Just as technology as a whole, the web design industry is constantly changing. As we head into the final quarter of 2013, it is a good idea to look back and see how the industry has changed. We will discuss the web design trends that are going to become synonymous with 2013.
If you have not heard about responsive design yet, chances are that you are in the wrong industry. As many industry experts predicted in 2012, responsive design continued to influence web design beyond most people’s expectations. Those companies wanting to grab the attention of their viewers have to use responsive sites or risk being considered ‘outdated’. While it may be a challenge to design a website that functions on both mobile and desktop devices, it remains an investment that really pays off.
Making sure to keep it simple
Even though complex, technically advanced websites used to be the trend, fortunately those days are behind us. College-focused headers and flash design is on the way out, replaced by simple navigation layouts and a bare minimum in content. It is safe to say that the industry has embraced the minimalistic and simplistic approach. Even though flashy websites have their place, using a 3G/4G mobile connection ensures that most potential visitors are going to leave before the site ever finishes loading. This means that even though the design is praiseworthy, it is useless to a large portion of your visitors. Making the website UX-driven (short for user experience) and accessible across all devices is one of the latest web design trends.
While we are at it – UX
It is important that web designers understand UX. Even though the premise is simple (make sure that you experience a site the way an audience will experience it) the implementation of UX is inherently difficult. Is your site aesthetically appealing? Can you find the information that you are looking for? The focus on UX is one of the reasons that we have come to expect easy navigation with simple graphics and to-the-point content.
Typography: big is beautiful
Large typography is a fun way to make minimal design stand out. You can find countless creative examples of beautiful, large typography across the web. It can make the site’s message more impactful and add to the brand. However, when the designers format large type incorrectly, it can look annoying and overwhelming.
Make your site faster
Attention spans are short, and only getting shorter. If your site does not load within five seconds or less, chances are that the majority of users are going to leave. Because the Internet is becoming faster by the day, users are becoming increasingly inpatient.
The conclusion about 2013
It is important to remember that web design remains a user-driven industry. If the average user wants to be able to navigate a simple website on any device, it means websites either evolve or are left behind. Are these trends going to continue in 2014 or are we going to see another revolutionary shift? That is up to the users to decide.
Richard leads a team of web designers and developers at Infinity Technologies and is a regular contributor in prominent web design blogs. Richard loves technology and all things web.