Through your online excursions, you’ve certainly experienced your share of appealing and annoying websites. You see, websites go through stages and trends just like fashion. Some things you like and others you can’t wait for them to disappear. Whether you’re shopping or looking for information, a website that allows you to navigate flawlessly and quickly is very attractive. But there are those sites that really need to tone it down a bit, well, actually a lot!
THERE’S PLENTY OF NOISE WITH LITTLE TO SAY
Those little thingies that pop out the side of the scroll bar to remind you that there’s more information to discover or to contact the site is annoying to no end. Equally annoying are sites that embed instant video play. What’s worse, sometimes it’s hard to find the video to shut the thing off, never mind the advertising you have to sit through once you find it!
In every sense of the word, Internet users are guinea pigs for a global market that’s run amok. OK, some of the 3D advertising stuff is pretty cool though. For example, for a while the new Spider Man movie introduced a 3D advertisement that literally jumped out at you from the computer screen. Another thing, these types of online advertising gymnastics are usually quick. They give you just enough to capture your attention, and make a quick dash before you start to look for the much sought after “X” to make it disappear.
MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING
This year looks promising as far as web design trends go. Advancing W3C specifications together with leading-edge web browsers have unleashed a new era of digital design. However, the average Internet user will probably care less. To most, the Internet is a tool to read email, check their Facebook account, tweet on Twitter, send selfies, find love, and all the usual gratuitous behavior that makes being online one mega entertainment conglomeritic.
Yet, there are those who look for enhancement in their online experience. For example, there are many people who work online and prefer a more refined approach that won’t interfere with their gracious sensibilities. Anyhow, take a look at the following web design trends and see what you think.
2014 WEB DESIGN TRENDS
Care to go for a Scroll?
In 2012, scrolling websites were a comparatively nascent trend. In the meantime, scrolling has blossomed. Many feel that this trend is being magnified due to the increase in mobile usage and tablet devices. In fact, there are a number of fancy names for scrolling like column-based scrolling, horizontal scrolling, infinite scrolling, and parallax scrolling. So if you are asked, “care to go for a scroll,” you will know exactly what it means.
Hopefully, now you can find what you want without having to dig through a maze of text. Websites arebecoming less text-heavy and some apps and sites have nearly any visible text at all! Probably due to the influence of Pinterest, site designers are relying more on icons and images to convey information. However, this approach has its plus and minuses. The plus is that vivid pictures are intriguing. The minus is that it’s harder to make sense of things.
Minimalist navigation seems to be a trend that will grow in popularity in 2014. This trend is greatly influenced by the need to condense navigation features for mobile users. You will see a lot more emphasis on icons, roll-downs, and navigation that minimizes as you scroll down the page. Hopefully, this trend will primarily affect mobile devices. It’s just not practical for larger screens. Who wants to scroll without end to find information on a site page?
Tech experts are excited about this new trend. Yet, it may not be so enticing for the average user. It could be distracting and downright maddening! Think about it. You go to a site to read about the rarest flower species in the world. In the background, there is a colorful landscape with seeds that fall from the sky and once they touch the ground, they blossom into beautiful, colorful flowers. And the sequence is repeated over, and over, and over, again. Enough already!
Better Content Experiences
Some sites are going towards more interactive content experiences that merge functionality, text, video, and images with a fair amount of scrolling. In layman’s terms, “richer text with a touch of busyness.”
One Page Sensibility
An increasing number of sites are avoiding the nuisance of loading new pages. Instead, they introduce new content on the same page. Overlays, light-boxes, and expanding/ repositioning tiles all decrease the number of clicks required to navigate a website. This is actually a much-needed change. The idea of continuously clicking 15, 20, or more pages to view a series of photos with a pinch of advertising thrown in for good measure is very frustrating to say the least.
This is strictly a subjective matter. Some Internet users prefer more color and others won’t mind a little less color coordinated patchwork on websites. For 2014, many sites will lean towards less color. Probably two or three colors at most. However, this can be an interesting trend. A monochromatic scheme of varying blues for example, could be rather nice if done properly.
Smaller sized pictures in a tile formation will be more prevalent on sites in 2014. It all comes from the Pinterest craze and infographics. Infographics are an acquired taste. Most users prefer their information in text with a few photos. Infographics are all about photos, a little text, and assorted dots and lines connecting everything. If you suffer from motion sickness, infographics are not for you!
Fonts with style are becoming all the rage. These fonts are not your typical Ariel or Times New Roman fonts. Designers are coming up with killer fonts to add that extra distinctiveness and persona to their website creations.
KEEPING IT REAL
Certainly, the reality for most companies or individuals that embrace responsive and/or adaptive and innovative website design is that they are on to something. Digital trends are continuously changing with a few mainstays here and there. It looks like 2014 is the year that sites will take on a freshness never seen before in the last decade. Whether it will make the user’s online or mobile experience any better, we will have to wait and see.
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