#1: Responsive Design, Don't Ignore it!
According to uberflip, 90% of people use multiple screens (desktops, tablets, mobile) to browse the Internet, shop online, manage their finance, planning a trip, etc. Are you part of this 90%? Right, so, does your website adjust to these devices for optimal user experience?
What makes responsive design so important is that it allows you to have a website that virtually anybody can see, even on the latest tablets, smartphones, and internet-ready technologies. Think of it as one website with multiple looks, all without having to constantly change your page. Learn the pros and cons of responsive vs mobile friendly sites.
#2: Digital QR Codes, Use Them to Merge Phone, Print & Web
Short for quick response code, digital barcodes can easily be scanned from a smartphone and can be directed to a webpage for additional information.
The really cool thing about QR codes is just how much information can be given to a consumer. One scan of the code could allow patrons to add your business as a contact in their phone's address book, get immediate directions from a GPS app, read your restaurant's menu as they arrive, and so much more.
#3: Infinite Scrolling, Its Just Smart
Social media giants, Pinterest and Tumblr, have made infinite scrolling a mainstream trend. In essence, infinite scrolling allows tons of information to be shared with your web visitor without any sort of pagination.
While this trend doesn't work for all websites, it can be a great option for some as web surfers become even more familiar with the concept of infinite scrolling.
#4: Retina Support, Regular Television for HD
One of the greatest things Apple brought to the mainstream world with the iPhone device is retina graphics. When they announced in 2010 that the iPhone 4 would have this feature, very few web designers even knew what it was. Since then, retina graphics are popping up on more and more sites across the web.
In essence, retina graphics allow for twice the pixel count than normal images, allowing them to be extra clear. Those viewing a homepage on a device with retina display can easily see the crispness of photos. However, it is also important to note that anyone viewing the page on a non-retina display will still see a normal image without any extra sharpness. (Think of it as a difference between watching regular television and an HDTV.)
#5: Large Photo Backgrounds, Stunning Beauty
Plain 'ole white is out; large photo backgrounds are in! Many web designers are opting to utilize one stunning image as the page background instead of a solid color or print. This allows many companies to show off what it is they do and/or their business location.
Why is this trend so important? It brings the focus of web design back to creating beautiful images and interactive pages. By keeping the background a large image, the photography of the photo becomes a key element in the entire page design.
#6: Fixed Header Bars, Make it Easy
Have you ever read information on a website, only to have to scroll up to move on to the next page? The fixed header bar trend eliminates all of that. Through the use of CSS position, the navigation bar stays at the top of the browser window, no matter how far a visitor scrolls down.
One of the greatest aspects to this trend is that it can be used on virtually any sort of webpage, including e-commerce websites and general blogs.
When considering which element you would like to implement in your website, it is imperative that you think about your buyer persona, is this element going to stick with them? We love creativity and differentiation as much as you do, but you want to keep a fine line between what works for your web visitor and what you would like to see in your website. At Xzito, our web design can be adjusted for a variety of platforms, resolutions and applications. Learn more about our web design services.
Which element do you like the most when you visit a website? What trends do you see for 2014? Share and comment.