Apple's famous Flat UI design concept

Web Design Trends for 2014

Apple's famous Flat UI design concept

I’m noticing some new web design trends that I like, and some that are making me scratch my head and wonder WHY.

One of the “why” trends I’m seeing is moving / video backgrounds.

If you use PayPal, then you know what I’m referring to. PayPal’s home page cycles through a series of video-like scenes.  Honestly, I can’t describe the videos since I ignore whatever ‘s playing, but I have noticed that it changes each time I go to the home page.  I’ve seen a couple of other websites with moving or video backgrounds.  This is something that would/could work well for big brands, but I’m not seeing it for small business sites.

Another trend this year, as evidenced by Twitter’s recent re-design, is the move towards far more engaging online experience; a combination of text, images, videos, and even some scrolling.  Nissan’s website, as an example, combines large graphics, videos, content, and a lot of user interaction. It used to be that no one would ever scroll beyond the fold of a web page, but with the increased use of mobile devices people are used to some scrolling.

Along with larger images we’re seeing larger font sizes, which I’m sure makes the vast majority of the “over 40” crowd very happy.  With Mobile Responsive sites becoming more common place, responsive images (higher resolution and flat UI) and typography will be a big part of web design now and into the future.

Another trend this year, which isn’t really new since Pinterest has been using this concept all along, is the move towards cards.  While I personally do not like this design concept, I’m seeing more and more “card” sites.  Twitter is moving to cards, and all the major fashion and/or clothing sites are moving to cards.

Cards, or grid-style layouts are not suitable for ALL websites. User experience must always come first.

Apple has always been a design trend-setter, and as such, we’re taking their cue and bumping up the resolution as well as doing away with stylistic choices that give the illusion of three-dimensions to accommodate the new retina displays – Flat UI Design. I’ve been checking mobile responsive websites designed a year or two ago and they look great on my mobile devices, despite not having a completely flat UI design.  But, nonetheless, flat UIs are going to be the way to go. (A showcase of the best Flat UI Designs.)

These are only a few of the trends for 2014.  While there are more, the one trend that continues this year is the mobile responsive design. Mobile devices will continue to dominate.  Businesses will need to take advantage of the ever-growing mobile market or they will fall behind their competitors.

Trends We Can Finally Wish a Fond Farewell To

Mobile versions of websites. They’ve finally been replaced by mobile responsive sites.

SEO Copywriting. Google’s changing search algorithms have made it next to impossible to keep up with the new SEO guidelines. The trend now is quality,  keyword informed and user-centric content. Use copywriting to build up your brand instead of trying to get on page one of Google.