Web design is a continuously changing field. Many trends in design come about as a result of new technology that allows users to experience sites in a new way, such as on a smart phone. Others capture visitors’ attention and keep sites from looking too stale.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design allows visitors to enjoy a single site on multiple platforms. This becomes increasingly important as more people turn to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for Internet browsing. A whopping 84 percent of smart phone users browse the web on their mobile phone, according to a Pew Internet study from 2011. Since screen sizes and viewing capabilities vary dramatically from a desktop to a tablet and phone, responsive designs change for each device to accommodate any viewer.
Support for Retina Displays
The Retina Display made its debut on several Apple products in 2012 including the iPhone 4, iPad, and MacBook Pro. These displays feature a pixel density that’s twice that of an average LCD screen. In response, web designers are using crisper images that will really pop on the new screens. Images with a higher resolution are a major trend of 2013. By rolling out these crisp images now, designers are able to prepare their sites for the increasing number of devices that will support Retina Display technology.
Typography is the art of arranging and selecting types. Throughout 2012 and 2013 we have seen a growing trend of using creative typography to add interest to web design. For pages that focus on text content, interesting typography is an effective way to brand the site and give the eye something fun to enjoy. Designers may mix serif and sans-serif fonts, play with color and even develop brand new fonts for logos and page banners.
It’s easy for websites to become cluttered. Many bloggers fall victim to Internet clutter by displaying numerous badges, buttons and advertisements on sidebars. Smart web designers are learning to offer visitors a refreshing break from online clutter with clean, crisp designs.
Minimalist designs feature only a few items per page and never offer up anything that’s unnecessary. If the picture speaks for itself, you won’t find much else. The long-winded articles that don’t have much to say are old news. Minimalist designs offer the eyes a virtual “ahhh” moment of relaxation that’s more than welcome for most visitors.
Full Photo Backgrounds
This design trend is an instant eye-catcher. Since web designers only have seconds to capture the interest of a visitor, a full photo background is a very effective way to do this. Show, don’t tell is the new mantra of the Internet. If you offer interior design services, a stunning photo of a beautifully designed living room is better than a block of text for showing visitors what you can do. More designers are realizing that a picture really is worth a thousand words (or lines of code).
Users of sites like Pinterest and Facebook are no stranger to infinite scrolling. This feature allows you scroll down continuously without having to click over to another page. Infinite scrolling is an excellent feature for any site that updates continuously. It lets visitors go back as far as they want with complete ease. This is especially handy for mobile browsing with a service like 4G on T-Mobile. The smaller screen of a mobile device makes it easy to scroll but difficult to click a small link.
Single Page Designs
A single page design fits everything you need to see on one page with no scrolling. Single page design is most commonly used for the home page. This is a simple way to greet visitors and keep them from feeling overwhelmed. If the page is too large, your viewers may give up and leave before they have even taken the time to find what they were looking for. With a single page design, everything is displayed neatly so your visitors can get access to the content they’re after in just a click or two.
Gone is the standard boxy page design, and 2013 is bringing us many interesting uses of circular designs. This look immediately captures the viewer’s interest by means of its unexpectedness alone. You’ll see circles in everything from fun polka-dotted backgrounds to smooth navigation bars. If you’re looking for a new way to shake things up, stop being square and give circles a try.
If your site needs some sprucing up, try adding one of these trending features for a refreshing change.