Friday, December 6, 2013

What's Ahead for Web Design in 2014

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to take stock of the year that has passed and cast our eyes to the future. Like fashion and food, web design changes with the changing times, and each new year brings a fresh flavor to table. What was trendy and stylish last year may well look tatty and old in the year to come, and it is important for webmasters and web designers to keep up to date with the coming trends. So, what does the new year hold in store for web design, and what new styles, trends, and techniques will become the hallmarks of 2014?

Code Free Design Techniques
One of the most exciting trends for the new year has more to do with the mechanics of web design than the look of a website. Code free design has been the holy grail of web designers since the dawn of the internet, and it looks like it has finally arrived. There are companies that are developing design studios that eliminate the need for tedious coding and make it easy for anyone to design a functional and responsive website. Code free design is a major game changer, and is poised to make web design easier and more efficient.

Flat Design
Flat design and flat icons will be all the rage in 2014. It has already been adopted by Microsoft for their Windows 8 operating system and by Apple for their iOS7. Flat design embraces the 2 dimensional nature of the monitor screen, eschewing the old attempts to create naturalistic graphics and icons for a more minimalist approach to design. Drop shadows and faux texturing will be replaced by bold colors and simple icon designs that will create a clean and crisp online appearance.

Single Page Design
In the past, most websites deployed their content a number of different pages. The trend towards single page design puts all of the websites on one page through which the visitor can scroll. This is becoming more common with blog sites and news sites, though it may prove to be impractical for e-commerce websites.

Full Width Backgrounds
Come 2014 screen borders and page margins may well become a thing of the past. The new trend is to employ full width background images that fill the entire screen. Text will be displayed over the graphics, creating any eye catching and immersive online experience.

Responsive Design
Today, people are accessing the internet in a number of different ways. Mobile devices, such as iPhones and tablets, have become particularly popular with the public. Unfortunately, users have found that not all websites perform well across all of their devices. Responsive web design intends to conquer that problem by incorporating code that will allow the website to reconfigure itself according to the needs of the accessing device. This will allow for a higher degree of functionality across a wide range of devices, making websites much more productive and profitable.

Yes, 2013 is coming to a close and the new year promises some exciting changes in web design. From the cosmetic facelift of flat icons to the increased functionality of responsive design, 2014 offers new challenges and new opportunities for the adventurous web designer. Which of these trends will leave a lasting mark on web design? Be here next year to find out.