Jumping into our 10-Week Series Challenge on Making Your Business Remarkable, we have started with item one: “Top Ten Lists”. Here we share the ‘Top Ten Design Trends for 2014’. Let us know what you think will become popular in the new year. Also, feel free to share your top ten list in the comments area below to let us know your business is joining us in this 10-Week Series Challenge.
1. Mobile Friendly, again
2013 really shifted developers into designing mobile friendly/responsive websites. So many more users are using their phones to browse the Web so this is a logical transition. We do not imagine this going away in 2014, but only getting more important. Look for integration with social media, asking for email subscriptions, long scrolling sites (see below), and fast loading sites to be seen in responsive modes.
2. Video Over Text
Why read when you can watch? In our visual world, videos cut to the point quickly and clearly. Videos are becoming easier to produce, and easier to share on your website and on social media as well. Another added plus is that many video services such as YouTube allow you to track how many views your videos get which is helpful to better plan your content for your website and marketing campaigns.
3. Typography Experimentation
We love typography! With font integration simplified with tools like Google Fonts, it is easier to find more fonts to add to our arsenal. One trend with type we can expect to see in 2014 is fonts with personality or fonts that feel like they can stand on their own. They are not your standard serif or san-serif font. We expect to see many more websites in 2014 getting away from very simple and overused typefaces and finding some with personality.
4. Flat Design
Yes, we are Apple lovers…With the release of iOS7 came the design aesthetic now commonly known as flat design. While adding drop shadows and gradients used to seem like a good idea to give a more updated look to things, Apple took it to a whole other level by dropping pretty much any ‘extra’ design element it could. Flat design is everywhere you look and will not be going anywhere in 2014.
5. Large Intro (aka Hero) Areas in Place of Sliders
Large hero areas (the “intro” area, often an image with minimal text, at the top of a website – a term borrowed from print design) on a website’s home page are everywhere. Hero areas are quickly replacing sliders as the new attention-grabbers, and they are becoming increasingly creative and elaborate. Take a look at the “Sites of 2013” on Line 25…Hero areas galore!
6. Long Scrolling Sites
We’ve gone back to being comfortable with scrolling through a website to read and find information. Long scrolling sites are starting to appear again and will be a present trend in 2014. The difference with the new scrolling sites is that the content is more organized and in a much easier format to digest.
7. Color, Simplified
Design and color go hand in hand. In 2014, we will see a lot more website with very simple color schemes. And by simple, we mean really only one or two colors. The use of a more simple color scheme seems to come with flat design (discussed above), but not always. When used the right way, websites can highlight certain areas well with a clean and simple look.
8. Simplified Content
Simpler content will dominate 2014 and beyond as we design our websites. Last year we saw an overload of content and it is time to reign it back in. Messages will be short, clear and more effective. Twitter has helped morph our messages into short bursts of content. Our attention spans have become shorter, so designers have compensated for that by putting content in short bursts instead of long narratives.
9. Farewell, Sidebar
This will be more obvious is blog or magazine-type sites. In 2014, we expect to see many of these sites dropping the sidebar all together. This allows for a more visual impact with content and easier responsive Web development. As an increasingly visually preferred community emerges, designers need to account for this and it is easier to share the message without the sidebar distractions.
10. Images with Text
While it is easy to just throw any basic photo on your blog. But now it’s just as easy to throw some text over the image, color overlays, etc. Thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, these trends have taken hold and websites are catching on.