Web design trends to watch for 2014

The web is constantly evolving and while a few things come as a (r)evolution by surprise, most are pretty much predictable and develop over the years. Keeping track with the current trends and the ones from the previous years, there’s pretty much chance to accurately predict what will dominate the web in the next year.

Flat and colorful styles will be overused

Maybe a bit unexpectedly, Microsoft has resurrected and the Windows 8 brought a brand new trend into UI design, inspiring countless website designs in 2013. The so called flat UI when done right can really be effective, focusing on the content while still making it possible for apps to stand out by design.

You can follow the advance of this style on sites like Behance, Dribbble, Theme Forest and Graphic River.

Flat UI example from Behance

Flat UI example from Behance


Pinterest style masonry will be used when needed, not abused as this year

You’ve probably seen countless Pinterest clones this year, even Google Plus redesigned it’s activity stream in the layout that works so well for Pinterest, but feels pretty unnatural at G+. Luckily, they’ve left the possibility of switching to the single column layout. In the following year, this trend will probably lose it’s strength and the masonry will be applied only when it makes sense, such as in portfolios, item collections or so.

Messy Pinterest-style layouts

Messy Pinterest-style layouts

Messy Pinterest-style layouts

Messy Pinterest-style layouts

One column websites for all resolutions will flourish

With the evolution of device-agnostic development and design, the rise of single column fluid designs is already visible this year, but it will probably increase drastically during the following year(s). The designers’ efforts to get rid of (or pack it in a more effective manner) aside content make more and more websites sidebar-free. A good example is GoodUi.

Good UI - one column design

Good UI – one column design

Jason & Erin blog

Jason & Erin blog

Newsletter signup forms will be more prominent

With the users’ attention span becoming ever smaller, most marketing techniques used to date are decreasing in efficiency. Facebook and Twitter don’t bring as much traffic as they did a couple of years ago, even if you have a large number of followers. That’s why many webmasters turn to email marketing, and the battle for convincing users to join yours is intensifying. Designers are working harder to bring focus to the newsletter signup form without compromising the primary content of the website and the overall user experience.

Think Traffic

Think Traffic

Full width images and videos popularity will keep growing

However, many image backgrounds will get effects such as noise, scratches, blur, black & white, focus points and other ways to attract attention while being as unobtrusive as possible.

Studio airport full-page background

Studio airport full-page background

More focus will be given to the end-user experience

During the past few years, many designers placed more effort in an impressive design, sometimes putting second the user experience. This year we’ve seen a huge shift towards the design for users instead designers or clients, and probably the next year will bring more of that.

Typography will keep improving

With the rise of both quantity and quality of available free fonts, designers will be more and more comfortable experimenting with the new fonts (some probably making and sharing their own) to get the best possible look & feel without compromising the functionality and user experience.

Conclusion

2014 will most probably be an exciting year in web design, spreading better user experience, more appealing typography and bringing more colors and more “real-world” feeling into the web. The web designer’s profession will probably merge into User Interface designers thanks to the increasing number of device dimensions and behavior.

How do you see the web evolution during next year? Did I miss something or exaggerate with any of the predictions? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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