6th March 2014

Online trends emerging in 2014

Flat design, inspired by Apple

When Apple first released iOS 7 (September 2013) we were all a little bit skeptical about its looks, as it seemed that Jony Ive had gone a little over the top in simplifying the user experience in Apple devices. It didn’t take long though, to realise that what was a massive overhaul of iOS was in fact really well thought out and designed.
When you now look at an iOS device running iOS 7 against a device running iOS 6, the iOS 6 device feels instantly dated. The subtle changes that were introduced into the user experience make iOS 7 one of the most intuitive operating systems out there. The simplistic design that we all thought was a bit shady is actually now of the most copied trends in website design and development. Every day we are seeing more and more designs following suit and making amazing user interfaces with flat design.
Take a look at some of the best flat designs out there on Awwwards.

Mobile first design and development

To put it simply, go mobile or go home.
Since 2010 there has been a 53%  increase in adults using mobile devices to surf the net and we are slowly seeing that tablet devices and smartphones are starting to take over traditional desktop users. According to Ofcom, 51% of UK adults own a smartphone, so now is the time to get your mobile site up and running.
This brings us to responsive design and development which is now a must for any organisation looking to launch a new website or service. You need to be thinking about how your site will work across these mobile devices and make sure that the experience users are getting on these devices is fully optimised to encourage lead generation and sales.
At Silver we are always looking at how your mobile sites can achieve better results and make the users’ experience as comfortable as possible.

Lead generation

It is no longer good enough to assume that a great design will generate leads. Designs should now be developed hand in hand with the user experience and the stats you have from previous sites.
We always encourage our clients to take a look at the stats and work out what is working and what is not working on their websites. We are then able to make better decisions on what elements need to be placed where on a design. Call to actions should be plentiful but not in the face of your users. They need to be consistent so that when a user makes the decision to use a call to action they know where to look. The information displayed must be concise and accessible.
With this information it is easier to deploy A/B testing to find out if there are other methods that can be introduced to convert more leads. Once a successful method is discovered, it should be deployed and then retested against newer designs to continue to increase leads.
So the next time you are looking at a redesign or a new design, look at how it can generate leads for you and pose the questions as to how your users will interact with it.

Parallax

With the popularity of HTML5 and CSS3 increasing with every release of new browsers, we are starting to see parallax elements more and more on websites.
Parallax can be as simple as moving your background images at a different rate to elements placed on top of it, to fully scrolling sites that animate as the user scrolls, much like the Createyourelf.com website we created in December 2013.
It’s here to stay, and it’s here to make your website pop and look cutting edge.

Typography

Typography can be the proverbial pain in any web designer/developers life. We were always looking at ways to make web typography great, and now with the popularity of CSS3 it is possible to use great fonts in all designs and make websites beautiful.
There are many free and paid services out there that allow designers and developers to use exciting fonts that have been tried and tested in their projects. Google and Typekit are two of the leading providers of webfonts and many more will emerge in the next year.
There are great examples out there of typographic websites that use fonts to their best. Check out the great examples on Awwwards.

Top level Domains (TLDs)

This year has seen a surge in new TLDs allowing organisations and individuals to have access to great domain names. Some of the new TLDs that are popular include:

  • .agency
  • .guru
  • .marketing
  • .photography
  • .io
  • .tips

To see an extensive list of these domains check out GoDaddy’s list.
These new domains allow for great flexibility in your projects and they help to curb the quickly diminishing list of generic domain names such as .com and .co.uk
So there we have it, Silver’s online trends for 2014. Will they become the norm over the next year or will they be another passing trend? We are sure to see the answer towards the end of the year. Make sure to check out our blog in December to see whether or not these trends are here to stay.