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Looking into 2014 on the web!

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In this blog we will delve into the latest design trends which are likely to impact your marketing and website moving forward into 2014.

Parallax scrolling

Parallax scrolling is a recent trend to hit the web. An example of this technique is the Lexus Asia website. In order to create this effect designers set items and images on the page with different scrolling speeds. These are often background images which give the effect of content merging into the background and often disappearing. As a designer – I’ve found this to be a very challenging technique to master and can take a lot of time to get right. Once achieved, this can be a superb way of engaging your audience by giving the user a completely different experience. Yes, it is often a nicety and not required for us all but does sit well for story websites which require the user to follow a particular path to find out about the websites or product. We expect to see a lot more of this next year.

lexus-asia

Flat design

We can already see global brands such as Microsoft and Apple shifting forwards a flat user interface in both their website and latest mobile operating system releases. A perfect example of this is the “Microsoft Tile”, which has become much more influential than you may have first thought. Microsoft’s approach to simplifying their graphics to use a flat coloured square/rectangle has turned out to be quite a hit online and has left companies chasing their tails in the race to simplify their imagery to match this approach. We can expect to see much more of coming to the web in 2014, with designers ditching the use of shadows, reflections and gradients and adopting a much simpler flat UI. In light of this approach, we at C2 have designed our website around this shift in movement to keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies.

Long pages and Sticky Headers

We are all turning mobile. With a considerable amount of web traffic coming from portable devices such as tablets and phones, designers are stripping stripping back the amount of clicks required to get to specific parts of the website, making them either a single page or creating long page websites. Users just love to scroll on portable devices rather than clicking individual links to pages. Where it might have made sense to break your website down into separate pages such as “About Us” and “Technologies”, users now find it much easier to scroll through an entire page.  When adopting this approach, users find themselves scrolling further and further away from the header / navigation elements normally located at the top of the page. In order to resolve this, we are noticing an increase in ‘sticky headers’ where the navigation elements remain at the top regardless of the amount of scrolling.

Bigger Images

With internet connections getting faster and increasing demand for high-resolution monitors and screens, such as apples retina displays – it is inevitable that websites are going to want to take full advantage of them. The use of large hi-resolution background images and slideshows are already taking the web by storm. We can expect to see this trend grow throughout 2014. You really do not have an excuse for poor quality images now that our internet connections are whizzing along.

Blocks

Gone are the days of large amounts of text with embedded images. The latest trends to hit the web are websites built up of “blocks”. Perfect examples of these are Pinterest, Google+ and Windows 8. These blocks are often varying in size and colour and are stacked on-top of each other in a manner that facilitates easy and casual browsing. Microsoft’s Windows 8 has been at the fore front of this design trend with its unique tile effect. We can expect to see this design trend grow dramatically in 2014!

Summary

Although we cannot see exactly what the future holds, we have gathered that these design trends are on the rise. From our point of view, the web looks to be a rather exciting place moving forward. With the introduction of flat designs, bigger images and blocks - We feel we have positioned ourselves well to the future of web!


28 Nov 2013

About the Author

James CTwo is our blogging alter ego for the Dynamics CRM and Web experts here at C2. We have a passion for anything CRM, Web Design or Social Media. We love writing about it! Find us on YouTube & Twitter.

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