The digital landscape is a dynamic, ever changing platform. Advancements in the web design industry and an increased uptake of tablets and mobiles for internet usage have meant that we’re seeing even bigger changes and developments coming in rapidly. Read on for an overview of some of the trends that have been emerging so far this year.
Responsive, Mobile First Design
With mobile and tablet usage on the rise and in some cases eclipsing desktop and laptop users, responsive design isn’t so much of a trend as a necessity. Responsive design ensures an optimal viewing and functionality experience no matter how your users access your website. The concept has been around for a couple of years now, but some analysts are tipping that there will be a further shift towards designing websites with the mobile user in mind. Recent studies have indicated that not only are mobile users increasing in numbers, but they can be great for ROI. Up to 70% of mobile searches result in immediate action within an hour, and 46% of online shoppers said that they are less likely to shop around when accessing a site via mobile
Increased User Experience Focus
User experience (UX) is another term we’ve been hearing a lot about in recent years, and for good reason. And it’s not just about how your website looks or even how it works – UX is a very human centric concept that incorporates how your website is going to make your visitors feel. It does get a bit of a bad rap because it can be difficult to measure which makes some people question its validity, but bounce rates can usually be attributed to one of two things – either you’re not attracting the right people to your website, or you’re attracting the right people but they’re able to find what they’re looking for and good UX design can actually help both of those groups have a better digital experience.
A high profile example of flat design is the Microsoft Windows 8 interface. It’s two dimensional and has a clean design with plenty of space and is a real shift away from what we’ve become accustomed to digitally. It has a very minimalist look that relies on contrasting colours and highlighted buttons to help guide users eyes to the features they want to use. This look has already started being translated onto websites, and it looks set to be here to stay.
4. New Fonts and Typography Options
Traditionally, website fonts have been limited to pre-installed font families with the only option for variation to be via images. Applications like @fontface and TypeKit have changed this dramatically. Typography will start to play a larger role in website design than it has ever been able to before. This one will be particularly exciting to watch over the next couple of years as the functionality develops.
In a rapidly changing digital environment, these four key trends look likely to be the cornerstones of future developments. If your website isn’t already incorporating some of the trends and advancements, it might be time to consider contacting a full service integrated agency like Simple to help bring your website up to date.
Are you thinking about updating your website in 2014?
What trends do you think will be the most important? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from you!