Look Back: Web Design 2013

The ability to adapt and tweak a website’s design whenever you want makes it an incredibly versatile form of design, so it’s worth taking a look at what’s been popular on the web during 2013.

Put simply a web trend is a design aesthetic or feature that has been used widely across the web. Here are some examples from 2013:

Responsive Design

Responsive design is an approach in which a website’s layout will reorder itself to suit the variety of different sizes device screens. To see a responsive design in action, simply resize this window and watch in awe as the content rearranges itself, or ‘responds’, to suit the size of the screen. Magic!

The best responsive designs don’t just jiggle content around, but consider closely the navigation of a website and the display of images, as well as looking great on mobile devices.

Responsive design was always going to make it on this list. In all likelihood it will be hugely popular in 2014 as business owners start to realise the value of responsive content.

Static Headers

A static header will remain on screen as you scroll through the website. This keeps the website’s branding in clear view at all times, and gives the user constant access to navigation and search fields (usually located at the top of a website).


2013 saw a surge in parallax scrolling. The parallax technique has been popular with video games since the early 90’s and has now started taking over the web. Its effect makes objects closer to you move more quickly than objects further away- much like looking out the window of a moving car.

Used to create a sense of three-dimensional depth on a website, parallax moves different elements of a design at different speeds depending on their intended proximity in relation to the user.

This technique can be very effective- so no wonder it’s one of 2013’s biggest web trends. It can look great when used alongside infinite-scrolling websites.

Infinite Scrolling

This approach to the navigation of a website rejects the traditional notion of separate pages for different sections of content. Instead, infinite scrolling prefers to stack content vertically. This avoids the need for a page to load because all the information is on one continuous page.

Infinite scrolling is a great way of telling a story, showcasing products, or presenting information in a single page.

Big Buttons

Big buttons are a great way of drawing attention, be it to a call-to-action, a link to a social media account, or navigation button.

It’s not surprising that designs that accommodate marketing techniques are catching on quickly- they’re critical- and are unlikely to disappear any time soon.

Flat Design

Apple, once famous for its skeuomorphic designs and ‘lifelike’ icons has recently opted for a more digital approach to design, stuffing its devices with simple flat colours and clean interfaces. And it looks great- no wonder everyone’s been jumping on this wagon- check out these well-known car logos designs re-imagined as ‘flat’.

So there you have it- a look-back at the top digital design trends of 2013. It will be interesting to see how the digital design world evolves as 2014 continues. Be sure to keep checking this blog for some 2014 design predictions coming soon!

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