At Reflect Digital, we‘re always looking for new design ideas to help keep our clients ahead of their competitors and create websites that not only look great, but offer an optimum user experience.
We love new and exciting concepts so we’ve been looking into the top design trends coming up in 2014.
They’ve been around for quite a while now, so they’re not necessarily new, but scrolling websites are becoming more popular across a wide variety of industries. While many of us think of scrolling websites as your standard infinite style vertical scroll, it is likely that we will see more horizontally scrolling and parallax sites in the near future.
Column scrolling is also a fantastic idea for blog and news sites; with the ability to add multiple columns that can scroll independently, this style is an efficient and innovative way of displaying a large amount of text in an interesting new format.
Micro details are often not an integral part of the design; they don’t provide a necessary function or call to action, but they can give your site that “special something” to stand you apart from your competitors. Take a look at thedailybeast.com for a unique micro detail idea; as you scroll down each news article, the Read this List acts as a progress bar. While this isn’t a “necessary” function in the site, it can help improve user experience and it is extra little details like this that will make people remember your brand!
While tiling isn’t ideal for an entire website, it is becoming a popular style for home pages. Again, this can be a great idea for news and blog style websites, but it can also be used across a wide variety of industries. Take a look at the Pravda WordPress Theme for a good example.
Tiling looks great when used across a whole page, but it does mean that you can be limited in terms of content. It has been suggested that we will see a lot less text on home pages in 2014, in favour of more image-based designs, but it remains to be seen the effect this will have in terms of SEO. A great compromise can be adding tiling just to the banner area thus freeing up space for text underneath; this way you’re still achieving a similar style above the fold but you can still add all the content you need to the page underneath.
Now this is one of Reflect’s favourite design ideas! Great for portfolio sites, moving backgrounds can be an ideal way of showcasing your work. This works best with a scrolling website design as users are encouraged to scroll down and watch the background change; however it may not work too well with a text-heavy site as the background becomes the focal element. This article by the Guardian is a perfect example of how moving backgrounds can be used to tell a story. As you scroll down the page, the static images begin to move; from water flowing to a tree’s branches swaying in the wind; this site combines static imagery with moving video backgrounds in order to tell this family’s tale.
This site is also a good example of how navigation may change throughout 2014. Designers are always looking for new and exciting ways to add navigation to a site without impairing user experience. Here we see the standard top navigation scrapped in favour of a more discreet right-hand menu that allows the background image to remain the centre of attention. Menus are becoming more concise with unnecessary elements being moved to a less conspicuous area, such as the footer or even an internal page. These “slide out” style menus are ideal for scrolling websites too, as they allow the menu to move down the site as the user scrolls, without hiding valuable content or sticking out like a sore thumb!
If you’re looking to update your website, Reflect Digital can help! We offer bespoke website design, development and project management across a wide variety of platforms (including our very own CMS!); get in touch today to find out how we can help bring your website into 2014!
It’s time to move the game on.
To find out how we can help you take your business to the next level, contact our friendly and expert team today.
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