These 15 web design trends will be hot for 2013:
1. New Design Technology
Designers have a huge pool of new web development tools to play with. HTML 5, CSS 3, and Jquery are just a few of many to recently hit the scene. With features such as native video capabilities and easy drop shadows, look for these tools to play a huge role moving forward.
2. One Page to Rule All
At one time, keeping your important content above the fold was the unwritten rule of thumb. Lately, however, we have learned that single page web design has its perks. Sites that understand how to take full advantage of their real estate, while remembering the importance of still keeping key information near the top of the page can make out swell with this trend.
Faster Internet speeds combined with snappier browsers have made much richer and more content orientated pages faster to load.
3. Interactive Response
Advancements in mobile and Internet technology have made the digital landscape more interactive than ever. These are the experiences users crave, and website owners must cater to their preferences with experiences they will respond to. Whether it’s playing with an app or engaging in a community forum, an interactive site can only lead to a better user experience.
4. More Mobile-Friendliness
Mobile continues to explode in the areas of usage and traffic. It will continue to be the trend to follow through 2013. If your website is not mobile-friendly by now, you have probably missed out on a golden opportunity or two. With three big names on the scene in terms of mobile operating systems and the likes of BB10, Firefox and Ubuntu OS coming to phones – it’s only just getting started.
5. Deeper Social Integration
Everyone now knows that social media is much more than a fad. Following the lead of giants Facebook and Twitter, other services are expanding to become web platforms, instead of just social networks.
Website owners would be wise to take advantage of this expansion by incorporating the appropriate social elements into their web pages. I have seen more and more sites use Facebook comment systems in places of Disqus, IntenseDebate or Livefyre.
6. Larger Than Life Imagery
Apparently Facebook was onto something when the company introduced the Cover Photo for its timeline format. The trend has been followed by others in the social space, as well as professionals in the web design arena. Website operators fighting for the user’s attention will not hesitate to entice them with oversized headers, images, and footers.
With the Windows Surface Pro around the corner and Windows 8 taking a touch friendly approach – larger icons and imagery will be become a lot more common place.
7. Magazine-Like Formats
Magazines are increasingly moving online and bringing along an interesting trend in the process. Web development teams have been quite busy using CMS and blogging tools to create online havens for new and veteran publishers alike. But this trend is not limited to a single industry as numerous article-orientated sites have borrowed from the concept and incorporated the magazine-inspired format in their content marketing strategies.
8. The Circle Effect
CSS 3 is playing a role in numerous design trends, especially those that involve cool box effects. Circles fit the bill and have much to offer apart from being visually appealing. They can be used to form navigation schemes, trendy footers, and even frames for stylish artwork.
9. Simplicity over Flair
The increasing popularity of mobile devices has helped bring simple websites back in style. It has been tried, and fancy creations just don’t bode well on many of the newer gadgets.
With more sites aiming for universal designs that create an optimal experience across all devices, it appears that simplicity is the way of the future. I think this is especially important with the fragmentation of mobile operating systems and the different gadgets people may own (mobile, tablet, phablet, notebooks and the desktop PC).
10. Retro Style
Web development is no doubt evolving, but if you look at some of the design trends out there, you may think we were moving backwards – like cheesy lighting effects and weird color combinations reminiscent of magazine adverts and movie posters from the 80s backwards. Apparently this old school style is being well received because it is popping up all over the web.
11. Food for Freeloaders
Long ago, marketers learned that one of the fastest ways to get the consumer to take action was to offer something free in exchange for their time and participation. This way of thinking has spilled over to web design as many sites have started to offer freebies on a regular basis. Whether it’s a free white paper or free WordPress theme, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re giving away stuff people actually want.
12. The App Experience
One of the many reasons designers and developers are so excited about HTML 5 is because of its ability to run games and other applications directly in the browser. The newest version of the language is already being used to create magical experiences on smartphone and tablet devices. 2013 could still be the year we see the app experience deeply integrated into the traditional website.
13. Information Graphics
Infographics aren’t new, but they’re hot. Funny thing is, we haven’t even scratched the surface with this stuff. The latter part of the year might be when we see designers really get innovative with infographics.
14. Images as Backgrounds
Here’s an emerging trend we can thank photographers and brands in the fashion world for. In the digital space, companies across multiple industries are using this one with a great deal of success. High-quality photography can set the scene for some very engaging backgrounds.
15. Big Letters
Brands have been using big, bold headlines in their design schemes for years. However, we are just starting to see businesses apply the same format online. This trend will carry us beyond the end of the year as more designers aim to grab attention on first glance.
You have fads that come and go, but count on these web design trends sticking around for a while. Some are only getting started and should demonstrate their true potential in the very near future.
2013 is no doubt going to be another exciting year in web development. What do you think will be big design trends in 2013?
About the author: Edwin is an avid designer, marketer and writer currently at web development and online marketing firm 9th sphere. He loves to help businesses grow. In his spare time Edwin loves to research and stay up to date with emerging tech.
Featured image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/