Web Design Trends 2013

Red and grey design logo

This summer I launched Delvos Designs, a web development firm, with my business partner Pierry Delcy. In a series of helpful website-related news posts, one has been getting more traffic than the other so I thought I should post it here as well.

The posts’s title is Web Trends 2013-2014 and it covers responsive web design, easy to use content management systems, speedier and better looking websites, more impressive animations and a focus on original content.

Without further ado, here it is.

Web Trends 2013-2014

Every company and business wants to stay at the forefront of their industry to remain competitive and relevant to their target audience. This is why it’s so important to track trends and keep an eye on what new and impressive elements are emerging in your field.

By tracking trends, you can benefit from the popularity of rising movements or phases and avoid putting too much effort into fads that are last year’s news.

If you want to read a really well-written article about how you or your company can track trends, ReadWriteWeb wrote an article called 10 Ways Startups Can Track Trends and Why It’s So Important.

Some useful tips from the author that apply to any industry are to:

  • Read industry news
  • Get out of the office
  • Listen in
  • Think global.
  • Watch for countertrends
  • Watch demographic changes

Web development is no different, and because it is such a rapidly evolving industry, many companies don’t know that their site can look and feel out of date just months or a year after its been built.

Fortunately, when you know what to look for, trends become easier to predict and observe. To this extent, we’ve compiled this list of the top five trends to watch out for in websites in 2013 and 2014.

We chose these five trends by analyzing:

  • The frequency we come across them online
  • The potential they hold
  • The amount of discussion they generate among other professionals.

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1. Responsive Web Design

responsive web design example multiple devices

Web developers used to be able to create a desktop site and a mobile version of the same website but since the emergence of such a wide variety of screen sizes, a one-size-fits-all solution was needed. If a website is responsive, it means that the site reads what size of screen your visitor is using and adapts to fit within those borders. The difference between a non-responsive site on a mobile device and a responsive site is that a non-responsive site will simply shrink all of the elements or create unsightly scroll bars, while a responsive site will rearrange elements and choose the optimal layout for your display.

2. Easy to use Content Management Systems

cms joomla wordpress drupal

WordPress themes today come equipped with pre-built drag-and-drop functionality, which gives the user a lot more freedom in how the design looks, without any need for coding knowledge. WordPress and other Content Management Systems (CMS) are already incredibly easy to use and now beginners can make their own professional-looking site and even update it after the developer is finished.

3. Speedier sites via performance-focused updates

fast websites clock timer

Higher resolution screens mean heavy graphics, videos, and animations will be weighing down websites and may make navigating them a choppy ride rather than the smooth sailing customers deserve. This is why it’s necessary to include snippets of code in new sites that determine what kind of device the visitor is using and provide the correct quality of image for that display. This concept is often referred to as “retina-ready”.

4. More impressive web animations

html5 css3 animations

With more advanced ways to create plug-ins using HTML5, CSS3 and the addition of pre-processors, (SASS, LESS, amongst others – none of which you need to be familiar with) WordPress users who don’t even understand basic coding, can create astonishing animations for their site. The LayerSlider (featured on our homepage) and Revolution Slider are great examples of these sorts of plug-ins. Loads of helpful snippets have also surfaced that allow for simple copy-and-paste animations. Check out Dan Eden’s project: animate.css. It’s is exactly as he describes: “just-add-water-awesomeness.”

5. Original Content Trumps Re-Posting

original content

With Google’s latest updates to its algorithm, posting original content gives your site a much higher search rank so we will likely see a more authentic tone attached to each site that makes it high in the search results. Also, the most popular posts are the ones that are the most share-worthy. Valuable information coupled with an enjoyable writing style will bring sites more social media and search engine activity. With handy info-graphic and After Effects templates, we’ll see a lot more visually-appealing content from people who previously didn’t have the necessary skills.

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These are just some of the trends you will see develop over the coming year. Even though these may not be earth-shaking revelations to some, hopefully people of all skill levels were able to learn something and find this post both useful and “share-worthy” (hint, hint).

For more information on trends that will be sweeping through web development over the next year I suggest visiting any of these links:

DiriGoDev: Web Design and Development Trends for 2013 and 2014

99 Designs: Web Design Trends for 2013

HTMLcut: Trends in Web Design, 2013

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