Are you looking for some fresh inspiration in your web design projects? 2014 promises to be a banner year of innovation amid plenty of inspiring techniques. If these techniques had to be summed up in one word, it would be: simple. A few trends to look for, in no particular order of preference, follow.
1. Fonts with Lots of Personality
Fonts can go so much further than simply the top four or five most common type settings seen online. While Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica are fonts that get the job done, they are, largely, uninspired simply because of their proliferation across the vast landscape that is the Internet. Simply sticking with the tried and true fonts is just not an option in 2014. Instead, more designers will play around with fonts that infuse personality, via serifs, or not, all without a sacrifice in professionalism.
2. More Mobile Focused
With the continued importance of being able to access to the web, even while on the go, practices that fuel this trend continue to be implemented by web designers. Expect to see more seamless integration with social media sites, websites that load as quickly on mobile devices as they do on traditional computers and scrolling areas that are larger to offer more information at a glance.
3. Scrolling Hero Area
With a term lifted from print media, hero areas are the first thing that captures a typical visitor’s attention once they land on a site. The trend of large hero areas that replace sliders as a way to navigate the inner workings of the website is quickly gaining traction as the top pick for 2014. The ability to give visitors instant access to web content without the fumbling awkwardness of sliders makes the user experience about 110% more friendly and useful.
4. Videos Edge out Text
The use of videos on websites continues to grow with 2014 promising to be the most innovative year of all for this engaging media. As producing videos becomes easier, and sharing them becomes almost second nature, expect to see them everywhere, most notably as they replace much of the text in places such as the hero area. Though videos are often cited as taking up great amounts of data and being clunky to load, especially when the user accesses the website using a mobile device, they are still an effective medium of communication that succinctly cuts to the nature of the issue. Bonus: YouTube, along with some other services that host videos, allow for the easy tracking of views which helps streamline the process for determining content on a website.
5. Bite Sized Content
Whether it is because attention spans are truly getting shorter, people are just way too busy to pay attention to things for anything more than a few minutes or simply because less is more when trying to digest information, expect websites to feature more content in a simplified format this year. Reading short bursts of text works better for many sites as they try to capture the attention of those people who like, or need, to only scan a page.
6. Nixing the Sidebar
Many websites are going for a cleaner and less cluttered look by dropping their sidebars. By reducing the number of things that vie for the visitor’s attention while increasing the space devoted to what they want to see, the entire experience is more visitor oriented. This, in turn, encourages those visitors to stay longer.
7. Image Manipulation
While websites will still use relevant images to help illustrate a point or highlight an angle, there is a trend toward taking a bit of a creative license with some images. Overlays of color, filtered images a laInstagram and blurry images all allow websites to grab the attention in a subtle way that highlights a point while cementing in the mind.
8. Innovative Animations
Animation on websites are nothing new but as updated versions of things such as HTML5 are introduced, the combinations are simply endless. By adding a truly interactive vibe to a website, animations that are coupled to a visitor’s natural action, such as scrolling down the hero area, encourage exploration and fun, two things that make a website stand out above the rest.
9. Simplified Colors
The use of color is a key component of website design. Continuing with the trend of simplifying, many websites are experimenting with the use of only a few colors. In some cases, this actually means only one or two key colors. This, of course, is not as limiting as it might initially sound as there are many hues within each basic color scheme.
Though some of the tools and techniques utilize technological advances that are anything but simple, while others really are quite simple in design, the end result is virtually the same. The effect on the website is simplified, making it a much cleaner and fresher experience for the visitor.