Web Design Trends for 2014

By / Jan 14, 2014 / Trends
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The start of a new year is always an exciting time for businesses to look ahead and wonder what the coming year will bring. There are a lot of changes in store in 2014, especially for people who work in technology and web design.

2013 saw a slew of new trends, some of which have begun to fade out and others that stuck around and are still going strong. While 2014 is just getting started, let’s take a look at some of the web design trends that have started to emerge or that we can expect to see in the coming year.

Flat Design

Web Design Trends for 2014

Flat Design was one of the biggest trends to emerge in 2013 and it is going strong into the new year. Companies from Taco Bell to Apple are dropping skeumorphism in favor of flat design by stripping their graphics of pretty much any design element that isn’t 100% purposeful in the function of the product. Apple, for example, launched their iOS7 with an extreme flat design, stripping the design elements until they were stark naked. This involves getting rid of 3-D graphics and gradients and basically just using flat shapes and indicators to help the user have a more accessible experience.

Experimental typography

experimental typography

More and more designers are having fun with fonts and injecting them with new personalities. These fonts have a little more pizazz than standard serif or san-serif fonts like Times New Roman, Helvetica, etc. We’ve already seen designers beginning to add uniqueness and personality to the fonts their using in logos and on websites. Some of these can be fun and playful while others are artistic but still professional. You can expect to see many more websites going the way of the less boring font in 2014.

Slide Out Menus

Web Design Trends for 2014

Want to view the content on a website crisply without distraction? Slide out menus allow you to do just that. A slide out menu can be toggled from the top or side of your screen to reveal the rest of the site’s content in a seamless way that doesn’t interrupt your browsing experience. It’s a nice way to get where you’re going without getting distracted. It’s minimalistic and simplicity 2.0.

Big Background Videos

Web Design Trends for 2014

Move over single page websites that feature big beautiful images, and hello background videos. This new trend is making waves, and it isn’t hard to see why! Imagine a beautiful video playing on your site that fills up the entire screen, providing your audience with an inside look and peak into your company or business. When done right big background videos can make your website stand out from others, and provide an in-depth user experience were customers and readers feel connected to you and your brand in a way never before possible.

Endless Scrolling

Web Design Trends for 2014

Scrolling through a website is faster and easier than having to click through links to access various information. They are not the content-cluttered long scrolling pages of the past, either. New design techniques allow the content to be impeccably organized and formatted in a way that’s super easy to read and digest. Long scrolling site can change layout and design as you’re scrolling, which makes it easy to forget that you’re actually scrolling through quite a bit of information.

Simple Color Schemes

Web Design Trends for 2014

2014 will see a lot more websites using only one or two colors instead of the eye-popping graphics and animation of the past. A new trend is to use one bright and clean background color, like red, orange or teal, and to include images or black or white text over it. The effect is super minimalist and user-friendly.

Focus on Mobile

Web Design Trends for 2014Image by Yecid Sanmartin

Responsive Web Design was another big trend in 2013 and now 2014 is seeing websites designed expressly for mobile use. Designers are working more and more on keeping sites functioning on mobile devices and developers are helping the cause along too. Things like logins, social media integration, email subscriptions, endless scrolling and many other features are making sites much, much easier to use on phones, which is where most users are turning these days.

Less Text, More Video

Web Design Trends for 2014

Instead of having blurbs about what a company does, businesses are instead opting for short videos. Because videos are easy to produce and share on your site and on social media and they also appeal to the modern attention span that wants to be wowed and entertained, videos are a great way to communicate with an audience effectively.

Scroll Activated Animations

Web Design Trends for 2014

Interactivity in web design is starting to go to an entirely new level. With scroll activated animations you can create incredible content that your audience can interact with and explore. It makes your web content truly come to life in a way never before possible. Sometime the web can feel distant and different than a person connection, but with scroll activated animations your audience can start to feel more in touch with the digital world.

About the Author

Like a true San Franciscan, Maryam Taheri has a passion for dogs and the Giants. She heads up Content Marketing at creativemarket.com where she writes about all things creative.

32 Comments

  1. Petr
    January 14, 2014

    Great compilation of the trends for 2014. Thanks for mentioning Merry Christmallax, Maryam.

    If anyone interested, you can check The Making of Merry Christmallax and learn more about how it was put together.

    http://ihatetomatoes.net/the-making-of-merry-christmallax/

    Reply
  2. S.B.
    January 14, 2014

    Endless scrolling is a nightmare. I hate it and any website that uses it. It makes no sense at all, especially on e-commerce sites.

    Reply
    • Nick
      January 16, 2014

      I agree! One pager’s, well ok, not so much of a problem. But endless scrolling? Or websites that use illustrations that animate when you scroll? Yeah… It was funny in the beginning, now it’s just annoying and not user-friendly.

      Also less text, more video? Not sure about that one either. When you are checking out a website you want to choose between watching a video and reading something. I don’t always want to watch a video, reading is faster most of the times for example.

      Rest of the design trends are nice tho!

      Reply
  3. Alexis Pratsides
    January 14, 2014

    Cracking article Maryam. My 2 cents worth is that the two points around video, Big Background Videos & Less Text, More Video, are what we will see more and more of in the coming months.

    Saying that, this does rely heavily on companies being able to deliver high quality, engaging video pieces, the likes of which we are really only currently seeing from top end business.

    Reply
  4. Will
    January 14, 2014

    Yes! A post on trends that I completely agree with – 100%.

    Spot on IMO with everything here.

    Reply
  5. Dan Jones
    January 14, 2014

    Not a big fan of most scrolling websites, I often find the menu takes up too much of the page but they can be pulled off well in some cases. Flat design for 2014!

    Reply
  6. Irene
    January 14, 2014

    Sorry, this sounds more like 2013. Thousands of these sites exist already.
    To have a “trend of 2014″, one would assume the current emerging trends are going to become popular.
    However I feel these trends have already had their 15 minutes.

    Reply
  7. Chris
    January 15, 2014

    Flat Design and Focus on mobile are only going to get more prominent this year. With that and big images leading the way.

    Reply
  8. Martin
    January 15, 2014

    These might be designtrends for sure, but in the age of usability and not just UX, i find it hard to belive some of these trends will be long lived.

    Reply
  9. Bianca Board
    January 15, 2014

    Oh boy, I’m not a big fan of pop out navigation, but it looks like it’s here to stay :(

    Reply
  10. Justin Lanigan
    January 15, 2014

    Totally agree – nice overview and some great examples to illustrate each point.

    Reply
  11. BigJon
    January 16, 2014

    yet another repetition of the same myths…
    Many of these ‘trends’ are poor design repeated by the ‘trendy’

    First and foremost is usefulness for the user.
    Many of the above are great for middle class housewives window shopping. So if you’re designing a clothing shop website, well done.
    All other businesses need to avoid a lot of these ‘cool’ and lets face it, bloody annoying, designs!

    “endless scrolling” indeed!

    Reply
  12. Website Development
    January 16, 2014

    I loved Scroll Activated Animations it was very creative.

    Reply
  13. Marty Gruhn
    January 16, 2014

    Hi Maryam. Thanks for the summary. Spot on in our experience.

    Something I would add, however, which is a bit of the dark side of some of these trends.

    In the quest for less content in favor of more eye candy, too many sites are slashing their content to ribbons. This means they don’t provide enough information to educate prospects and visitors — and that increases the cost of sales.

    Reply
  14. web designer philippines
    January 17, 2014

    Slide out menus work great for mobile and tablets. Not required for desktop layout though.

    Reply
  15. Krista Marie
    January 17, 2014

    More solid colors, white space, big images and one-page-scrolling sites. ♥

    Sad to say there are still some people who prefer pages that does not require one to scroll down.

    Reply
  16. Joe Riviello
    January 17, 2014

    I especially like the scroll activated animations and how you can use them in your build to tell a story as the user scrolls. You can see a perfect example in onlycoin.com.

    Reply
  17. Katypeterson
    January 20, 2014

    I like to scroll down, i am early wait for next one… simple superb…

    Reply
  18. Dallas Website Design
    January 20, 2014

    Flat Design should have been more correctly attributed to Microsoft’s Modern design theme it uses across Windows 8 devices, as it predated iOS7. It was correctly predicted that Apple would likely follows suit and implement a flat theme when WP8′s design was lauded. This time it was MS who was the trendsetter and Apple who followed suit!

    Reply
  19. Nathan Brook
    January 21, 2014

    Great article. Very informative. I noticed the trend of flat design already in 2013 and was successfully implementing it in my work.

    Reply
  20. Design Turnpike
    January 21, 2014

    Some good observations, though I hate endless scrolling.

    Reply
  21. Chris
    January 22, 2014

    Hi,

    For a better UX you should add ‘target=”_blank” to outbound links.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    Reply
  22. Rob
    January 24, 2014

    Great post, I see many of these web design trends sticking around longer than usual. Mobile, Video and simple are here to stay for a while.

    Reply
  23. Jason Turnquist
    January 24, 2014

    Spot on with these 2014 design trends. Well also be seeing more hard line designs, flat colors (no gradients) and filtered photos.

    Reply
  24. Bryon Hutcheson
    January 24, 2014

    Thank you for posting this article. Some of your points were valid, but a few I would like to go over:

    First, endless scrolling is a nightmare. It was cool at first, but it became really annoying and frowned upon in the web design community. It is not user friendly in the sense that people can become easily lost in it, which effects how they enjoy the site. Trust me, if users do NOT enjoy being on the site, they will NOT come back.

    Secondly, large video backgrounds are a cool idea, but it does pose a problem when it comes to loading time. For some users, if a site takes too long to load, they will leave an go some. So if you are going to use a large video background, make sure it’s small enough to where it doesn’t make your site take forever to load.

    Thirdly, slide-out menus are also another great idea, especially for mobile; but for general sites, it will effect the user experience. In design, we don’t have any real “rules” that we are forced to follow other than the basic principles and elements we apply. But when it comes to the world of web design, user experience is everything. Website usability is the really the only real “rules” in web design, which is making sure your website is user friendly to where people can easily find what they are looking for with the least amount of clicks as possible. A lot of people will have a hard time with being able to use a website if the navigation is not obvious; so unless it’s going to be used for mobile, then I would not include it in the general functionality of the website for when it’s on computer screens.

    Reply
  25. Scott Richardson
    January 25, 2014

    Personally, I think it’s time ‘trends’ go away. Instead, we just use what is RIGHT for the job. Does the brand and style of a business dictate a flat design style? If so, use flat. Inversely, is a brand edgy, grungy, and heavy? Then maybe flat and minimal isn’t really ideal. Sometimes, minimal is necessary because it’s the content that needs to be the hero, however in other projects, the style, theme and art is what creates the experience. For those projects, the experience solidifies the brand, and in that case, heavy graphics and complexity may suit instead of minimalist approaches.

    I guess, choose a style, method or ‘ahem’ trend that is RIGHT, rather than trendy. Otherwise you’re going to have clients that need a redesign every 18 months – which might be nice for your bank account, but not theirs.

    Scott

    Reply
  26. Website Design Malaysia
    January 28, 2014

    we agree that the scrolling type of design will be a big hit!

    Reply
  27. Arianna
    January 30, 2014

    Thanks for your wonderful share and let us know the latest website designing trends that we should adopt for the better and attractive website design.
    Honestly speaking I was doing surfing and I was looking for some website design on scrolling. Then I found a website http://www.61designstreet which is also a very interesting website design for this 2014 year.
    The coding of jQuery behind the website is really awesome.

    Reply
  28. austin web designs
    January 30, 2014

    Thanks for compiling these web design trends. Our web design team as been seeing and implementing most of the trends that you mention. The christmallax page was pretty cool!

    Reply
  29. Thomas Ulstrup
    February 3, 2014

    We completely overhauled our website and launched the brand new one today. It’s simple, has great big fonts that are easy on the eyes and the graphics are very simple and flat. Big and easy noticable CTA-buttons. The two main things for us this year are going to be responsive and flat designs.

    Reply
  30. Rachel Gillevet
    February 6, 2014

    Hey Maryam,
    I thought this was a great collection of web design trends that you put together for the new year. I always think it’s important for these lists to be put together so that people know what’s out there. If it creates some discussion, even better :) Anyway, I included your post in my roundup of the month’s best web design/devleopment, security, and CMS content. http://www.wiredtree.com/blog/januarys-best-web-designdevelopment-cms-security-content/ Thanks again for compiling this.

    Reply
  31. Laura | Web Design Birmingham
    February 10, 2014

    I love the single page, infinite scrolling sites however I have to wonder what impact they’ll have on SEO? Best practice is always to have one page per priority, so having a single page with multiple priorities on could lead to some Google confusions.

    Reply

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