Can you believe it’s 2014 already? I still can’t. I’m really excited for what is in store for this year – especially in terms of design! Here are 10 design trends that I think will really take off in 2014:
1| Edited Color Schemes
Monochromatic is in! Color palettes using only one or two colors will definitely be taking over the design world in 2014. Many designs are going even more dramatic – only black and white or black and white with just hints of a color. This is a great technique for adding emphasis to specific elements.
2| Black & White Logos
Simplified color palettes are making their way into logo design, too. As a rule of thumb, if a logo doesn’t work in black and white, it isn’t a good logo. Why not leave it in black and white for an overall chic, monochromatic palette?
3| Personal Portraits
We already encourage our clients to send us personal portraits to include on their About Us webpages. I predict that these portraits are going to take greater precedence in 2014. Your potential clients want a personal, human connection with you! Show them that you’re the professional, confident attorney we all know you to be. (Need tips on taking a great portrait? Check out this blog post!)
4| Photos with Filters
With the exploding popularity of apps like Instagram, it is no wonder that modified photos are becoming more and more popular in design. Of course, filters just for the sake of filters are never a good idea. But when they compliment your brand message, carefully selected filters can be a great addition!
5| No More Sidebar
Web design is trending towards a simpler, cleaner aesthetic resulting in less complicated page layouts. This means no more sidebars for a lot of websites, giving more attention and focus to one message at a time.
6| Great Typography
Today there are more fonts available for web use than ever before, which is encouraging designers to be a little more creative with their font choices and typographic treatments on the web. In this blog post, I talked a little more about Typography 101. Be on the lookout for more exciting uses of type online.
7| Video Integration
Just as there are new techniques for working with type, the evolution of HTML 5 coding has allowed for new ways to integrate video into websites. Video is also increasingly being used instead of text in some cases. Did you know IMS offers video services? Learn more about those here.
8| Large “Hero” Areas Instead of Sliders
Based on the research I’ve been doing, it looks like sliders are on the decline. Instead, large areas called “hero” areas are taking precedence. These hero areas combine the header area (where the logo and navigation usually are) with the area just below that (where the slider would normally be) to create a more open, clean design. Don’t worry, all the information that was in a slider can still be on the website! Removing the animation removes any distraction from the information you are providing, which is really where you want their focus to be in the first place.
9| Flat Design
The term “flat design” refers to a design aesthetic with simpler colors and shapes, and very few gradients or techniques that make objects look three-dimensional. Originally, the gradients and three-dimensional look was adopted to help users understand what various apps and buttons were for. For example, the original iBook app by Apple featured an icon that looked like a real bookshelf. But by now, users know what the app is for, and such a literal icon is no longer necessary.
10| Mobile-First Design
Responsive websites are more popular than ever! And their popularity is just going to keep on growing. I think the best thing about them is that you no longer have to worry about keeping your information updated on multiple sites. Now just one amazing site will look and function great on any device your potential client might be using. But responsive sites are designed and built quite differently from desktop-only sites. Responsive sites must be designed with the smallest device (usually a smartphone) in mind first, and then build up from there. The result is some fantastic-looking websites. And now you can get one too! Stay tuned for more details on our new Essentials 2.0 program that will include a mobile-first, responsive web design!
So, what do you think? Which of these emerging trends are you most excited about? Personally, I can’t wait to experiment with all of them!
Reference: Turner, Amber Leigh “10 Web design trends you can expect to see in 2014.” The Next Web, December 29, 2013.