Did you know we here at Spark Logix Studios, in addition to being amazing web designers, are also psychics, mentalists, and prognosticators of the highest order? Through the use of magical healing crystals, animal bones, Tarot cards, chiromancy, ouija boards, and phrenology, we can see into the near future, and predict what the internet will look like one year from today.
Also, we have some magic beans we’d like to sell you. Call now to find out more.
#1 – Grid Layouts
We can all thank Pinterest for this. Grid layouts look great, and more importantly, it’s very, very easy to use. Everything can be quickly understood, and is skimmable, but is still coherent and easy to follow. Plus, it doesn’t require nearly as much space on the page. Hopefully, more news sites and aggregators will be using this layout in the future. As opposed to the current messy, non-sensical layouts that seem to be all the rage on the most popular news sites (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, we’re looking at you).
#2 – Parallax
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Parallax scrolling is a technique used to add depth to your website, by using various layers, and having them scroll at different speeds. This creates the illusion of movement, and 3D depth to a website. It’s also the name of a major villain from the Green Lantern comics which was used as a disappointing cop-out/retcon in the Hal Jordan goes insane storyline, but that’s neither here nor there.
Sure, some people might call it a gimmick (dumb people maybe) but Parallax design really opens up a lot of flexibility and neat options to incorporate into your designs. It allows us to use the visual hierarchy, and snag users attention in unique ways that we don’t think has been fully explored and used. Plus, non-design folks see it, and love it. “Hey man, I saw this one web internet, and it had like, two layers. Can you do that? Cause it was awesome!”
#3 – Single Use Pages
We’re not sure exactly when this became a trend, probably around the boom of the landing page movement, but we predict it will be even more popular moving forward. For content heavy websites, publishers and news sites, this creates a unique way for to set a specific article or piece of the content apart from the rest of the site. Now you know…and knowing is half the …something…something.
#4 – Blur. So Very Much Blur…
A relatively new trend that seems to be growing, is seeing different layers on a website blur out to bring focus on the necessary content. This is particularly true with mobile apps, but I suspect we’ll see more and more blurred modals and forms and interactions on web designs. Especially with the flexibility of CSS3, and the ability to make these sorts of transitions and effects less resource intensive. Plus, it looks neat.
#5 – Giant Navigation
A growing trend we’ve spotted towards the end of 2013, is the increased use of giant navigation menus, which have lots of content, images, text, and information in them. This is especially common, and useful, for sites that produce a lot of content. Online magazines and forums are a good example of people who would benefit from this type of navigation. It certainly beats using breadcrumbs to help with navigation. Because those are kind of ugly.
#6 – Unique Font Choices
Thanks to the revolutionary new features in web development, the @font-face declaration, you can now import externally hosted font files, and using CSS can write them into the font-family properties to style your web site fonts. This opens up new worlds of font usage, and will allow sites to utilize different typography than we’ve previously seen. Oh, and this also includes different font-based icons. So there’s that.
#7 – Minimal Text
Remember when every website used to look like a neon green version of Wikipedia? Well, that’s certainly no longer the case. We predict the minimalist approach to text, and image heavy presentation will continue through the year, reaching it’s natural conclusion when all websites are just a single two color picture of the product or service being sold or advertised.
I mean, who wants to make users work by actually reading? No one, that’s who.
#8 – Laser Focused Landing Pages
With the rise of PPC and Google AdWords, now one of the most viable marketing and lead generation tools available (if you know what you’re doing), the effectiveness of a good landing page cannot be overstated. But beyond the uses for PPC Campaigns, a simple, focused, easy to follow home page will become all the rage. Are you noticing a pattern here? Simple, easy to use, direct. THIS IS THE FUTURE!
#9 – Flat Design User Interface
2013 saw the rise of Flat Design. Sure, it wasn’t invented in 2013, but it really took off, and we predict it will continue through 2014. Thanks to Windows 8 and iOS7, flat design is here to stay. Hand in hand will be metro-style layouts, but the flat trend is here to stay.
#10 – Unique Image Galleries