This article has been contributed by Helga Moreno.
The Web design community never gets tired of discussing previous, current and future trends… JUST Creative even posted a 2014 web design trends article a few months ago. But trends change like pictures in fashion magazines, so let’s take another look with a different approach.
Trends we would like to see LESS of:
Users scroll with particular purpose – to see what’s next on your site. They scroll for information. However, sometimes web developers are taken away by unbelievable scrolling effects, so the process losses its practical sense or even slows down the user, which is inadmissible in today’s realities when everything is focused around quick content consumption.
The general tendency to be entirely responsive across all mobile, tablet and desktop devices. We are not trying to convince you that website responsiveness is a dreck, on the contrary, it is a must have for most of the modern sites. Still, there always exist several exceptions from any common rule. Many great websites are not responsive because they simply don’t need the feature.
Does your website have massive background images, heavy, dynamic content, HTML5 animations, and complicated navigation bars? Then it may be better to redirect your users to the mobile version, save their time and efforts, don’t spoil their onsite experience with tardiness and non-perfect display. Here is more info on how to choose if you have a separate mobile site or a responsive site.
Your website doesn’t need to work in all browser versions (IE, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Android and so on). To find out what browser your clients prefer is easy – just check Google analytics report and you’ll have the idea. Why is it important? You’ll save an extra dollar on website development and have more time to focus elsewhere.
Flash websites and intros
They’re being on deathbed for a couple of years already and we sincerely hope that 2014 will let them RIP at last.
We hope that 2014 will become the year when we stop proving the obvious – we are not bots, but just human beings surfing the web.
Editor’s note: Yes, this site uses a Captcha – other spam plugins have fallen short. Open to suggestions!
Forms with labels inside the text boxes
What is the goal of a form field? To make the users fill it with their information. So why do you do this instead of them? You have the space outside the box to explain what you are waiting for, so don’t interrupt the conversation and put superfluous barriers between people and their goals.
More trends we would like to see less of:
- Content carousels;
- Overly large hero images;
- Overused stock photos;
- Autoplay videos;
- Automated popups;
- Advertising sidebars;
- “Hello world” blog posts;
- Reloading pages;
- Modal windows with hidden or tiny close commands;
- Loading screens;
- Small font sizes;
- Long shadows;
- Hipster icons and logos.
Now, when we, like respectable Italians have thrown away all the things we wouldn’t need this year, it’s time to replace the vacuum with something new, fresh, out-of-the-box.
Hottest Web Design Trends of 2014: Updated
2014 web designs have become even more content centered. No distracting elements – focus all your efforts on better content presentation. The website below encourages the users to explore further with the help of simple, yet uncommon triangle navigation.
Carmen lets you into her apartment and you can see and touch her personal belongings to navigate the site. See this post for some other websites with unusual navigation.
Love Carmen Rose
Big content blocks
It’s not a big secret that people perceive and process information delivered with the help of graphic aids (like tables, schemes, diagrams) easier. Big content blocks are great both for responsive web design and storytelling. They focus readers’ attention on one statement at a time. When combined with bold web fonts, lots of whitespace, separated with colors, matched with pictures – big content blocks become even more powerful.
Just look at these huge words. You even don’t need to strain your eyes to read the message.
Pantone designers have identified ten trendiest colors of the coming season. Here they are:
- Placid Blue – a light blue pastel shade. The hue of the sky, associated with peace and serenity. Excellently goes with any pastel shades and classic colors.
- Violet Tulip – a lavender shade. Romantic and vintage hue that evokes nostalgic memories. Very feminine.
- Hemlock – light green, almost pistachio, with an oriental touch. It differs much from the trendy mint and emerald hues with its tenderness. All three of these shades perfectly combine with each other and with brighter colors.
- Sand – beige, a color of coffee with milk. The shade will look great with Hemlock green.
- Paloma – a gray shade. Due to its neutral nature, the hue will look perfect either as standalone or in combination with other colors.
- Cayenne or coral red brings some vibe to the tranquility of neutral and pastel shades. Perfectly complements each of them.
- Freesia or a bright sunny blazing yellow still holds its positions.
- Celosia Orange – a bright, neon shade of orange. Pantone designers advise to combine it with Violet Tulip.
- Radiant Orchid is another shade of purple palette. It’s a little pinker than Violet Tulip, closer to the shade of fuchsia. Looks good with neutral shades.
- Dazzling Blue – a stronger, darker and brighter than pastel Placid Blue hue.
High-quality pictures and videos
Crisp HD photos make the website look professional, attractive and help to convey the main idea better.
One-pagers are usually scrolled to the end so, your content has more chance to be read from cover to cover.
HTML5 markup language will stay a core technology for structuring and presenting content for the web. HTML5 sites will be long and narrative with a strong focus on storytelling, similar to online magazines.
Flat design and a focus on simplicity and clarity will help websites get rid of their excess clutter and focus on the content and overall user experience.
2014 will see even more bold experiments and innovation with parallax scrolling. Scroll the site below and see its fantastic effects with your own eyes!
Neat, minimal icons perfectly fit into clean, flat web designs but also help bring together a page in an easily digestible visual manner.
Sticky or fixed position headers & navigation
The main purpose of the technique is to keep navigation bar constantly visible for the users as they scroll down. Below you can observe a sticky menu, sign up arrow and contact us block.
Designers continue to hone their skills developing websites with large images, white space and minimal text which focuses users’ attention.
Prominent Social Icons
Prominent, easily accessible social media icons. It’s an undeniable fact that social media websites are becoming more popular each day. According to the Experian Marketing Services study, Internet users in the US spend 27% of their online time on social networking. Social media blocks are used to enhance usability and boost popularity of posts, thus generating traffic. Make them easy to notice and this will help your bottom line.
Retina graphics support
Websites that don’t support retina graphics can look blurry on devices with high pixel densities. The trend has seen an uplift of universal font-face glyphs craze and renewed interest in SVGs (scalable vector graphic).
Infinite scroll loading
Infinite scrolling (the technique when more images load up as the user scrolls down the page) has become a standard for image-heavy websites like Pinterest and Google+ photos. This happens because Internet is becoming more and more visual. While content still rules, pictures attract users’ attention. Most image-oriented websites on the web use infinite scroll to provide better user experience.
Mobile Design Patterns
Mobile will continue to gain even more popularity. We will see this in continuous growth of mobile first methodology and large amount of innovation for mobile design patterns.
Rapid user interaction / fewer clicks
If it’s impossible to book, purchase or order your product or service in a few clicks – you will lose your potential sales. Swift interactions are crucial not only for small screens, but desktop ones as well.
e-Commerce 2014 Web Design Trends
Who rules the world of e-commerce? It’s the customer of course. That is the reason why online merchants are ready to do the impossible to enhance the customer’s online shopping experience. This desire combined with technological innovations, website application development & design tools, will give help improve sales.
Customization and personalization options
In the current year we hope to see more e-commerce projects offering customization options to end users, that is, allowing buyers to customize the products according to their needs. For instance, you will be able to decide what type of graphics you want on your body when you try on the clothes in a virtual dressing-room.
Track user’s behavioral patterns
In addition to customization, developers will also employ technologies to track users’ behavioral patterns onsite and suggest the products they may need. Amazon would be a perfect example of this.
A Gentle Reminder
Instead of a conclusion, we would like to remind you that a decent design should serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. Design for the user’s needs and apply best practices. Don’t follow trends for the sake of it.
Do you have any updated 2014 web design trends to add?
Helga Moreno is a learning junkie, requiring a new dose of fresh information every day. She diligently puts down all her thoughts in order to share the most interesting of them with web community in general and TemplateMonster’s readers in particular. Want to know more about her? Visit her Google+ profile.