Each year the world of web design sees more fads come and go than actors who have portrayed Doctor Who. When it comes time for your website to get a facelift, choosing which horse to hitch your wagon to can be no easy task. The wrong horse can result in a site that quickly looks dated, while the right horse will allow you to develop a product that will stand the test of time. The recipe to finding your champion thoroughbred takes a hefty serving of research, a dab of intuition, and a pinch of luck. Let’s take a look at some of what we can expect for web design trends in 2014.
1) M-Dot: The Endangered Species
Mobile-only websites (or M-Dots) were one of the first answers to the mobile web craze when the idea of showing your mobile viewers only parts of your content was acceptable. No more. According to a survey held by Tealeaf (now part of IBM) 85% of mobile users expect their experience to be better than or equal to that of a desktop user. Now with about 25% of U.S. users being mobile-only (and that number is only expected to grow) you’re looking at dissapointing a continually growing audience by using an M-Dot. Blegh.
Another thing to consider is that M-Dot resides at a different URL (hence the nickname). Having your mobile content reside elsewhere can inhibit your SEO. Google (very famous) has stated that they prefer a single URL for your web content and, while they do provide a work-around, they are not shy to tell you that this is not a practice they will are likely to support in the future. Sharing this M-Dot content with others, whether it be through social media or email, can also cause headaches. Desktop visitors will not be happy when they try to open the content you designed for a smart phone.
2) Flat…and then some
While flat design has been around for a while its popularity really took off in 2013 and is continuing into the new year with a full head of steam. Windows 8 and iOS7 both implemented the concept which played a crucial role in making it the new standard. Like any other fad that gets promoted to a trend we will see it evolve in some way. In the coming year we can expect small adaptations, such as long shadows. We can also expect to see more depth, layers, and other visual distinctions resurface in a more refined and subtle way than before.
3) Increased Use of Video
Over the last few years we have seen video usage steadily increase, and that should come as no surprise. Increased bandwidth and improved production tools have made the use of video more feasible than ever, which is great because people love their videos. Our ever-decreasing attention spans have created a high demand for more information in less time and videos are a great way give the people what they want (which is always good for conversion rates).
Introductory blurbs describing what a company does are on their way out, and are being replaced with short promotional videos. Online shopping, with increasing frequency, feature videos of their products, helping you decide whether Crocs are a good fit for you. There have even been sightings of videos being used as backgrounds elements, and when done right they provide a unique and in-depth user experience.
These are just a handful of new web design trends we see on the rise in a year where we are sure to see dozens or more. Think we missed something? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think the next big thing will be. Also, check back at the start of next year as we will look back at our hits and misses, along with a new list for 2015.
Do you have a M-Dot that needs consolidating, or has it been a few years and you think your site needs a facelift? Here at Edge we are ready and eager to help you improve your web presence. Use our Next Step tool to get started or get in touch with us to help us fulfill your marking needs.