increased usage of online videos. Video content is much easier to consume than written content; reading a book can take a week but watching a movie takes only a few hours. Videos are becoming extremely cheap to produce, and even children know how to film a decent video nowadays.
Video backgrounds, video storytelling, and product display videos have all become very popular and expect to see a lot more of it.
6. Display Information Interactively
Infographics have become increasingly popular on the Internet; this trend will have to evolve to keep up the momentum. Infographics enable you to show off large amounts of facts and numbers in a memorable and highly brandable way.
This year expect to see a rise of interactive infographics on the Internet as the new part of the ongoing interactivity trend.
7. Large Homepage Images
Integrating any large, full-width image at the top of the homepage is a unique way to further engage your audience and add a distinct personality to your website.
Background videos are also a popular design trend and can be very powerful and effective if done correctly. The video must be of professional quality and relevant to the business or targeted market however. They can bring strong emotions and add drama, or they can be used to illustrate how something works.
8. Even More Social Integration
Social media is serious business now from both a website and marketing standpoint. Businesses will be increasingly continuing to integrate a social feed into their website, to further enhance the discussion happening within their social audience and grow a sense of a relationship and familiarity with their visitors on the site’s they already spend countless hours on.
2014 has already seen the rise of use of manipulated images (which is photos that have been changed like they have been put in an Instagram filter), along with image tiles similar to those of Pinterest.
9. Seamless Scrolling and Movement
Infinite scrolling will almost certainly continue to be popular. It’s important for users to easily be able to navigate around your website. For lots of image and social media sites infinite scrolling is the most seamless way for users to quickly get through an almost infinite stream of content.
Overall, the major trends in the web design and marketing industries seem to be towards a simple and user-friendly interface, along with the adoption of trends that focus on improving the customer experience. Let us know what other design elements you expect to see rise in popularity throughout the course of this year and the next in the comment section below.