Top 10 web design trends for 2014

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Web designers had a great time last year with lots of new ideas setting sail. Although some sank, others took off and created a permanent impact.

The trends that made a big splash in 2013 will become house-hold names in 2014, while emerging trends continue to get polished and refined by designers everywhere.

So what web design trends lie before us in 2014? Let’s get started, and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.

1. Flat design thrives

flat-altenrative

Website: wistia.com

If you think this was just another fad, then you are mistaken. Flat design is minimalist design on steroids. It’s about keeping it simple, clean and modern which are words you often hear out of most clients’ mouths.

The reason why everybody is using flat design is because it makes sense. We have less clutter, more use of white space and overall a better user experience. It forces designers to achieve more by using less and for that, I consider it the number one trend for 2014.

2. Responsive design is a must

responsive

Website: KasraDesign

This will become a standard, no question about it. Clients will ask for it, developers will learn the coding requirements and then subsequently push for it. The reasoning is simple: demand. Since smartphones and tablets are selling like hotcakes there is huge marketing potential. You’ll see even your smallest business owner talking about it because they’re seeing responsive in action on other sites.

3. Websites showcase better images

better-images

Website: Portraits

Designers have been pushing for better images for a long time, yet they’ve always had trouble on the client side. 2014 will bring higher quality, more creative and unique images because of multiple reasons: pricing is affordable; loading speed is faster than ever; access to high quality images is everywhere.

4. Parallax websites grow in popularity

parallax

Website: Hot Dog

Long gone are the days of the 960 pixel website that had to work great on IE6. It’s all about the impact and making a BIG statement. Parallax design achieves that successfully with its scrolling mischief, powerful imagery, and strong and creative typography. You will see more and more of this in 2014 especially from big brands

5. Infographics remain the best way of representing data

infographic

Website: Gabriel Gianordoli

They present a lot of information in a small space, they’re eye-catching and they don’t cost the world. That’s why business owners are asking for them. The end-user likes infographics because each of them has its own personality — they’re a bit quirky, they combine typography, bold color schemes and shapes in a way that intrigues viewers.

Creatives who take them seriously always create a story atmosphere around their facts and numbers. Maybe it brings us back to our childhood comics, maybe it’s just the eye candy. Fact is, we’re absorbing loads of information and we love it. Because it’s such an effective way of communicating large pieces of data, it will definitely be used more and more in 2014.

6. Typography takes center stage

typography

Website: Crop The Block

Goodbye Georgia, goodbye Times New Roman, goodbye Helvetica! Welcome to 2014 — the year where typography gets serious. Actually it was always serious, now it’s just arriving at mainstream status. The avalanche of mobile apps we’ve all been swimming in has exposed our eyes to all sorts of typography goodies and that has had a major factor in our font usage expectations.

Arial is no longer good enough because of the availability of high quality fonts at affordable prices. The user is accustomed to them to the point where he feels something is missing if he’s staring at the same ole’ Helvetica and on the other hand the business owner is no longer paying an arm and a leg for a complete font family.

7. Websites simplify and focus on content

nytimes

Website: The New York Times

The New York Times recent redesigned website speaks volumes about this up and coming trend through it’s simpler, cleaner approach which aims to offer a far better user experience. While this isn’t anything new, I believe more and more websites, especially those that are content-heavy, will follow suit as this is the next logical step. Stripping away all the bells and whistles allows the actual content to shine and makes the design perform its actual role, instead of it trying to steal the spotlight.

8. Short presentation videos re-emerge

video

Website: Goldee

I think presentation videos will re-emerge in 2014 because of the Vine explosion. The six second videos are more likely to go viral, they’re easy to make and everybody seems to love them. In the last few years, we’ve seen a constant shortening of videos and this upcoming year will promote under 30 second clips to get the point across — you can thank Vine for that.

9. Newsletter designs continue to improve

mini-boden-pancakes

Newsletter: Miniboden

Email marketing is no longer the only way to reach our audience, but it still is a medium that keeps your users interested in your content. In 2014, newsletters will stay afloat by being more creative and more exciting. So even though it’s not the preferred channel anymore, it’s not going to die anytime soon — smart business owners are recognizing the shift that’s happening.

10. Fixed navigations gets lots of love

fixe

Website: TheoryDesign

There was a time when designers felt the need to over-design just about anything on the page, including the main menu. Thankfully those times are gone, and we no longer need to look for a flash menu hidden under a ribbon somewhere on the side of the screen.

In 2014, navigation bars will be available at all times! So, if you’re dealing with a content heavy website, then a fixed position sidebar or top menu will be the logical approach.

Want more? Find out what’s next with The big web trends for 2015.

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Barin Cristian Doru aka 'thislooksgreat' is an experienced web designer and proud member of the 99designs community: http://99designs.com/people/thislooksgreat Besides creating awesome website designs, he is also an entrepreneur, an Android App Developer and a content creator. His work ranges from freebie PSD files to small tips & tricks in Photoshop, all the way to a premium 16 hour long course on how to succeed on 99designs.

  • http://bigtechideas.com/ Allen Robert

    Fixed navigation and Newsletter designs really helps you for your better user experience and newsletter to tell your customers or visitors or subscribers that you always remember them.
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  • http://www.marketiing.com/ Karen Pierson

    Great Post – I will add though, Parallax websites are a pain to get to work across devices – and SEO copywriting with an emphasis on Semantic Search is a “Must have” across all website designs now that Content is King!

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  • Josh Emeric

    All points made here are very clear. Adding to point one the power of an image, it is not only important to have it high quality, but to have it spark emotion. twothousandtimes.com does an excellent job of creating this sense of place simply by a photo. Static page, no scrolling. Some other sites such as soulpancake.com have achieved a similar following with their images.

  • Arridesoft

    Web designing is make a trend to get a best design website and fully customize. Every candidate want to create a best design for their website because a design is a single source that make a website very attractive and impressive for the users. So i agree with all the points of the writer and admire to their experience to write these kind of informative post for the designers.

    Keep it up….

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  • http://www.websitedesigndurban.com/ WDDurban

    I get what you’re saying when you refer to typography, large images & minimalist design still having a great influence over how many sites are designed today but the sticky navigation is not a big favorite of mine when it comes to website design.
    It’s common amongst designers but do users of the site actual find it worthy & does it contribute to the user-friendliness?! Also, off-canvas menus are another thing I’m not a huge fan of because it does take time for users to get accustomed to it.

    Thanks,
    Mark

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    Great tips! But one more thing I would like to add here i.e Browser
    compatibility is also must.

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      I agree with you Pooja. Check my website http://rjnetwork.co.in/. I hope it’s meeting all of the above good trends.

    • Francis Mella

      So true! Which isn’t the case for some of the above examples.

  • http://www.netedgecomputing.com/ Netedge

    Excellent tips for the new trends in web designing. I am influenced by
    Typography just became bored with Arial and Times new Roman and
    Infographics ! Is another very good trend

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    But one more thing I would like to add here i.e Browser
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  • Paul Lange

    Okay 2014 is almost over and when I read over this post I think the most outstanding and important thing is Typography. In the beginning Parallax was cool but I think it will be something else soon. But Typography can be just so good these days. I experience it almost everyday in my Webagentur Schweiz that websites with more or less unique Typography is outstanding.

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    Great points. I think animated links and CSS3 got more attention in 2014 and its increasing as well. Website looks more awesome with some animations in it. One more trend you can see is Flat design in 2014 after affecting big companies like Google, eBay etc.lot’s of small business websites are also trying the same web trend.

    You can also check Ecommerce Web Trends for more information on web trends for ecommerce.

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  • Andrew Lebumfacil

    Eery year, Web design grows and so many awesome things are being published daily. I can only imagine that the best is yet to come in 2015, including many of the trends in 2014.

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