Last year was indeed an interesting time for web designers and many new ideas came bursting through the development stages. Some of these are destined for obscurity but a fair number will become rather successful in 2014. This article takes a look at the ones that made it through to the big money stages of the website design tunnel.
When websites first hit our shores and designers pretty much had free rein to do what they wished, over-design was probably the name of that particular game. And although the results did impress us, the lack of usability was a bigger deal altogether. The essential requirements for a website are fairly basic, and you simply need to be able to navigate your way around without getting a migraine. The fixed navigation toolbar has become a must have feature for 2014 and for that we are truly thankful.
Newsletters come of age
This design is vital for the email marketing strategy that is still doing rather well out in promotion-ville, so it’s refreshingly cool to see that this area of design has been tweaked into a very usable piece of interface display. You can get so much information onto a single page and the real juicy stuff is always just a click away from your potential audience.
Presentation videos rule okay?
Vine has a lot to answer for and most of the questions are pretty complimentary. A short movie clip is certainly the way to go when you have a point to make in a very short time window. They are real simple to make and we’ve yet to hear a bad word said about them. Apparently 2014 will see a rather heftier 30 second clip becoming de rigeur, and we can’t wait!
Content based websites
Another trend that looks to be welcomed across the board is the text based approach that does away with meaningless gimmicks. The content has always been king as far as we are concerned and the search engine crawlers are certainly going to have their work cut out for them in 2014.
The old tried and tested fonts such as Times New Roman and Calibri are destined for obscurity as the gazillion smartphone apps have redefined the possibilities available for our website design requirements. Instead of having to pay through the nose for these exclusive letter designs, they are becoming affordable enough for the man in the street to play around with until the cows come home to roost.
When it comes to the most eye-catching way to represent some not so interesting data, you have to doff your cap to infographics. You can get a whole lot of statistical juice onto a single page and make it stand out to anyone who should chance upon the web page. Not only does this provide a valuable educational tool but it also makes the creation of this once boring aspect of data analysis a whole lotta fun!
Parallax – hype or hot?
This website variant is undoubtedly popular with all sets of user demographics and it has definitely made a very big impact in its own right. The powerful imagery and creative typography is going to be more noticeable than ever in 2014.
Responsive Web Design
If your business does not yet have a responsive website up and running, you could soon be counting the cost of this folly, and it will not make for pleasant reading. Forget about mobile websites, responsive design is what you want. Just look at the millions of potential customers who wouldn’t dream of doing business with a company who can only offer a scaled down version of their website for smartphone and tablet users. Not only will these be nigh impossible to navigate around comfortably, you’ll be sending a big message to these tech-savvy individuals and they’ll be muttering ‘loser’ under their collective breathe as they scroll onto your rival companies who actually made the effort.
Although you may be of the mindset that a minimalist approach is pretty one dimensional, maybe you need to think again. Flat design websites are going to be massive in 2014 and this simple yet powerful imagery is a refreshing change from the cluttered norm. Listen to your clients and really concentrate on the words that keep cropping up again and again. You’ll hear ‘simple’ and ‘modern’ as well as ‘clean’. There is a reason for these phrases and when you see the flat design websites in action, you’ll be able to connect the dots. Offering a better user experience without going around the houses really cuts to the chase and they can get on with doing business far quicker than previously. You’ll get more transactions and your client base will have more time on their hands to see exactly what it is that you are selling.