To celebrate the World Wide Web’s 21st birthday coming up in 2014, we come armed with balloons, party poppers and all things colourful – the perfect ingredients to make your site ‘pop’.
Many websites, unfortunately, are still caught up in their teen years and lacking something a little more tasteful. If this sounds like you, it’s time to jump on board with the fun and embrace some radical trends set to rule, and possibly take over, 2014. Let’s make this 21st a one to remember!
1. Start Small
Whilst planning birthday parties is exciting, it’s going to fall into a heap if you try and make it too big too quickly, tackle the small tasks first then work your way up. It’s no different with web design so start designing on the small screen and widen out to tablets and desktop computers.
In this day of age where most surf the net and make purchases from their mobile devices, there is nothing more frustrating than stumbling across a great website offering the services you need only to find it’s not compatible with your device. Not only does it have to be accessible though, but it needs to look just as good from a small screen as it does from a large screen. As technology evolves, it’s becoming even easier to sync the desktop world with mobile technology, so if you website cannot be viewed properly across your mobile, tablet and desktop computer – then you’re getting left behind.
2. Dare to be Bold
Stepping your website out of its teenage years leaves behind all the fear that came with it – dare to be bold for 2014. Screen borders and page margins are now (almost) a thing of the past, the new trend is to employ full width background images that fill the entire screen and make a statement. Not only will it add colour and dimension to the page, but these valiant moves will leave a notable impression on whoever lands on your site.
3. Make Your Party Come Alive
No one likes a dull party; we want to be greeted with something fun, something that entices us to stay. Making your page (or party) come alive for 2014 is crucial to attracting and maintaining a good audience. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but enough to grab someone’s attention, intrigue them and create a good user experience.
Consider using animations – with the growing capabilities of CSS3 and HTML5 it’s easy to enhance your page and create that “wow” factor. Parallax scrolling also uses these technologies to craft remarkable effects in the browser to form a much more memorable site. These tools work by moving both your graphics and content with the page to create depth and in term bring your website to “life”.
4. Content Focus
Without people, there is no party and without fresh and informative content, there really is no website. Keep your focus on content, not just on the design and the pretty side of things. Think social media buttons to enable your readers to share the love, graphics (not to replace text though, but to visually appeal) and videos. Content doesn’t always have to be articles and text so be sure to keep mixing it up.
5. Talk with Typography
Mixing and matching typography is another trend set to rule 2014 where three font styles can be varied throughout the page to create a striking contrast. Displaying fonts in various techniques has been explored throughout 2013 and the trend will develop even further into the New Year with more web fonts being supported.
From a practical view, talking with typography can reduce a reliance on images and give your text content a creative spin.
6. Keep It Super Simple
Simplicity is fundamental to any creative design. Whilst you can still have a page that pops – with colour, fun and depth, using these techniques in a simplified approach will have a greater user effect.
Where possible, implement the use of white space to emphasise information, features and graphics. Trying to load too much onto a page will not only make it go super slow, but it will make it look cluttered and information can easily get lost. Think magazines and use this as a guide for your white space on your web page.
Keep your page design simple by having an easy-to-navigate menu and try your upmost hardest to stay away from flash. Use large buttons so they are easily seen and continue with the bold statement theme, and vertical scrolling (sticky navigation) so the menu options and social media share plugins are “glued” to the side of the page.