Since trends evolve over time rather than emerge, 2014 will put an interesting spin on past trends. What’s interesting though is why they’re evolving in this particular way.
Let’s look ahead and explore some of the growing and evolving trends that we’ll be seeing in 2014 and understand the factors that are influencing them:
Trends for Technical Reasons:
Catch this: 90% of website monitors today have a screen resolution higher than 1024 x 768 as opposed to 4% in 2000*. Despite the proliferation of mobile devices, the size of the monitors that we’re browsing the web on, are on the whole increasing. So what have designers done? Upped the font sizes on websites. Forget about 12 and 14pt. We’re talking 25-30pt and more. (https://medium.com/editors-picks/62d7434aa118).
This hasn’t been the only thing to get super-sized. Everything has gone big – images too have been blown up – all in an effort to fill the space without crowding it. See how Apple’s leading the way with their oversized phone images.
Whilst font size and images have gone bigger, the quantity of text has gone down - because less is actually sometimes more. (http://www.wix.com/lphtml/designers-lp)
Then there are the advancements made in HTML5. No longer constricted to squares and rectangles, designers’ are enjoying their newly found freedom and are showing us how, with a surge of geometric shapes donning our screens.
Trends from Social Networks:
What’s incredible about the emergence and growth of social networks is their ability to change not just how we communicate but also how we consume information. Thanks to the never ending scrolling function of our Facebook newsfeed, Twitter feed and Pinterest boxes, we’ve become accustomed to digesting lots of content and images in one screen.
Utilising this, content separated into boxes and containers is a trend that continues to evolve in interesting directions (http://www.flourishstudios.co.uk/). But not everyone is staying within the structured boundaries that we’re used to, with more and more designers opting for a messy take on the traditional orderly structure (http://pumestudio.com/3D/#home).
Many designers aren’t stopping at copy and images. All sorts of buttons and menus are being enclosed in simple borders or flat frames (http://www.ipolecat.com/). Then there’s colour wash – the trend of showering large sections of a website in one colour. It’s eye-catching and works wonders for separating sections from each another (http://www.necon.pl/).
Trends from the Big Brands:
If the big brands are doing it then it must be right – right? Always the trend-setters, those at the top set the scene for the rest of the industry. It’s not exactly copying but web trends are emerging following what the big guys are up to.
Let’s start with Microsoft’s Windows 8 metro design which ignited the flat design trend last year. Flat design is still living strong and as we move into 2014 we’re seeing how the trend is evolving with its successor - flat 3D. This is a 2D icon which with the addition of a shadow, giving the allusion of depth or 3D. Big like from us.
Take Google for example and their love of icons and illustrations. The web is now chock-a-block full of them – they’re impossible to miss. And the gradient in Apple’s iOS7 logo is influencing many websites, from Sony, MySpace and Adidas.
So what do the web design trends for 2014 look like? Thanks to technology we’ll be seeing big images and larger fonts, yet less copy. Thanks to social networks we’ll see interesting takes on containers, flat frames and colour washes. And thanks to the big brands our love for flat design and illustrations will continue to live on in newer, fresher formats. What’s great about trends is that by nature, they’re constantly developing and changing. Let’s watch this space to see how these 2014 trends continue to evolve as they adapt to an ever-changing external environment.