By Richmond Lauman
Welcome to 2014! To start the year off I have decided to try my hand at prediction. Not the kind that the crystal ball might suggest (I just thought the image looked cool), but rather prediction in the more scientific sense. I am going to try and determine, as accurately as I can, some web design trends for 2014, based on what I have observed through 2013 and popular buzz in the industry. Call it educated guesstimates!
The release of the new Apple iOS7 operating system with its no nonsense flat design seems to have sparked a new design trend where flat design is being used for web design elements and user interfaces in lieu of elements designed using drop shadows, beveling and other adornments that add a 3 dimensional look to web sites. I don't think that this is a trend that all site owners need to follow, but Apple and a growing number of designers are showing us that a site can be beautifully designed without 3 dimensional aspects.
This is a trend I am very pleased to have noticed. It has long been known that smaller, simple chunks of text with plenty of whitespace are much easier to read, and are much more likely to be read on a website, but websites have been slow to catch up with the idea of presenting content this way. The browsing popularity of browsing with mobile devices makes this trend even more useful.
This is hardly a new trend but I mention it because I predict it will only grow stronger in 2014. More and more businesses with sites are creating accounts representing their businesses with accounts on social networking sites like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. They are recognizing the advantages of reaching target markets with information that can be shared, drawing potential customers to their sites and and establishing themselves as experts in their fields. New web applications also take advantage of the fact that many web surfers have social networking accounts and give them a way to share information on sites through their social networking accounts.
I predict that in 2014 and in years to come, an increasing number of websites will be browsed from mobile devices like smart phones and pads. As a result it will become necessary for businesses to have their sites designed for fluidity, responsiveness and adaptivity, allowing their site content to be viewed on a large number of screen sizes using a variety of browsers.
In the past, if you wanted all users to have a similar experience, typography for websites was somewhat limited to the generic fonts that people are likely to have installed on their computers and available for use on their browsers. Now it is easier than ever to vary the typography and fonts on a site, allowing for more creative and unique typography that is available to all users and browsers, thanks to technologies like Google Fonts which allow easy access to hundreds of font families. I predict many sites in 2014 will be making creative use of such technology, and we will be seeing beautiful and innovative use of typography in websites we have never seen before without converting content to images.
I predict that with the popularity of Video sharing sites like Vimeo and Youtube, that allow video content to be easily uploaded, hosted and even edited on the web, more sites will be making use of video on their sites, where it might be more compelling or accessible for viewers. New technologies even allow video to be transcribed to different languages or for the hearing impaired, and these transcriptions can be considered as site content for SEO purposes.
Those are my predictions for an exciting and innovative 2014. I hope your year is prosperous and happy!
About the Author
Richmond Lauman is a Web Designer/Developer who owns JAMAXX Web Design, a Web Design company in Nanaimo, BC, Canada.
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