As tech continues to develop at lightning speed, it is interesting to think about what 2014 will hold for web design.
If you thought 2013 was a good year for web (with the popularity of flat design and parallax scrolling), then this list of predictions for 2014 will excite you even more.
Some of the best sites on the web are now making use of two or three different fonts. This not only helps a page become more attractive and visually engaging, it also makes the page easier to read because different sections of content can be easily distinguished from one another.
The availability of attractive web fonts means that your website now has a much greater potential to use expressive typography to convey meaning, tone, and voice.
Typography led design is not only growing because of the availability of lots of great fonts, it’s also growing as a design choice, with typography becoming an integral part of how websites look and how brands express themselves- good typography can reduce the reliance a website has on images!
2013 was big for responsive design, and as an extension, 2014 will see a heavier focus on mobile design- be it with easier integration with social media or easy-to-read scrolling sites.
Why read it when you can watch it? With users increasingly making decisions on a momentary basis, a strong and well-crafted first impression can make the different between sales and user boredom and bounce rates.
Vine, launched in early 2013, was just the beginning. Video is increasingly becoming the communication channel of choice and this has been and will continue to be reflected in website design, with brands choosing video to engage with customers over text.
Video has a well-established and supercharged capacity to convey meaning in ways other types of media simply cannot achieve. Product demonstrations, a human face, and a greater feeling of engagement and conversation are just a few benefits video can offer.
Vintage-style images aren’t purely for Instagram. I think many websites will be using photo techniques over the next year to create vibrant imagery. In 2014 we will see more images with coloured overlays and other artistic effects such as blurs and fades.
Many websites are starting to experiment with dropping the sidebar. This is due to the rise of long scrolling websites where a navigation bar isn’t required as much as on a ‘regular’ website.
Dropping the sidebar is sure to make long scrolling websites, used mostly by magazines and blogs, become more organised and easier to digest.
What About Text?
While 2013 was the year that ‘content was king’, 2014 will ensure that the king is more humble, down to earth, valuable and to the point. Simpler content will dominate 2014.
Simplified content means short ‘bursts’ of content- a la Twitter style. Over the years the attention span of the population has drastically decreased- this should be compensated for online with designers, writers and content creators putting content into short bursts instead of long narratives.
The web is becoming sleeker, more adaptive and more informative in 2014. Flat design and single-page layouts are driving websites away from complicated navigation. Effective typography and adaptive images are ensuring that a website works on both aesthetical and psychological levels. Finally, video is leading the way as the most efficient means of conveying meaning and brand image, while engaging users at the same time. Constant improvement is key on the Internet, and observing these dominant trends of 2014 will make your website and your company really stand out.