Web Design Trends to Look Out for in 2014

Designers are fast adopting impressive design patterns (styles) that in combination often deliver a highly satisfying user experience. Some of these patterns have been here for long and the others have just joined.

So, let’s take a closer look at seven web design styles that are ruling the roost and will continue to grow in 2014.

Accessible, Quality Content

Before we get into the actual trends it’s important to state that content has always been the king and it still is. Designers are making sure that they create useful, informative and accessible content which reaches the user via the best interactive experience possible.

A solid headline, will surely make your user open the site, but quality content is equally necessary for them to stay on the site for a sufficient period of time… and also come back again.

 

 

Custom Illustration

Designers are taking this approach very seriously as it can really differentiate a website from any other. Illustrations, vector graphics and hand-drawn illustrations are becoming popular because of the raw aesthetic beauty, energy and uniqueness they bring to the design of a website. They can either be simple or intricate, but there is absolutely no doubt they make the design more memorable.

While most of the designers limit these illustrative designs to some pages, there are others who base their complete website layout on illustrations alone. Illustrations help c Canvas Video.

Take for example the agency Carrot, who use video on many of their sub pages. It helps add dynamism and insight to the company which could not have been done as well with still imagery alone. If pictures are worth 1000 words, what’s a video worth?

Another great example is Sony in their BeMoved site which utilizes parallax scrolling and mp4 videos very well. You can see behind the scenes here.

A “Less is More” Approach

Less is more! Minimalism is taking over the web world. Nobody wants to look at pages, overcrowded with graphics, photographs, texts and random flying objects (Geocities anyone?). A cleaner page is easier to navigate and understand. Designers are fast taking up the minimalistic approach to improve the quality of their site and its usability.

The designers need to get down to the bare essential elements of their website to get the perfect minimalist approach. It’s about taking things away until you realize there is nothing more you can remove.

Less words or pictures is the rule! A good eye for image placements, spacing and proportion becomes crucial here. Smart typeface choice and minimal text can do wonders when placed in white space. Use a grid to place the photographs and text to enhance the effect.

Flat Design

Flat design is shorthand for a design philosophy that strives for simplicity, clarity, and honesty of materials in user interfaces.

Flat pages rarely introduce dimensionality, shadows, or textures into the equation, relying instead on parallax scrolling, visual clarity and bold colors to communicate.

The flat design trend has risen up over 2013 and will continue to blossom in 2014. Check out this gallery of flat web designs.

Flat generally refers to:

  • Simple
  • Straight Lines, And Square Corners
  • No Added Effects
  • Few Buttons, “less elements”
  • Typography & Color Lead The Design
  • Unique, often Bright Color Combinations

Animated Story Telling

Many designers have taken up the task of becoming entertaining storytellers to engage their users. The use of storytelling in web design often reveals the website’s message step by step. Designers use various elements to tell their brand story through a combination of words, illustrations, typography, videos, photographs, color, mascots, icons and symbols – often animating them in and out of place as seen on the Tinke site.

Words have always been the simplest way to tell a story. The right words will make great content and in turn, will form a great story. Sentences should be concise and to the point.

Visuals can be more effective sometimes though, as a single image can say much about your brand. To go even further, we can animate parts of the page to enact the story of the brand such as on the Dangers of Fracking site below.

Simple, focused content along with supporting design elements help make a rich branded experience for the user.

Keeping these trends in mind will definitely help you come up with great web experiences for the target users, but remember “performance is design“.t via HTML5 Canvas Video now.

Take for example the agency Carrot, who use video on many of their sub pages. It helps add dynamism and insight to the company which could not have been done as well with still imagery alone. If pictures are worth 1000 words, what’s a video worth?

Another great example is Sony in their BeMoved site which utilizes parallax scrolling and mp4 videos very well. You can view behind the moments here.

 

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