Like the world of fashion where designs change every season, the web landscape also sheds its old skin and wears a new one periodically. These changes typically occur due to triggers, which could be updated nomenclature, stagnancy or change in overall design trends. Whatever may be the reason for this switch the fact remains that the basic functionality of the website is never compromised.
Here are some of the web design trends for 2014. While some are spill over from last year there are others which are absolutely new introductions.
1. Flat Design
At the very top of the design evolution this year is the divorce between web elements and three-dimensional form of appearance. Yes, gone are those days of gradient gangs raiding web pages or drop shadow components which literally jumped out of the viewing screen, not to mention bevels and chamfers. The buzzword today is "0" size.
Flat designs have taken over not only the World Wide Web but have made their way into applications and software. Apple made this happen with its iOS 7.0. And soon browsers and email clients also followed suit. While flat design looks like a breath of fresh air it also offers several advantages over conventional elements, and one of the finest examples is Clarity Way. Some of the vantages are mentioned below.
1. Space – The screen size is shrinking as more and more people are turning to smart phones and tablets for accomplishing business and personal tasks. In such a scenario flat design translates into extra space.
2. Responsive – Flat design also means the elements will shrink or expand beautifully; without warping or loosing its aesthetics. This simply means "Fluidity". Web designs weaved with flat elements look good on most of the resolutions and devices.
2. Simple Colour Schemes
The 2014 web design trends are focussed more on usability and simplicity. Check out the NFSRV fulfilment services website. However, the objective is achieved without compromising looks or visual appearance. One way of doing this is by using simple colour schemes. Many websites today exploit just one or two tones. While one colour hogs the entire website reaching every corner, the other is typically used for text which most of the time is black or white.
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Some web designers have taken these new trends by the horns and revolutionised the way people perceive this space by adopting classic style; black and white. However, such designs are suitably complemented with other vogues to make them really stand out from the crowd. Yet another style practice which has become a rage in certain niche categories is the use of loud colours in tandem with white customised font.
3. Less Text, More Video –
The overall home page design has evolved greatly in terms of how it looks and functions. There was a time when long scrolling pages were shunned because it was considered a taboo. Not any more.
Today, it has become one of the important trends which just cannot be ignored. It is not uncommon to see websites with large hero areas on their landing page containing an image and few sentences describing the website and a couple of videos suitably placed in one corner or at the bottom.
Now this might not sound very thrilling but the fact is these large areas which are splashed with classic, grunge or black & white images are attention grabbers. The bare minimum information also adds to its beauty. Visitors typically like to read short narrations or brief description unless of course it is a blog post.
By mixing all these elements, a unique page is created which offers, individuality, usability, passes the latest design trend barricade and provides important information. So discard all those sliders, right and left fixed columns and drowning the home page with unwanted text.
4. Responsive Layouts –
As mentioned above responsive designs are becoming the norm of the day. Keeping with this trend, web designers are making sure that their designs look pleasing on all the platforms, devices and resolutions. Ecigs is a perfect example as far as fluid design concept is concerned.
Responsive design allows users to experience the same browsing thrills which typically were once reserved for desktops. By incorporating flat design, solid colours and laying out components in simple grid formation, designers turn their website into a fluid page which stretches and retracts depending on the device or resolution.
5. Fixed Header Bars
Fixed header bars blend with most of the modern designs beautifully. It occupies a fixed area and offers a navigation system with is simply a joy to use. Yet another advantage with this form of design style is the user need not look around or search for navigation options thus improving the functionality of the site to a great extent.
These headers most of the time not only offer links to the inner pages but also carry company/brand logo which is always noticeable. This distinct positioning over a period of time builds trust; visitors typically relate to it.
6. Large Photo Backgrounds
As mentioned above large photo backgrounds have taken over most of the modern websites; in vogue with 2014 design trends. However, background photos or images need to be picked up with great care. These images have to complement the brand, make sure visitors can read the text, typically the punch line. Some of the other metrics which needs to be looked into are the size of the photo, contrast in terms of other elements and of course the blending attribute vis-à-vis header bar.
However, load time is crucial. Oversized images are bandwidth thieves. Designers therefore optimise these photos to provide a fast loading site. Optimisation is the key here. Remember, delayed loading of background will simply put off visitors.
Many websites incorporate solid colour, patterns or textures in lieu of photos which actually goes well with today’s design trends.
7. CSS Transparency
Have you observed the translucent icons of iOS 7.0? It immediately grabs your attention with its cellophane like effect. Websites achieve this effect through CSS’s opacity property; an extremely handy way to overlay text on a home page background photo. The concept has really picked in the recent times as more and more websites, such as this Electrical Service web entity which embraced the flat design concept along with other newer design concepts.
Thankfully most of the popular browsers render opacity beautifully. It simply means designers can now fully exploit it without worrying about its outcome.
Written by Derek Fraser: Derek Fraser is an Online Blogger. He likes blogging about Web Designing, Online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.