Perhaps no facet of marketing changes as frequently and dramatically as web design. Each year brings a plethora of fads, but it’s important for marketers to sift through the latest crazes and identify legitimate trends that will impact their marketing efforts.

5 Overarching Web Design Trends Marketers Should Note in 2014

As with previous years, 2014 will see certain key trends that have previously emerged, continue to gain adoption and build momentum. There will also be some new web design trends emerge as well. Here are 5 web design trends we think marketers should take note of.

1. Keeping things simple

After Apple’s release of iOS 7 and the introduction of its flat design, everyone seems to be following suit with simplistic design elements. We will continue to see companies update their websites to be simpler and easier to navigate.

Simple color schemes have been adopted to compliment the flat design. And websites are simplifying their content—giving pages a fresh, clean look with information that can be absorbed in a quick scroll through. And it will give visitors a better user experience as they will be able to find what they are looking for faster and easier.

2. Mobile first

Mobile is continuing to grow in 2014 as websites are starting to accommodate more and more for our mobile lifestyles. But companies still tend to think “mobile second” instead of “mobile first,” but this will start to change in 2014. As mobile use continues to grow, responsive web design will become absolutely essential this year and companies will begin to look more through the lens of mobile instead of desktop for web design.

Mobile user experience will be critical for companies this year to be sure their customers, clients and prospects are receiving a good experience no matter which device they are on. It has been proven that responsive design can increase conversion rates for companies on mobile devices.

3. Dynamic content

Over the last few years, many websites began the transformation from an online brochure to a lead generating machine that worked as a part of your business development team. Forms, calls-to-action (CTA) and premium content were added to many websites to help capture leads. This year, however, websites are going to go one step further by using dynamic content—making each visitor experience more personal.

For example, marketing software like Hubspot can serve up different calls-to-action on your website based on who is visiting. If a blog subscriber visited your website, then the software would replace a “subscribe to our blog” CTA with a different CTA promoting something else. This helps give the visitor a more personal experience that help further push them down the sales funnel. This trend of making the online experience more targeted will help increase conversions for companies moving forward.

4. Greater social integration

Social media has become a serious business and visual social content spreads quickly. Companies will increasingly continue to add social feeds to websites in order to further promote the conversations happening within the social sites and create a sense of familiarity with the social sites that viewers already spend time on.

Sites will also pull design elements from these social sites to further promote this sense of familiarity. For example, 2014 has already seen a rise in the use of manipulated imagery, or photos that look as if they have been put through an Instagram filter, and image tiles reminiscent to those on Pinterest continue to grow in popularity as well.

5. Scrolling & movement

Infinite scrolling will continue to be a trend in 2014. Pinterest is a great example of a site that provides an amazing user experience and allows visitors to continuously navigate through compelling content without having to leave the page.

Websites don’t have to be static anymore. Adding animation or video provides a more active and entertaining experience for the visitor. Video can also tell a story in one minute that may take a whole page of content otherwise. Background video like show on this House of Eyewear website is also becoming increasingly popular and a great way to add another element of uniqueness to your website.

Simplistic design elements, responsive web design, mobile first, movement and social integration are paving the way for the top design trends in the New Year. As more and more companies are realizing the need for “smart marketing” that is entirely customer focused, you’ll see the adoption of trends like these that improve the user (customer) experience. Join the conversation and let us know what design elements you expect to see grow throughout 2014.