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yourdigitalstory.com /its-pretty-but-web-design-trends-in-2014/ Back to list 15 Apr2014By Helen Mere in Conversion Design Please consider sharing All marketers can probably agree that website content marketing is growing in importance. Does this mean that the design is no longer important? It is actually the opposite – the expectations of great design have become more specific and clear. T hese expectations are not based on an advertising agency´s point of view but f rom the point of view of the user. As the content now has a greater role, it is essential that the design helps to highlight the content in an understandable and clear manner. In addition, a modern web design needs to bring out the brand identity, whether it is exciting experiences, excellent quality or something else.
Web designer Tanel Eero from YourDigitalStory talks about four important design trends in 2014. FIRST LY- the majority of the inf ormation is shared via bold images. SECONDLY- the minimalistic approach -the pages are clear, clutter-f ree and laconic. T HIRDLY- everyone wants to be dif f erent and new technologies allow designers to use special and unexpected ef f ects. LAST LY and most importantly – despite all these f ancy tactics, the site must remain user f riendly and inf ormation should be easy to f ind.
Say it with a picture!
Normally, the most important part of a website is the text, but more and more images are used in order to catch the visitor’s attention, or to communicate complex data in a visual f ormat. VIDEO on a website brings out its dynamics and emotion. Classical 30-second clips are no longer a popular choice on the web as the experience shows that the six-second clips are more likely to go viral. In Estonia, the understanding of “viral videos” is slightly dif f erent and usually you can see 3 minute long videos online. T he price, of course, is an issue as making a high quality clip is expensive but a badly made clip can really hurt your brand. Videos are very usef ul when there is a need to explain the complexity of a product regardless of whether it is a technical device, sof tware, or another appliance with many f eatures. Long user manuals may f righten consumers but a short video will be viewed much more willingly.
LARGE IMAGES are also a new trend in web design. It does not just mean using large f ormat photographs, but a simple landing page, which has a single picture and CTA button . Obviously, there is a very wide range of products to which such extreme impractical solution does not f it, but if your strategy is to add emotional aspect to your product in order to get the sale then using an image is most effective. T he picture must be very high quality and in some cases the photographer might become kind of a “web designer” as the main part of the design is a great photo! Another option is to use a good header image and keeping the web site´s f unctionality. T his is a f airly common solution f or “simple websites”.
Less is more!
Beautif ul is not the same as complicated. T he f ashion industry of ten talks about “the simple elegance”, and the Nordic f urniture and interior design is characterized by the words “bright”, “crisp” and “clean”. Now, the same trends have also reached the web design, the new trends are minimalistic graphics, clutter-f ree space and caref ully chosen details. Web 2.0 has “died” and the new “rockstar” is called f lat design which can be described as a design with f ewer elements. For example, there are no shadows or weird “decorations”. It’s important to understand that these changes are not yet another “f ashion trend” but it’s about UX which is supported by modern, clean design . It’s clearly a style that our customers increasingly demand. SIMPLICIT Y has become the main keyword to describe web design f or three reasons. First of all, the elegant overall impression creates quality brand image. Secondly, the use of f ewer elements makes it easier to guide the customer through the pages as it is not possible f or them to look/click anywhere else. And thirdly, modest design allows the content to get the most attention. Since the content (f resh and original!) has an increasingly important role in the web, you should have a design that supports it, rather than distracts the visitor. When it comes to the pages where multiple photos cannot be used, the emotion and excitement is created with a vivid monochrome color scheme.
T YPOGRAPHY as one of the design elements didn’t get any special attention f or a long time. It was thought to be technically complex and everyone thought it should be the same as company´s printed materials. When it comes to simple design then typography plays an important part. T he f onts have changed (bye bye TimesNewRoman and Arial!), there are new sizes, colors and spaces. T horough CVIs today look f or how to shape the text of the website so that it would f it any other company graphics. Since the text is still a key element of a wider range of websites, it is these typographic solutions that allow us to signif icantly customize the layout. For example, with responsive websites the basic text has changed a couple of points higher so that it becomes equally readable with various devices. AT T ENT ION T O DETAIL is important, all buttons and icons must be caref ully planned and executed with quality. For example, moving the mouse pointer over it does not change the colour, but the button has some sort of animated activity attached to it. With carefully designed icons the visitor will intuitively know what they mean and where he has to click next.
Stand out, surprise, entertain!
Today’s technology has come so f ar that the animation is relatively easy to bring to the web. Flash animations are no longer used as mobile devices do not support it. Instead, solutions such as HT ML5 and CSS3 are becoming popular. Web design does not mean cartoon animation but the simple moving solutions such as shif ting, scaling and rotating elements as you scroll the page. ANIMAT IONS are one of the best ways to make the website more interesting. T hey create the impression as if there is a direct contact between the page and the visitor. PARALLAX is a design where some areas are moving (sometimes unnaturally) while others will remain in place. It is used primarily by large well-known brands that want to create a strong visual WOW ef f ect. Parallax is a bold creative solution that requires a lot of work, but really makes you stand out. T here is no point to do it just to grab the visitors’ attention, but if the target audience appreciates the uniqueness and new techniques it may be something to consider.
Convenient and practical
As more and more people are visiting websites using their mobile devices, it is important that a website is designed in a way that it adapts to various devices. Until recently responsive web design was merely one of the design options. Today, however, it has become a standard. T his doesn’t mean that mobile webs will disappear since a mobile web is great f or online retailers. NAVIGAT ION must keep pace with consumer habits. T here was a time when the navigation menu was on the lef t – then it was moved to the top. Today, the main menu is located mostly at the top of the page and the sub-menu is on the lef t. T he menu is considerably shorter (3-4 in the main menu categories), hidden menu trends are driven by mobile devices. Another simplistic solution is a single page website where the majority of the site’s content and navigation is arranged on one page. When clicking on navigation links, the user scrolls down the page or jumps to that particular content’s section and this solution is particularly suited f or websites with compact content. You can also go f or a mix of the two or the “half and half solution” in which the main menu leads to separate pages, but the lower pages have single page type of navigation.
In conclusion, we can say that the time when all the websites looked the same is over. Today, everyone is trying to dif f erentiate themselves but not f orgetting the purpose of the website which is to provide visitors with quality information combined with great user experience. When choosing your web designer you need to make sure you are getting more than just a pretty design. Don´t f orget that the site’s key role is to generate business, and demonstrating creativity is only part of what converts a visitor into a prospect. Back to list