Website Design trends are constantly changing. Every year brings new standards. This year’s website design trends include unique typography, flat design, large hero areas, mobile, videos instead of text, long scrolling sites, simple color schemes, simple content, no sidebar, and new technology. Some of these website design trends will stay and others will go but this post gives you the scoop on what we predict the top ten website design trends will be in 2014.
1. Unique Typography
For many years websites have used standard serif and san-serif fonts like Helvetica. In 2013 there was a shift to more unique fonts with personality. This trend is definitely going to continue in 2014.
2. Flat Design
You can thank Apple for this one. With the release of iOS7 came the design aesthetic most commonly known as “flat design.” While eliminating drop shadows and gradients might seems like a good idea in some cases to give a more updated look to things, Apple took it to a whole other level by dropping pretty much any design element it could.
Apple has for a long time been a trendsetter, and what Apple does, the rest of the world seems to follow. iOS7 has been out for a while and already there are a flood of sites coming online every day with new “flat” designs.
3. Say Goodbye to Sliders and Hello to Large Hero Areas
Large hero areas (the “intro” area, often an image with a little amount of text, at the top of a website – a borrowed term from print design) on website home pages are very popular right now. Look at Line25’s Sites of the Week for the first week of January and you’ll see that almost all of them reflect this change in design.
4. Greater Focus on Mobile
Now that responsive web design is more commonplace, developers and designers are focusing more attention on the mobile audience (which is growing constantly). Integration with social media, asking for email subscriptions, long scrolling sites (see below), and fast loading sites all help make the mobile Web a more friendlier place in 2014.
5. Videos in Place of Text
Why read about something when you can watch it? In 2014, you will start to see websites with large videos in the hero area. The cost of video production is going down and they are increasingly easier to share online and on social media.
6. Long Scrolling Sites
Sometimes these are called one-page sites. This is a design feature that has come full circle. Websites used to have way too much content on long scrolling pages and then there was a shift to more complicated menu structures and additional pages. Responsive design and designing for a mobile audience has led us back to the idea that it’s actually comfortable to scroll down through content. The difference that 2014 brings is a greater attention to design – look for long scrolling sites with plenty of white space, unique layout, and fonts.
7. Simple Color Schemes
In 2014, we will see a lot more website with very simple color schemes. And by simple, we mean really only one or two colors.
Take for instance the UIKit site above. That site has only one hue: blue (in design and art, white and black aren’t considered colors, but neutrals). The use of a more simple color scheme seems to come with flat design (discussed above), but not always. The site above uses blue predominantly throughout the design, but it is the only color you see.
Some websites being launched now are using very little color, or even forgoing color all together. White, black, and everything in between are popular color schemes now, and adding just a hit of another color, such as red, adds drama and impact – all things that garnish attention when used in the right way.
8. Simplified Content
Simplified content means short bursts of content, a la Twitter style. Over the years as a population, our attention spans have become shorter, so designers have compensated for that by putting content in short bursts instead of long narratives. Not many areas (aside from blog posts) have more than 250 characters. This is because readers are scanning as a new way to consume content.
9. Dropping the Sidebar
You see this more in magazine and news sites, but many are experimenting with dropping the sidebar altogether. This allows for a more visual with content.
10. Manipulated Imagery
In 2014, we are going to see sites with images that have color overlays, blurred images, or even images that are reminiscent of Instagram images with filters.
11. Bonus – Cool New Website Technology
We are going to continue to see websites experiment with cool new HTML5-driven technology. For example, Tobi’s Story’s website is a great use of really cool things done in a great way.