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5 Modern Web Design Trends To Adopt in 2014

Written by Taylor Hawes

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Studying a document

In a world existing increasingly online, web design is increasing in importance. But as the rate of development increases, staying ahead of the curve is essential to standing out from the crowd. From adaptive designs, to large-format media, to simplified experiences, 2014 promises to be a year of changes; changes you can, and should, implement.

 

Flat Design

If you’ve heard this term once, prepare to hear it many times again. From the Apple iOS redesign to a multitude of sites around the Internet, the benefits of flat design are being recognized and implemented ubiquitously. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, flat design eschews 3D and shading techniques, commonly used by designers in the past, for flat colors, simple layouts, and a less cluttered look. The effect of this design choice is a sleek, clean looking interface that hints at modernity and currently sits at the cutting edge of web design trends.

But the benefits of flat design are not simply aesthetic. By reducing the amount of visual clutter, websites become more usable, providing a better experience for site viewers (which means a better shopping experience for potential customers). This occurs because each piece of visual stimuli on a screen, whether links, images, or even shadows, requires some level of processing by the human brain, thus taxing tired eyes and minds. By simplifying the experience, the customer’s mind is free to think about purchase decisions or read valuable content, which means improved revenue and brand impact.

 

Scroll-to-Sections

In the past, much attention was paid to creating websites with a comprehensive navigation tree, taking great care to segment each piece of content on its own page. The downsides of this approach included the need for users to exert the mental energy necessary to find information, and the unnecessary wait times associated with loading multiple pages. Fortunately for impatient web browsers, savvy developers have developed a new approach to the multi-page problem that incorporates an elegant navigation with a distinctive structure.

Instead of multiple page assets and redundant loading, websites are opting for a single-page look that differentiates content by changing background color and typography as the user scrolls down. in addition, users wanting more information without scrolling can simply click on links that move the page down to the desired section. The net result is a more coherent experience, that is aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use for even casual browsers.

 

Adaptive Photography

There was a time when web designers were limited to repeating, simple (or solid color) backgrounds due to the limitations of dial-up Internet and resolutions of computer monitors. However, with retina displays and high-resolution smartphones dominating the marketplace, web designers are utilizing attractive, large-format photographic backgrounds for a number of reasons. But the range of devices upon which these are viewed require a little accommodation in order to optimize their aesthetic effectiveness.

Adaptive layouts are the growing trend in web design and their methods should affect everything from navigation to font size. But photographic backgrounds in particular require these same methods in order to provide a coherent experience between desktop and mobile sites. An image, presented in one format on desktop, should present in a similar manner on mobile sites in order to maintain brand and site identity. For this reason, implementing photography the smart and adaptive way is essential.

 

Typography

But images aren’t the only visual element seeing consideration. In the nascent days of the Internet, text was rendered almost exclusively in the system default font. Even after a greater quantity of fonts was installed on personal computers, designs were limited to the fonts available on those computers, as any font not available on the user’s system would not load. But, in time, solutions were developed that now enable us to load fonts for users, ensuring accurate reproduction of initial design on browsers, and more expressive typography as a result.

With this greater flexibility in design comes a greater responsibility on the part of designers to use the resources available to them. The availability of attractive web fonts means that your website now has a greater potential than ever to use expressive typography in conveying meaning, tone, and voice. Large, display fonts can make headers more attractive, while serifed body copy can make the reading experience easier. Wherever used, designers in 2014 are recognizing the importance of typography in conveying brand message and improving usability, and you should too.

 

Video (Instead of Text)

In stark contrast to this trend, however, is the growing prevalence of video as a replacement for text. Simply put, video has a well-established and enhanced capacity to convey meaning in ways that text simply cannot. Product demonstrations, a human face, and a greater feeling of engagement and conversation are just a few of the benefits of video, and for that reason businesses are seeing the value and making a change.

For many websites, the change is happening in a profound way. Landing pages may contain a single, large video at the top with supplementary text below, but the focus remains on the video. While more in-depth and researched discussions still require the capabilities and functionality of text, consider looking into video as a way of more quickly and efficiently demonstrating usability, convenience, and product value. With users increasingly making decisions on a momentary basis, a strong, well-crafted first impression can make the difference between sales conversion and boredom.

 

The web is becoming sleeker, more adaptive, and more informative in 2014. Flat design and single-page layouts are driving websites away from complex navigations and saving user headaches in the process. Effective typography and adaptive images are ensuring that effective websites are usable and pleasing on a psychological level. Finally, video is taking the lead as the most efficient means of conveying meaning and brand image, while engaging users in the process. Iteration and constant improvement are key on the Internet, and observing the dominant trends of 2014 can make your website, and your company, stand out in the New Year.

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Comments

18 Responses to 5 Modern Web Design Trends To Adopt in 2014

  1. Gerald Davenport says:

    Exactly what I began doing mid 2013!!! good to know I was on the right track.

  2. hamad says:

    hello i wish to apply as designer with hostgator if i can be given a full access to be design with joomla for an hostgator i can be doing fine.thank you.

  3. Rahul Onmark says:

    I noticed the trend of flat design already in 2013 and was successfully implementing it in my work. Good to hear that it is going to be the main this year too.

  4. Kavleen says:

    Yes ! also in 2014 ‘flat designing’ will be very high in demand like in 2013 !!
    http://www.gitinfosys.com/website-designing.html

  5. Thanks for acquainting us about the latest trends in website
    design. Seems that web design is finally concentrating upon providing an
    adaptive and sleek interface. The users will be granted a smarter web
    experience soon.

  6. I
    like to continue with the simple Flat Website Design,
    as i have seen in the last year, it populates my design a lot and i got a good
    response from my Clients as well. The other trends i like are the Big
    Background Videos, Simple Color Schemes & the extensive use of customized
    Typography.

  7. Akhil ahmed says:

    Hi sir,, The concept of flat design was informative.Really looking forward for more of your articles..I am new to the area of website design and marketing and I am looking forward to learn a lot through discussions.

  8. Lary Brians says:

    A website will expose you to a larger number of potential customers and increase the size of your target audience

    http://www.ibasesolutions.com.au

  9. This was the trend prevailed almost a year back. Nothing has been mentioned
    about the latest trends

    Scroll to sections is not a good trend from the SEO point
    of view

  10. Usher Infotech says:

    these days single page format websites are much in demand.

  11. Dirck Adams says:

    Interesting post. Even I am a fan of flat webdesign. The trend of website designs in the year of 2014 seems to focus on single page format websites and also making responsive websites. Finally the content will always remain the king and what matters the most is keeping it simple to ensure that the visitors enjoy navigating the website.

  12. www.webdesignreview.co.uk says:

    Yes I totally agree with this, video is the way to go :) Lizzy xx

  13. Redspark Technologies says:

    Good informative post Taylor Hawes. Listed significant points that helps to look more of professional..

  14. Juliya Martin says:

    This is very interest to know the modern trends in web designing. Thanks for sharing this. I will try to use these trends in my next web design
    regards by
    ATEES Infomedia Pvt Ltd

  15. sandhya gupta says:

    I appreciate the efforts shown through this post since its very important for a web designer to checkout the new ideas coming in and see how long they prevail in the market. Skills of a person differ which can bring unique interactors to the design and open up new oppurtunities for your business. Web designers of kaos build appealing, highly compatible designs which conveys the right
    image of business.

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