The start of the new year for most people is an exciting way to “begin again” so to speak. For web designers, it’s a way to unveil the latest trends and start building upon those really cool tricks that started to appear in web design last year. Much of the trends last year focused on black headings, responsive design, simplified web design, sliders and parallax scrolling. In 2014, you can expect some of these to fall off and be replaced by bold typography, advanced mobile design, interactive pages and many more cool tricks.
Typography Gets Bold
More designers have been experimenting with all kinds of type lately, and it’s clear that the old ideas of sans serif, Helvetica and simplified serif fonts are changing for 2014. New fonts that have personality will make their way into web design to create more uniqueness. Mixing up type and using bolder styles will also make web sites stand out, but it’s still important that fonts are readable and usable for high quality web design.
No Drop Shadows Please
Flat design started to make its way into web design at the end of 2013, but it should be expected that it will ramp up with 2014. Major sites like Apple have already started utilizing flat design. For example, the latest iPhone’s app buttons no longer have a drop shadow or gradient. It’s clear that they wanted to go for a no nonsense flat design that focused more on icons and bright colors.
Large Hero Areas
A hero area is a large image or graphic at the top of a website. Large hero areas with eye capturing images are replacing sliders. They contain little text and typically will have a large bold headline. A blurred photo that focuses on a clever call-to-action or a heading centered in the middle with an illustration has been increasingly more popular for web designers in 2014.
Focus on Mobile Design Advanced Responsive Design
Mobile design was definitely the major trend that continued to build in 2013, but you should expect to see even more companies jumping into completely mobile designs that really utilize how customers interact with content and stores while on their phones. Designers are working to also get their apps and websites viewed for multiple mobile devices. More mobile design will focus on integration with social media, seamless email subscription integration, long scrolling sites and faster loading times.
A Video Says It Better
Instead of text, videos in large hero areas or in the background for website introduction areas are replacing a single image or large typography. They typically show off products better than a text description would. Videos are also easier to produce, and they can load rather fast on most devices nowadays. If you need to show features and want to focus on the design of a product, it’s best to do so with a high quality video on your front page.
One Page Design
With the effects of mobile design, many sites are looking for one page design that continuously scrolls. While there may be some links to other pages, you can find most of the information right on the main page. Sites are also using more white space and parallax scrolling to keep people interested as they go down the page. The content on long scrolling sites has to be more organized with complimentary videos, images and more. It may also be a problem for users who can’t load sites very quickly.
Simple Color Schemes
Today’s web sites aren’t trying to bring every color into the mix. Web designers are using two to three colors in their themes these days with some fluctuations for links. For the most part, color is simple yet bright. Many sites are utilizing one main hue. White and black isn’t really considered a color in web design, but they compliment a single color scheme rather well. With single color themes, the focus is on pops of color that draws the attention right to the important subject or link.
With the focus on more white space, many web designers are dropping sidebars altogether to make room for magazine-style sites. They can utilize photos and focus on the text in the middle with long scrolling sites that don’t have any distractions on the side of the site. Users don’t feel so crowded as they look at a page when sidebars aren’t present. Most web site builders will allow you to place the menu on the side or the top but if your menu has too many options then placing it across the top becomes difficult. Consider organizing your menu so there are less choices visible in the main menu that appears on every page.