For those of you who enjoy shopping for clothes (or those of you who are forced to by others), you have probably come across the occasional wardrobe item that would be defined as “trendy” or “current.” Sometimes, when you try on this certain piece, it’s clear it was designed for someone with the exact opposite body type, personality or age demographic. Web trends can be just like that at times. When you read about them or see them in action, they look neat, but may not necessarily fit with your user type or business personality.
Web design and technology are continuously advancing, and it may be hard to keep up with all of the trends. To make it easier, here are some links we recommend for trends to watch in 2014: The Next Web, Wix, and Web Ascender. We have found that just because it’s cool and current, it may not mean it’s right for your brand, your users or your web presence.
Here are some trends you’re likely to see:
Simpler Color Palettes You have seen this new “less is more” approach to color on websites, and many of them look clean, modern and help keep the content as the star. It’s popular to see websites that are using minimal colors, or different hues of one color. Keep in mind that although a simpler palette is hot right now, you want to cater the color scheme to your audience. For example, if you’re designing a site targeted toward young children, it’s probably better to stick to primary and bright colors to help engage that audience.
Simplified Content – Simple, Short Content Pieces Keeping content short and concise helps capture the user’s attention and gets the point across quickly. Users attention spans are only getting shorter, therefore it makes sense to grab their interest quickly. When information does need to be more detailed or lengthy, make sure to use a teaser to get the audience to link in and commit to reading a lengthy piece.
Funky Functionality Designers and developers are constantly moving the ball forward and pushing the limits of what is capable via the desktop or laptop browser and now on mobile devices. Sometimes though this is done to the dismay of the frustrated end-user who is challenged to know when to scroll, swipe, click, hover, expand and collapse. Countless sites are beginning to employ the increasingly popular parallax scrolling feature. It’s a fun and interactive way to present content, but it’s important to ensure that the effect itself won’t get in the way of primary messaging and site goals.
Interesting Photo Manipulation It’s awesome seeing how many cool tricks and treatments can be applied to imagery these days. They help make a site more visually interesting and can give photos a more authentic feel to the content or style they are representing online. There are many fun photo packs available that cater to various web design themes. Everyone here at Mediabarn agrees that it’s time to start seeing more of this and ditch the staged stock photos we see so often!
We’re excited to see some of these trends in action this year with our work, and everywhere online. Here’s to a creative (and user-centric) 2014!