Another year has gone by, and with it new trends are rabidly emerging in the website design, graphic design, and overall tech universe. Right now fields related to technology, web design, graphics, and web marketing are the most wanted and most lucrative. We’ve arrived in the digital age, an ever-changing and highly competitive environment. If you’re going to stay afloat in this industry, you have to keep up on the emerging trends. We’ve done our research and dug up the top ten design trends of the year.
1. Responsive Design: This is one of the biggest and possibly one of the most important rising trends. Having a set website is a thing of the past, and if you’re not already changing over to responsive design for your sites it’s going to hurt you and your Google ranking. The idea behind responsive website design is to have a site that changes (or responds) when it’s loaded on different devices. This means it will show a version of itself that is most user-friendly for that specific device. If you build blogs or sites using WordPress or Hubspot, chances are you’ve already seen this option integrated into many of their templates.
2. Flat UI: You’ve probably seen this in a few places already, but this year it’s going to start showing up more and more. Basically, the idea behind this is a very simple and 2-dimensional or flat design. From a graphic design perspective, this is almost a way of combining simple, minimalistic designs in a futuristic way. Apple has already introduced Flat UI in their latest IOS 7 update.
Checkout these amazing free flat icons here
3. Simplicity: The name is pretty self-explanatory; the idea is to keep the look and feel of a webpage simple so users are able to get what they want from the site without hassle or distraction. The most important thing to remember about this type of design is that it does not mean boring or trite. Powerful images, great content, and sleek navigation are all a must with this kind of design as they are and have been for any web page. Where the simplicity comes in is in how the user interacts with the website; what they see, feel, and do.
4. Video Content: There’s so much that goes into website design and achieving a quality, responsive website that will not only look good but also function properly. Content is the backbone of a webpage, and sometimes you can only write so much. That’s why one emerging trend is letting video do the talking for you. Video content, whether it’s music, speech, or pictures is a great and increasingly popular way to deliver the message to the user without endless amounts of written content and still pictures.
5. Storytelling Design: This is presents a unique opportunity to be extra creative in both the page design and the graphic design of a website. This technique is exactly what it sounds like: You tell the user a story as they scroll down the page; having new and interesting things for them to discover along the way. This interactive and creative design is showing amazing results for a lot of companies, users are loving the less serious and more fun approach they are seeing.
6. Fixed Navigation: The idea behind this is top increase accessibility and streamline a user’s experience on your website. With the navigation easily accessible from anywhere on the site, moving around is easier and faster.
[Recommended reading: Common mistakes in web and graphic designing]
7. Compact Sidebars: Have you ever wished the pesky sidebar wasn’t constantly in your way when you’re trying to look at a website? Apparently a lot of people have had that thought, and that is where this idea comes from. Rather than having a bulky sidebar constantly present, designers are giving us sleek, movable sidebars that scroll out when needed or pop up with a command.
8. Personal or “Branded” Typography: There are endless kinds of font on the internet, many of which have to be paid for or received from a service like Google Fonts. Nowadays, though, more companies are having designers create font especially for them. This gives them one more thing that is unique to them, something else that can define their brand.
9. One Page Websites: There is some debate on how effective this strategy is, but it’s an emerging trend all the same. This kind f website design is seeing an entire website on one, scrollable page. The idea is to save the user less time clicking and looking for certain pages.
10. Creative Content: Companies are starting to add increasingly creative content to their sites. No more boring charts and technical jargon. The idea is to create a more enjoyable experience for the user, as well as target the generations with the most web presence at this time.
So, there you have it: The top ten design trends of 2014. If you’re in one of the growing web and tech industries, you should look into these emerging trends now. Before you know it, they’ll be gone and new trends will take their place. Don’t fall behind, in the digital world there’s nothing worse you can do.