2014 Web Design Trends: All Simple Everything
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Keep it simple stupid. Moderation is the key to a good life and good 2014 UX. Flat design is about removing all the unnecessary flare and letting the what you have to say be the main focus. In the past there has been a gap between the world the designers are living in (Photoshop) and the developers were living in (text editors). Browsers are getting better about what they can and cannot do from a color and design(svg) perspective, which used to bottleneck the creativity of the designers. This gap will begin to close as the adoption of flat design provides designers with more incentive and necessity to design within the browser. Because of this browser focused design, the capabilities of the developer will be paramount to the execution of the designer’s vision. The developers ability to understand not only how to code the design, but understand how that design will translate across browsers and devices will make finding the designer-developer team as important as either one of their capabilities. Will we see the first crowning of a Developer-Designer team crowned as the king of 2014 web design?
Death of Stock Images
No more stock photos. Photos are a trust indicator for users. Stock photos say spam not trust. More realistic photos should be used in the future, while still maintaining quality. Don’t get out your iPhone and start snapping pics to put on your brands blog unless you’re one of the winners of the iPhone Photography Awards. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and pay a photographer every time you need a picture either. Part of this death of stock photos is the creative ways you can make stock photos unique. Think Instagram for your photos. Bust out your favorite image editor and put some creative work behind your visuals.
Efficiency is the new black. Uninterrupted content consumption will be the name of the game in 2014. Sure there will be ads, social buttons, navigation, etc. but they will be done in a way that does not distract from the user’s ability to be consumed by the consumption of content. Easier said than done I know. But simplifying bloat like social buttons and adding “when you need it” navigation puts the focus on content and not everything else. This doesn’t mean you go bland, no, it just means you need to reign in your ideas about what is truly important on your site and have designers emphasis that in their design.
Designing with the user in mind is becoming increasingly more difficult as the number of devices they view your website on increase. Will your site be equally as engaging on a 55″ TV as it will on a phone? Its imperative that your website adapts to the user, providing them with an amazing experience no matter the device. Early adopters of responsive understand that, 2014 will see the masses following suit. Its most basic implementation should allow visitors to view your site on a smart phone without having to pinch-zoom. But brands and companies doing it right will recognize that TVs are no longer being considered a place you watch cable, but another monitor to consume the content the produce.
As I wrote this I encountered an article which marketed itself as a list of 12 items when in fact it was twelve pages of content. One point per page. Its a terrible experience on both desktop and mobile, especially on mobile. Long scroll pages allow you users to scan you content quickly for the piece of information they need. Speed, ease of implementation, and its content focused design will make long scroll the trend to rule them all in 2014.