The web (as we know it today at least) turned two decades old this year, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Newer, bigger and better are the mantras of site designers the world over, with new techniques and trends becoming the norm nearly daily.
So what will be the big changes in design in 2014? The tried-and-true staples—responsive web design for ideal cross-platform rendering and parallax scrolling—will march forward of course, but there will also be some surprises. Here’s a list of six trends to be on the lookout for.
Computer and smartphone screens are flat, so website designers have to try to create a 3D experience through the use of drop shadows and heavy textures. Now designers will start using a minimalist interface with solid blocks of saturated color, creative typography, stronger lines, no shadows, and few or no gradients. A great example of flat design is Microsoft’s Windows 8.
In a nod to the fashion world hot pinks and flashy greens are back, and designers are beginning to draw from neon color palettes to make sites really pop.
It’s always been a big no-no in design—both web and print—as it tends to create a confusing and hard-to read site. But mixing font styles is coming back, as long as designers stick with no more than three different fonts from each of the larger typographical categories.
Single Page Design
Cluttered, multi-page sites can be annoying, so pouring all content and images onto a single page—which allows readers to scroll through instead of skipping from page to page—is becoming popular.
Retina displays double the amount of pixels on a screen, and designers will be looking for ways to better support them without impacting download speeds.
Code Free Design
Companies such as Webydo have already developed online design studios where designers can free themselves of the chore of coding and let their creativity take center stage, allowing for greater efficiency and productivity.