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As with most things in life, there are trends, phases and fashions. Web design is no exception; in fact developments in technology often have a greater impact in web trends with factors such as increased download speeds, increase in smart phone usage and capability, 4G networks, higher screen resolutions or retina displays and much more. To keep ahead of the game we have listed 7 web trends that we expect to play a big role in website design in 2014.
Flat design has a very simplistic look, but it feels modern and user friendly mainly due to the Metro style design of Windows 8 and the Apple iOS design. Forget 3D buttons, bevels and drop shadows for 2014 – this year the emphasis is going to be on flat design.
Long scrolling pages
This has been popular for a while but expect a greater number of websites to start using longer scrolling pages for their content in 2014. Mobile and tablet users prefer scrolling to clicking navigation, which popularised functionality such as infinite scrolling over pagination on e-commerce apps. This has translated into how users interact with sites on their laptop/desktop computers, leaving the user with an expectation to scroll. No more worrying about the fold.
We’re no longer limited to set amount of system fonts for the web; font replacement is significantly on the rise and it’s having a really big impact on website design while remaining SEO friendly. These provide a huge amount of flexibility for website design, but expect this to be mainly prevalent in headings, banners and call to actions. Large paragraphs of content will still use clean, readable fonts. Hopefully this large and growing selection of fonts leaves no reason to use Comic Sans.
Most new websites will cater for mobile using an adaptive layout as opposed to an alternative mobile version. As smart phone users browsing the web increases, responsive design is becoming more and more important. Statistics show a typical reduction in bounce rate, increase in page views per visit and an increase in conversion rates.
Large format websites
Bigger isn’t always better, right? Well that may not be true for 2014. As download speeds increase (both via WiFi and 4G Networks) and the resolution of computers increases (most new widescreen monitors are now full HD at 1920 x 1080px), bigger websites are becoming more prevalent. Think big images, big photos, long scrolling pages and big fonts! Some websites have even started removing their sidebar to provide more impact for the images and content on their site.
Increase in video
Video is a powerful tool for engaging with the user and quickly conveying messages. We expect 2014 to bring a lot more video in the form of animations, vox pop and presentation on landing pages, product pages and homepages.
Currently JQuery sliding banners are very popular, but this prime web page real estate is being utilised in different ways. Large graphics, combined with a small amount of text and a call to action button will be common place on a lot of websites.