Rich Web Design

The Internet has changed massively over the last couple of years. Progress has been astounding. One of the drivers behind this has been the improvement in broadband technology around the world.

Improvements in Broadband

The broadband industry has improved at a faster pace than we have seen in many years. In the UK we now have average broadband speeds above 12 MB per second. If we look at city centre areas the average broadband speeds are around 30 MB per second.

Mobile broadband has entered the fourth generation of its existence. It is offering broadband speeds of up to 60 MB a second in some locations. Theoretically mobile broadband could hit well over 100 MB per second.

ADSL broadband has improved as well, leading to increased consumer satisfaction with connections that come over the BT telephone infrastructure.

All this broadband speed means that we can have heavier websites than ever before.

We are impatient animals, wanting instant gratification. We aren’t willing to wait around for web pages to load. In fact, when pages take even more than three seconds to load visitors sometimes give up and leave.

With the wonders of modern broadband we can enjoy a richer Internet experience, and the web design trends of 2014 will certainly make that even more so.

Web Design for Mobile Environments

Responsive design means that the website will work across a variety of screen dimensions and resolutions. By the end of 2014 there will be around 1.4 billion smart phones in the world. Almost 85% of smartphone users use their smart phones  to browse websites. This is an area that web design will key into in 2014.

Metro Designs

Metro design is built to new design principles. It focuses on content and relies less on graphics. The best place to see the design in action is in the new Windows 8 operating system. It is also present on the Xbox 360 dashboard. We’re going to see more websites using Metro style design principles.

Keep It Simple

Websites are increasingly taking a minimalist approach to design. They are trying to use just the essentials in order to communicate with the user. Websites are forgoing the usual flash and extra designs that really don’t add anything to the user experience.

Clutter is one of the main reasons that people leave a website without moving forward. The minimalist approach is destined to tackle this.

Mixed Header Fonts

At the moment having bold fonts with a mix of font styles is a big trend. It is, however, crucial that one picks the correct blend of fonts that really work. Having branding that works is a skill, and you might want to take on board the advice of a professional designer, if you aren’t one yourself.

In addition, paragraphs should be kept short and content fonts should be easy to read. Sans-serif fonts work well.

Parallax Scrolling

Parallax has been around since the early days of the Nintendo. However, it has recently being used increasingly to add a great user experience to websites.

Parallax scrolling means that the background scrolls slower than the foreground, creating a neat effect. You can find a nice example on the Puma Mobi website.

Infinite Scrolling

Infinite scrolling is here because of the improvements in broadband technology. Many websites these days use a an infinite scrolling paradigm, where you can continue scrolling down through search results, or content, with the content loading as you move down the page.

The page doesn’t have to reload and the experience can be a really good one. You can go down through massive threads without having your viewing experience punctuated by having to move to new pages.

Single Page Websites

With the capacity to add more content to webpages because of increasing Internet speed, single page websites have sprung up all over the web.

Being able to get the whole of a website up on one page can reduce the frustration of users with navigating around, and can make the process much quicker for converting traffic. Most websites built in a single page utilise a structured website design with different sections for different content. The navigation menu at the top will simply scroll you down to the relevant content. This can be much more effective when it comes to keeping users on your website and therefore reducing bounce rates.

Huge Background Images

Again the progress in broadband technology we have means  that we can use larger images than ever before. Developers are delving into the portfolios of quality photographers in order to make their websites stand out. Having quality, relevant, eye catching graphics and pictures can set a website up as a real influence in the online environment.

Think About the Content First

Many web developers and designers make the crucial mistake of designing a website and then thinking about the content. It should be the other way around.

In order to get the best design you should think about what you want to say, how you want to say it, and how you want to use the real estate on your website. Only after you have taken these steps will you be able to design a high quality website. In 2014 we are going to see web designers and developers increasingly take this important tip on board.

Video Content

Video content is becoming an important tool in the web designer's armoury.

Being able to use a video to show off the personality of a brand can dramatically increase conversions, and get more people to your website through shared social media content. These days we have the ability to build much richer and more interactive websites, with heavier files. Streaming isn’t a problem for the Internet in most countries of the world and therefore we can make our content really stand out with quality video blogs, adverts and videos.

Web design trends of 2014 are going to continue where 2013 leaves off. The world is becoming a smaller place and the Internet is behind it. Broadband technology will continue to improve, with fibre-optic broadband rolling out around the UK. It is only a matter of time before video content is a mainstream inclusion on websites.

You have to take account  of  the different devices on which your visitors are browsing. More people will be browsing on their smart phones and  tablets in the future.

One thing is for sure, the websites that we use in our day-to-day lives are going to get better and better.

Mobile Web Design