The start of a new year is a time to shrug off bad habits, cultivate good practices, and resolve to continue them throughout the year. For web designers, it is the time to mull over the latest trends that will rule roost in the days to come and pledge to use them to come up with stellar, effective, and user-friendly designs. The following trends in web design will be evident in 2014.
Flat User Interfaces
This will probably be the biggest trend to define web design in recent years. The inclination to ditch skeuomorphism and opt for flat user interfaces where every design element is 100 percent functional was evident in 2013. Windows and Apple helped in a shift of earlier web design mindsets by using flat UIs in their respective operating systems, Windows 8 and iOS7. Then brands like Taco Bell too embraced the concept to redesign their websites, and it is now evident that you will see a lot of flat designs all over the Internet this year.
With more and more users accessing and using the Internet on their hand-held mobile devices, web designers will continue to focus on creating mobile-friendly user interfaces. They will think more about coming up with responsive web designs that can seamlessly adapt to the specifications of varied devices, platforms, and operating systems. In fact, many brands whose lion's share of customers use smartphones and tablets to access the Internet will adopt a mobile-first design strategy. This means that web designers will now have to first ensure that their designs fit a small screen.
Increased Use of HTML5
HTML5 was already making quite a splash in the web designing world; its influence is only going to increase in 2014. In fact, web designers will increasingly use HTML5 with CSS3 elements to create beautiful, supremely functional, intuitively navigational, and minimally bandwidth-hogging websites in 2014. Meanwhile, business owners can feel happy in the thought that HTML5-driven websites need only a fraction of the developmental efforts needed to create similar sites using different technologies. Flash will be still around though.
Minimalism in Navigation
It may be the need to make web designs more mobile-friendly. Or it may be an inclination to go the "Less is More" way. Whatever may be the compulsion, web design this year will go minimalist on the navigation front. So this year expect to see websites featuring slide-out menus that nestle unobtrusively on one side of the screen and endless scroll pages. Similarly there will also be an increase in the use of features like lightboxes, expanding tiles, and overlays in an effort to make the most out of a single page. These design principles are efforts to reduce the amount of clicks needed to explore content on a website.
Increased Use of Videos and Moving Backgrounds
Brands know that it is not just any content that can move their audiences. It is only engaging content that can stimulate and strike an emotional chord in your audience. And nothing can be more engaging than moving pictures. So this year web designs will include more videos and moving backgrounds to hook site visitors.
Prowl around the web, and you will notice that most of the above-mentioned trends are already visible. It is time you re-considered your design strategies.