If you know anything about web design, you know it’s an amazing time to be someone who can do things on the Internet. Well, the good news is that things are about to get a whole lot better. We have a look at seven precise and specific predictions for 2014 and beyond that all web designers are going to want to know about. You may agree with some and disagree with others, but we think you’re going to like what you read.
Here’s a look at seven specific web design predictions as well as trends that you will actually see in this year, 2014.
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Mobile and Responsive Designing
The Pew Internet claims that its surveys point at 56% adult Americans using smartphones, while 35% and 24% Americans over the age of 16 years own a tablet and an eReader respectively. The target audience is huge but the resolution of devices have started to vary immensely as technology is advancing leaps and bounds. It is probably one of the most annoying feelings to see a great website lose it usability when you switch devices or browsers. It takes a whole new level if it is your own website.
Going responsive and staying updated with what’s catching up if of immaculate importance. Responsive web design is going to continue being important next year. While some worry about the larger file sizes of trying to deal with all different types of devices, a lot of web traffic is moving to mobile devices, so designing for every size screen available is important.
Single Page Websites That keep going on and on
On some websites when you scroll down to the bottom more content loads and you can just continue scrolling. A good example of this is the Facebook wall. However, other websites are starting to implement this feature on their own websites, especially news organizations. This throws open the similar news features and other related stories to the reader. The code for this is actually really simple. You’re not going to get as many “pageviews,” but on the modern web that’s not as important as making your users happy.
Personally, I do not like the auto refresh too much on a blog that I am trying to read. I like to dig for content but it works for me on mobile apps and social feeds. Especially when I am on my phone. I do not need to pull down the screen for refreshing. It just keeps loading and automatically and makes the experience in itself pretty smooth.
Loading Time for Website and Landing Pages
This has always been important, but with Google and other searches using page load time to determine whether a website is worthy to rank high in the SERPs or not, many web designers are starting to pay closer attention to how fast their website loads – which is a good thing. It’s not really that difficult to get a site to load quickly these days if you practice good web design. You can always consult an experienced coder for helping you through this. Also going in for load speed widgets is a good idea.
Recommended: 10 Free Tools to Test the Loading Speed of your Blog
Multimedia Work and Graphics
With many people having high speed Internet connections these days, web designers are able to add more interactive multimedia elements to websites. The effect is that sites are becoming more colorful and interactive. You want to make sure you don’t go too far with this, but you can expect more multimedia on websites in 2014 and beyond. Having said that, you must have noticed the sudden vibrancy in colors and use of long shadow icons post the apple iOs 7 update. Its great to see designers getting inspired by flat colors and the play up of brighter shades for adjusting communication pattern. It is going to stay for another year or so; until of course the whole world wide web looks almost similarly stuck up and a new trend takes over.
Content and Design go Hand in Hand
How would you react if I said I want to build a hut today and I’ve bought some paint and wood, but lets just hammer the nails randomly for sticking all the wood sticks up together. Once we have the house ready, we can hammer in more nails as and when required. Silly, innit? Likewise, you need to plan every bit of your website, including what content is going on it well before you start executing the plan.
In the past designers would come up with designs and then add the content. In 2014 and beyond, the content will be written first and the website designed around that – as it should be for harmony on the web.
The world of evolved HTML5 + CSS3
As you might guess, HTML5 and CSS3 are going to become even more important in the years ahead(As if they were any less important already, pfft!). This is good because they’re both powerful tools for creating great web experiences. It is because of HTML5 and CSS3 that the user experience of most websites has exceeded our expectations and the transitions and effects on websites have become way smoother than what they were before this.
Recommended: 20 Useful HTML5 and CSS3 Tools for Web Designers
Less is More
This is a general design trend, but one that will be seen in website designs. The Google design philosophy of less is more is catching on here and there which is good for the web.
Looking at our short list of seven items above, it’s evident that web design is going through a lot of changes currently. However, this isn’t bad news at all. For web designers who like to push the envelope, it’s an exciting time to be alive and designing online. If you have any of your own web design predictions for 2014, be sure to leave us a comment below and come back later next year to see who was right and who was wrong!