It’s almost the end of the year, and you know what that means. It’s time for 2014 countdown lists! These are Atomic’s predictions for the upcoming year’s major trends in web design. These trends entered the stage in 2013, and we think they’ll stay big in the year ahead.
1. Responsive design. We’ve highlighted responsive design before. But we believe it’s much more than a passing fad. As we enter the era of phablets and smart watches, smaller laptops and longer iPhones, we think responsive design (and, specifically, a move toward unification) is here to stay. It’s become clear that designers can’t possibly keep up with all of the screen sizes available. Instead, we need to be designing websites that scale to fit.
2. Flat design. Call it the Jony Ive effect. Flat design means getting rid of 3D-like effects like bevels and drop shadows, and opting instead for crisp, textureless swaths of color. It’s right in line with responsive design trends (flat colors load quicker), and with the release of iOS7 this fall, is sure to become a sign of the times.
3. Minimalist design. Remember when we all needed to show off our web design chops with animated buttons, pop-up windows, tons of photos, and type so bright you had to squint? If the number of minimalist sites we’ve seen lately is any indication, it’s time to give that up. Minimalism is flat design taken a step further, removing not just color effects but all unnecessary features and content. In 2014, think lots of black and white, simple menus, quiet animations, and definitely, definitely no WordArt.
4. Full-width background images. Not quite ready to face the look of a stark-white site? One way to make your site pop—but still stick with the times—is with a high-quality background image that fills the entire screen. This only works if it’s executed right, though—take some time to learn the CSS tricks you should know to make images look beautiful on responsive sites.
5. Print-inspired typography. Proof that print will never truly die? Nostalgia for a simpler, pre-Snapchat era? Whatever the reason, typography and layouts resembling print publications have being springing up all over the Web. Fortunately for designers, staying hip doesn’t have to be a design headache. Typography options are growing and using web fonts is easier than ever.
6. Parallax scrolling. Parallax effects go hand-in-hand with the scrolling website mega-trend. It means that different elements on a web page scroll at different speeds, giving a sense of 3D movement. To avoid giving your site’s visitors motion sickness, use parallax scrolling in moderation. Check out a few great examples here.
2014 is sure to bring its own crop of brand-new design trends (who knows what we’ll be reviewing this time next year?). In the meantime, if you want to be on the cutting edge in web design, these are the trends to follow. At Atomic, we’ll be keeping our eye on what’s next as we continue to deliver great design to our clients.
Is your site looking a little, well, “last year”? Contact Atomic to get your website with the times.