When we hear the word trend, it’s often fashion we think of, or social media, as in “What’s trending on Twitter?” Trends, though the layperson is often oblivious to them, also emerge and develop online—on websites, and in mobile design for phones and tablets. Many trends that became prevalent in 2013 can still be seen on a regular basis—which is why, explains thenextweb.com writer Amber Leigh Turner, “they are called trends and not fads, as trends tend to stick around for a few years while fads are only hot for a very short time.”
And already, 2014 has been a great year for new trends in design, with simpler, to-the-point designs. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, mobile devices continue to inspire innovative design. Whether mobile or web, here is a short list of a few of the most popular trends in design so far this year.
Less Text -- Imagery has always been important on the web, and this trend won’t be letting up any time soon. Numerous apps, and some websites, rely almost exclusively on images and icons. This can work perfectly for some, but the trend isn’t ideal across the board. Don’t feel trapped by this trend; if more text is needed to convey your ideas or to make navigation easier for your customers, use it!
- Minimalist Navigation -- This trend has been welcomed by many smartphone and tablet users, and with the interplay between design for mobile and web design, this trend is guaranteed to continue. The focus here is on scroll-downs, icons, and navigation that contracts when you scroll further down the page.
- Cards and Tiles -- Look at any newer website, and you will see this trend in all its glory! Cards are like mini, condensed web pages, and commonly include title, a user name, a picture, various icons, and, sometimes, a brief amount of text (think Pinterest, and you’ll get the idea). Cards and tiles can be a great way to display large amounts of information without overwhelming users.
- Expanding Search Bars -- This is a new trend welcomed by all. Its primary purpose is to save room on the page. Either a semi-hidden or an expanding search bar can be used at the top and toggle it up or down just like a navigation menu. This feature works great in responsive layouts and can be used in more complicated designs.
- Quick User Registration -- Our world moves too quickly to fill out a long, detailed registration form. If you are looking to capture new visitors, try a two- to four-field registration. This newer trend is seeing a lot of use in all types of websites. Gone are the days of long forms, try this new trend to see a large increase in registrations!
- Typography and Monochromatic Design -- With the rise of web fonts, many designers are using a mix-and-match approach to websites. Sometimes bigger is better, and many designers are heading in that direction. Monochromatic design is also on the rise. Using only two colors and the numerous shades of each can make for a cleaner looking site.
The joy of the web is that there is always something new to see and enjoy. These trends, and numerous others, give designers a new way to engage users and entices visitor interest in a particular site. The use of more than one of these trends can be seen in many sites. Be sure to think about what works best for the content and the user when considering a new trend.
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