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Five Popular Trends in Website Design for 2014

Five Popular Trends in Website Design for 2014

While a site’s content is certainly more important than its’ design, there’s no doubt that design plays a large role in determining whether potential customers stay on a website, or go elsewhere. The design of a website could be viewed in a similar way to a storefront window: An attractive, creative display will draw customers in, while a cluttered, disorganized one will drive customers away.

Listed below are five particularly popular trends in website design for 2014. Being aware of these trends can help designers to create websites that will appeal to their target audiences, and thus generate sales:

Grid Style Layout

It is worth mentioning that the grid style layout is not suitable for all types of websites. However, it can be perfect for e-stores, photography websites and other, similar sites.

The grid style became popular when Pinterest starting using it on its’ platform. Since then, other popular websites have adapted and modified it for their own use. The grid style makes it easy for users to scan a site for information, and find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Also, it is visually appealing, so it keeps people on a site for a longer time, compared to what would otherwise be the case.

Focused Landing Pages

There was a time when a webmaster only had to create a single page for his or her website. That time is long past. Anyone who is serious about selling stuff online will need to create focused, targeted landing pages for each of his or her most important products.

Doing this serves multiple purposes. In terms of design, it enables webmasters to reduce clutter, as each page only deals with a single topic, rather than several or more related topics. Targeted, focused landing pages are also ideal for SEO, as Google prefers sites to use targeted landing pages, as opposed to a general home page for on-site and off-site links. Additionally, studies have shown that linking online advertisements to a focused landing page, rather than a general one, increases sales and profits. This tactic makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for, without having to do a website search.

HTML5 Video Players

While including video content on a website is a good way to attract customers, Flash video players are no longer nearly as popular as they once were. Nowadays, more and more webmasters are switching over to HTML5 video players. These players display high quality content, and only take up a modest amount of bandwidth. This ensures that a site will load quickly, even if there are large photos and/or other graphics displayed on the page.

Another important reason for using HTML5 is the fact that Flash is not compatible with most mobile phone devices. This means that sites that use Flash are unable to reach tens of millions of people, who use their mobile phones to browse the Internet and shop online.

Personal Portraits

People do not only want to find out about a product, they want get to know the person behind it as well. A personal portrait is a great way to connect with customers, and it adds a friendly touch to any website. Such a portrait can be included on the home page, about page, or even along with blog articles on the site. The photo should be clear and convey the image that the owner wants to convey (i.e. casual, friendly and professional, etc).

Mega Navigation Menus

Mega navigation menus are ideal for sites that have a lot of content. As the name implies, these menus enable a user to see a large number of links on a single page, thus making it easier to find appealing products and/or articles.

The goal of being aware of modern, popular website design trends is not to create clone sites that look the same as everyone else’s. Instead, being aware of these trends, and other popular design innovations, can enable webmasters to broaden their horizons, and use new, cutting edge techniques to create websites that are easy to use, and visually appealing to their target audiences.

Current CSS3 Design Trends

Current CSS3 Design Trends

Sometimes, it is hard to tell which web design trends will be fleeting ̵ as the word “trend” itself implies ̵ and which will become established practices. Happily, there is a place for both kinds of trends, and they often work together to keep websites fresh, interesting and constantly improving in functionality. Some trends reflect current tastes in aesthetic appeal and visual interest, but others mark a technological evolution in the tools and delivery of high quality websites.

Large-Scale Graphics

Typically, graphics are not the first thing to spring to mind, when CSS3 is mentioned in relation to web design. However, this is becoming more common. Nowadays, designers can use CSS3 to create and present graphics in a remarkable way. Bold and striking graphics that make a website memorable are a current aesthetic trend. Thoughtfully incorporated, large graphics and even background video can make a powerful statement. Some of the graphics that designers can devise now with CSS3 could be mistaken for creations crafted in Photoshop.

Spectacular Text

Similarly, bold typography can make a strong, positive impression on site visitors. CSS3 makes it possible to apply a number of creative and impressive effects to page text. Remarkably, some of the stunning effects and bold text possible can be done without the use of any Javascript, or base images. The potential is vast, and astute designers are taking advantage and pushing creative boundaries.

Microinteractions

The integration of microinteractions on a website can make a significant impact on the user experience. Rather than just being impressive to view, a site is at its best when users can enjoy a degree of engagement and interaction. The individual interactions must feel natural to website users. They must meet the needs of users too. CSS3 is helping designers to subtly integrate microinteractions, which create an enjoyable user experience that does not feel forced. Users can interact seamlessly, without feeling as though they have been asked to complete a chore.

User Engagement via Storytelling

One application of microinteractions is with the storytelling trend in the use of CSS3. In this design approach, a website actively engages users by telling a story, via the site design and subtle microinteractions. With clever design tools and ideas, a designer can present content in a way that makes meaningful connections to the users. Effective storytelling can evoke responses in site users, making their visits memorable. An imaginative designer can create a compelling setting, characters and storyline using the tools available with CSS3.

Motion

Since the emergence of the Internet to the wider public, motion has fascinated web designers and website visitors alike. Some of the earliest attempts to animate site elements were flashy and often painful to view. They were a novelty, but the true potential for visual interest meant that web designers continued to try. Fortunately, technology has advanced significantly over the years, and it is now easier for designers to create visual interest and motion, which is subtle and appropriate for the site being designed. Today, CSS3 represents a powerful tool designers can use to infuse motion that is elegant and sophisticated.

Mobility and Responsive Design

More than just a current buzzword, responsive design is a whole new approach to serving content to mobile users. Until recently, one of the common approaches was to create a separate mobile website from the primary version meant for desktop or laptop users. The intention was to create an experience that catered to mobile users, and provided what it was assumed they needed. Some attempts were more successful than others, but separate designs for mobile users are no longer necessary. With a responsive design, the site adapts itself to the user visiting. CSS3 media queries make it possible for a page to use different style rules, which are applicable to the device being used. Tailoring the experience to each user is built into the design in this way.

A responsive design approach is clearly one of those trends that will have staying power, as long as Internet users surf the web on a variety of devices. More than a trend, it represents an approach to site design that welcomes the broadest possible visitor base. Inevitably, other design choices will gain and lose popularity, as other trends take hold. Conveniently, tools such as style sheet languages