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Designers have been chasing the “perfect design” since the birth of the World Wide Web. The conundrum of creating a perfect combination of elegant design and effective copy is a million dollar question. What will 2014 hold in its pocket for designers and developers? First, let’s review this year’s trends.
As we have witnessed a simplistic approach towards design with the release of iOS 7, prophecies and predictions of drastic changes in design and development in 2014 are already on a roll. There were several trends which shaped the overall user experience through web design and development. These include flat colors, simplistic designs, responsive techniques, app style user interface, and content first approach. All these trends have evolved during this period and at the same time develop a totally new user experience through web design and development. Consider Apple’s website design and iOS 7 flat design. People generally liked it with it’s basic colors and smart typography. Designers have really picked up on this trend and made innovative yet simple flat designs throughout this year. In the coming year we will see the continuous evolution of these trends.
In 2014 we may see changes in existing trends along with few more experiences. The prime example is Web GL and SVG which will be on the rise as development teams will learn and hone their skill set. Apart from these tech savvy trends, a few simple and easy approaches will play a leading role in forming user experience.
In the past we have seen that designers tend to develop wireframes and sample designs first and then copywriters dress-up that design/wireframe with content. We will see this trend changing on its head as more and more companies and brands are following a content first approach. With flat colors and simple design, the importance of content is greater than ever.
The presentation of the content on website will play a vital role in the year 2014 as more and more designers will experiment with different typography and simple designs.
2013 saw Google updating its search algorithm, called Penguin. Penguin tends to put emphasis on quality content, forcing designers and developers to look more carefully at the content they are designing for. Designers and developers will have to modify their approach so that they can make the necessary adjustments to embrace content.
If you are using iPhone 5 then you may have already experienced iOS 7 and its flat design. After watching different designs and approaches on Awwwards and Behance (leading web sources for design industry trends), one can easily see the growing trend of using flat colors and designs. The trend will be on the rise throughout in the year 2014 and we may see a few wonderful yet very simplistic designs.
A recent article in Forbes predicted that Cyber Monday will beat the physical sales on Black Friday. The article claimed 55% users would prefer to buy online instead of fighting the crowds day after Thanksgiving. Online sales are on a rise and every retailer with weak online presence is missing a huge opportunity. Anyway, what does this have to do with the responsive web design? Well, if you consider the fact that most of these online customers are using their smartphones for online shopping, then the importance of responsive web design will be quite evident to you. The year 2014 will see an evolved and growing trend of responsive web designs across all platforms. Developing a website compatible for mobile devices is already a trend. Responsive mobile designs mean that the web site will be able to adapt to different screen sizes, whether it be for larger or smaller desktops/laptops, tablets or phones.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) will also play a vital role in the development of responsive web design. SVG will help us to achieve web-fonts, designs with typography and icon fonts evolving and becoming more widespread. The trends like simplicity, clear layouts, and app-style interfaces, design focusing on typography, flat style, and flat colors will be on the rise in year 2014.
In 2013 we have seen a few websites toying with the idea of long web pages. This trend may be due to the fact that people are quite used to longer pages due to Facebook and Twitter.
In 2014 we may see more single-page websites. Users want to see more information without clicking and navigating into the web pages.
Parallax scrolling is a technique used to give 2D graphics an illusion of depth. We will soon see websites, especially those that involve storytelling (newspapers and blogs) to adopt this technique for better user engagement.
We will see many changes and evolving trends in website design and development in the year 2014. We will also move ahead in terms of website development as developer increase their existing knowledge-base about Web GL.