Top Website Design Trends for 2014: Part 1
Good website design brings together commercial purposes and on-brand aesthetics resulting in a website that is easy and pleasurable to use.
Although these basics of good website design never really change, the way designers go about achieving them are constantly evolving as aesthetic trends emerge and new technology open up new possibilities.
Technology is one of the major drivers of the website design trends we’re expecting to see more of in 2014 with a couple of the major trend drivers being the increase in importance e of mobile devices and the new possibilities HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery bring to the developers’ toolbox.
Here is Part 1 of our selection of the main website design trends we’re expecting to see in 2014.
Mobile and responsive web design
This is not so much a trend as a driver but it deserves its own mention. The increased reliance on mobile devices (in some cases entirely replacing PC use) means that mobile-friendly websites and mobile app development will be on an upward trajectory for some time.
Designing websites with mobile in mind– known as responsive website design – has implications for a range of design and functionality considerations, including colours, use of images, choice of fonts, navigation design and use of text.
Each of these elements is explored separately below but generally, the reason they’re on this list is because mobile is forcing designers to use everything available to them to communicate clearly and succinctly in the smallest screen space possible. Design is becoming more considered and deliberate than ever.
Flat design wins out over skeuomorphism
Skeuo-huh? Broadly, skeuomorphism is an effect applied to an object to make it look like a different material – something that we associate with that thing but which is no longer necessary. Some of the most recognisable examples of skeuomorphism come from Apple – the stitched leather iCal, the timber iBooks bookshelf, the ‘realistic’ calculator and so on. That’s before they finally gave up and joined Microsoft in flat design.
Aside from its tendency to move ever-so-quickly from clever to kitsch, skeuomorphism is not so suitable for responsive website design. Of course when it comes to a decision between realistic leather-grain and responsive, web designers are opting for the commercial choice and opting for flat colour without gradients, shadows or faux finishes.
Of late, website developers have been opting for larger fonts, but responsive website design calls for responsive typography and this will continue to be an important focus in 2014.
At a minimum, adaptive layout will adjust font sizes for different devices, but the best results come from liquid layout which constantly adjusts fonts to suit both the device screen size and orientation.
If you’re considering a website redesign in 2014, keep mobile firmly in your mind.
Talk to iFactory about web design
iFactory is a specialist digital agency, skilled in blending outstanding user experience with your brand to create effective websites that deliver on your business objectives. Our team of talented designers and developers understand mobile and the importance of responsive design in website development. Plus, with iFactory Digital Strategy Managers who understand digital but ‘think’ business, you can explore a myriad of possibilities in mobile application development that could revolutionise the way you do business.