Web design never sits still, and 2013 looks like an exciting time to be a web designer.
Perhaps the overarching influence on web design in the new year is the personalized web experience across numerous devices. What's more, web designers today are tasked with making new web experiences as friendly and intuitive to users as possible.
Here are five web design trends to watch for this year. 1. Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design, or RWD, is an approach to website creation that seeks to provide users with an optimal web experience across a range of devices. Designing sites that are easy to read, easy to navigate, and require a minimum of scrolling, panning, and resizing is a big challenge, but that's what today's device-carrying consumer wants. The mobile device owner wants to be able to easily search using a different device and navigate easily on every device. As RWD moves into the mainstream, expect adaptive websites to look more like apps and mobile design to become even more important.
2. Good "Second Screen" Experiences
Providing supplemental content as a "second screen experience" is a big challenge, and few have been successful at it. If, for example, you're streaming a movie, you don't necessarily want supplemental information to pop up on the screen during a critical point in the plot. People do want supplemental content, but they don't want it to interfere with their primary screen experience. Second screen experiences today are mostly about "checking in" to shows, or getting, for example, supplemental statistics during the live sports event you're streaming. In 2013, second screen experiences are expected to become more widely available.
4. More Tonally-Consistent Web Pages
Designing web pages or entire websites around different tones of the same color is more reassurance that the hideous clashing websites of the 90s with their garish, screaming banners are in the past ... where they belong. Organizing sites around shades of red, or shades of blue can work well in an overall small business web branding strategy. Not only can tonally consistent web pages reinforce the colors associated with your brand, they let you have an attractive, colorful website that doesn't distract from your content.
5. Advances in Typography
Typography is one of those areas in which the advice "Just because you can doesn't mean you should" applies. Web designers have tons of fonts available, which is good. What's bad is trying to show off as many of them as possible on one page. Web design experts expect typography to increase in importance in 2013. Text itself not only communicates information, but adds to (or detracts from) overall design. Expect web designers to pay more attention to typography in 2013. It's a fundamental element of any web page, and great designers want to use it to its best advantage. In fact, businesses are now advised to test font types and monitor conversion rates to see if some fonts are more effective.
Website design has come a long way in the past decade, and it is sure to continue to evolve and adapt to what consumers want. Your web design professional should be open to new ideas while building on the solid foundation of design principles that have worked well in the past.
Photo Credit: Juhan Sonin