The penultimate blog post in our series predicting what will happen across various strands of the digital marketing industry in 2014 brings us to web design and development. 2013 was a notable year for the strong emergence of responsive web design as more businesses moved towards websites that could be viewed on all platforms, while simplistic, minimal design was also a leading trend.
Here’s what we think will be the leading trends of 2014.
We already mentioned simple and minimal design in the opening paragraph, and as popular as these trends were through 2013 there are some commentators who believe they have gone too far. When you make something simple and easy, there is always the chance that it could be interpreted as “basic” and “low rent.” While most websites we’ve seen do a great job of keeping it simple, there are others who have used this trend as an excuse to put minimal effort into their web design and pass it off as trend following.
As a result, we expect there to be several elements added to web design in 2014, including better use of depth perception to give a 3D style experience while on a website, as well as the use of shadow and interactive variables that influence what users see on page. Websites that do a good job of this will be those that start adding subtleties to simple design. Any that go back to the days of over the top, how many widgets, plug-ins, bells and whistles can I add to my website will fail.
If you’re a follower of the digital marketing industry as a whole then you might already know that video is going to be one of the biggest growth areas within content marketing in 2014. However, video will also become a much bigger part of web design and development. We’re not talking about a YouTube video embedded into a homepage, but rather slow motion video or even an animated GIF being the background of your pages.
This article points you to some websites that were doing a great job of using video in this way at the beginning of 2013, but it appears to have had little influence in terms of the bigger picture of the internet population. However, we do believe that 2014 will represent a breakthrough year for video as a website design tool, although only the highest quality ones will work effectively. The cost of producing high quality video is perhaps what has held video backgrounds back until now, but as video in general becomes bigger next year, more will choose to invest.
In recent years, the general trend when it comes to CMS selection and implementation has been for WordPress to grow while others flat-line or see users abandoning their platforms to go and use WordPress instead.
There is no question that WordPress will remain the dominant force when it comes to the market as a whole, but new competitors as well as those that have been around for a long time like Joomla will continue to develop technologies and features for users, while developers might also begin to sense an opportunity for creating plug-ins and add-ons away from WordPress.
Most people look at web design and development and see it as something that only experts can do. While we’d never say anyone can get involved with web design, anyone with an interest in this field can use design tools such as Sketch to start coming up with their own ideas. It probably isn’t a good idea for inexperienced webmasters to use design tools as a money saving option, but anyone looking to build experience and become a designer themselves could use them as a great opportunity.
Over time, and at some stage in 2014, the increased availability and accessibility of high quality design tools will mean there is more competition in the web design market, which could drive down prices and allow businesses that can’t afford top of the market web design to get nearer to where they would ideally want to be.
Web design is going to change all over again in 2014. 2013 was a great year for seeing something different after the last few years had seen a worrying trend towards all websites looking the same, and 2014 is set to take many of the top trends from the last 12 months and see them evolve once again.