In 2013 web designers, web firms, and online marketers all over the country declared that "Content was King."
That is still true. You do still need good content to have a successful website. But now that 2014 has slowly inched its way forward, what are the major design trends in websites that we've been seeing for this year?
First, a focus on responsive web design.
As we've talked about on this blog, responsive design IS the way of the future
. With more and more of the public accessing the Internet via smartphones and tablets a website that is responsively designed matters. (If you want to learn more about responsive web design, including why, how-to, and design tips, download our whitepaper here
.) Coincidentally, while responsive web design is on the rise websites designed exclusively for mobile are declining.
Second, while content is still king we're also seeing a simplification in content.
No more text-heavy web pages. The public appreciates simple design with text presented in easy, bite-sized pieces. Web designers are getting that message and more new websites are reflecting this streamlined approach with the text broken into boxes and pieces that are easily digestable.
Third, video is rising in its use and importance.
While the consumer loves to scroll through relevant and useful blog posts, they really love to watch videos. YouTube has become a preeminent source of content discovery for the average browser. How-to videos, testimonials, demonstrations...all of these are becoming very important in an overall marketing campaign and designers are including video elements in their design.
Fourth, unique and larger text type has been rising in response to the mobile environment we're in.
Today the minimum recommended font size is a 16 point. This is significantly larger than where industry standards used to lie. But given the prevalence of mobile devices this makes sense. Also, designers are starting to play with and integrate new and interesting fonts. These fonts aren't too far off the edge but subtle changes in font design are reflective of a modern and forward-thinking company.
Fifth, as content is being simplified, so too is design as the industry embraces flat design.
Designers that were at one time placing illustrations, animations, and fancy gadgets on websites are now backing off and using the "less is more" mantra. No more "artificial" design techniques. Classic, elegant, user-centric, minimalist and simple design is taking center stage.
We're not saying that 2014 is over and done, so don't close the book, or blog post, on this year yet. But the work we've been doing clearly reflects these huge and amazing industry changes.
By Allison Carter
Allison Carter is a Senior Content Strategist with BP Studios. She loves writing blogs, tweeting, Facebooking (which she still thinks should be a verb), and helping companies get their message out.