Are January’s ‘Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2014’ Still Holding Up in August?

In a word, yes.

But unless web design is part of your, you know, day-to-day career, these trends may only now be edging onto your radar. They’ve become talking points with the mainstream media. Or maybe your competitors are already incorporating them into their website redesigns, and you’ve noticed. If you aren’t doing at least three of these five things, your need to get serious about your website. Stat.

  1. Flat Design. Last year, the chatter was maybe flat design was just another fad, but this one is going to stick, folks. Why? Flat design is like minimalism jacked up on a doppio espresso. The flat design mantra is “keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it modern.” The aesthetic is less clutter, more use of white space, achieving more by using less, and getting rid of 3D graphics and gradients. Good examples are,, your Windows 8 start screen, and Apples iOS7 home screen.
  2. Parallax: The cool effect every designer has wanted to shove into every website since it was first developed, even if the website sold plumbing supplies. Now that we’ve all calmed down and the cost isn’t ridiculously prohibitive, we can use parallax to make a serious statement and a major impact with all that scrolling mischief. How does it work? It is created by using multiple backgrounds that move at different speeds, implying visual depth where there actually is none. Expect this to trickle down from the big retail brands to your neighborhood.
  3. Responsive Design: It’s totally the standard now, even if you didn’t know that. Responsive design uses percentages instead of fixed pixel dimensions, then adds media query break points to the website’s code. You don’t have to necessarily understand that – what it means is that the website will serve up the same content to devices of varying sizes and optimize itself for viewing on said device. A responsive design website is device agnostic and – here’s everyone’s hope – future-proof.
  4. Infographics for data; concise for content: Infographics are just cool: they present a lot of often very linear information in a small space using pictures, boxes, and other graphic representations; they’re eye-catching; the brain processes them initially like pictures instead of words; they have personality, they’re kind of quirky; and they combine typography, bold colors, and shapes in a way that intrigues the viewer. When you have a website that, by its very nature (like, say, The New York Times) is content-heavy, it’s time to strip away bells and whistles and create a clean, concise interface that allows content to shine (instead of the design stealing the spotlight).
  5. Typography: Web designers, especially those who started their design careers pre-Internet, have always longed for font freedom. This year, typography gets serious. We used to be constrained by using fonts that were widely available on the end-user’s computer or device. And if we did use a non-web-safe font, it had to be uploaded to the server and then downloaded by the viewer’s browser (if the browser even supported the font), slowing down page load times and was just generally an all-around bummer. Now, the availability of high-quality fonts through Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit offer up hundreds of fonts for web design with small snippets of JavaScript added to a site’s header along with a small bit of CSS and BANG! We’re in Custom Font Nirvana, supported by all the major browsers.

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