Well, what a year it was!
As a Digital Designer, I have seen some big shifts in trends over the years. Gone are the days when everyone wants shiny and glossy buttons, large drop shadows, 10 different gradients on a 1024×768 browser that only renders on desktop. People have become more visually aware of what great design looks like, be it on desktop, tablet or mobile. They expect to have the same experience on all devices and so design plays such an important role in delivering those experiences. I think the launch of Windows 8 and iOS 7 this year has cemented simplicity and flat design for years to come.
Quality content, large background imagery, flat design, big typography, storytelling, simplicity design, scalable graphics, infinity scrolling. Not sure what I am talking about? Well no doubt you have clicked, tapped, or swiped one or more of these design and UI trends this year. Below are examples of websites utilising the latest design trends.
Just to note that most, if not all of these examples are responsive. You could say it’s a trend, but responsive is here to stay so it’s more of an evolution in the digital world.
Here is a snapshot of some design and UI trends over 2013.
1. Large background images
Large backgrounds create a huge impact as first impressions of a site. There is an instant feeling created depending the mood and colour of the image. This can be very effective but ensure you choose the right image, it could make or break what you are trying to achieve.
2. Storytelling or single page sites
Hard to say how long this trend will last. It’s not a concept that works for everyone but it’s great if you don’t have a lot of content.
3. Large typography
I think large typography goes hand in hand with large background images, simply because if the copy is too small it will be lost, which is why large typography adds to it.
4. Large content panels
This is a great way to help your audience digest the content. Use visually rich panels to break down the content into different section. This is engaging and encourages users to keep scrolling.
5. Flat design/simplicity design
I think flat design has its place in the digital world, but I think it might have been overdone this year. You have to be careful it’s not too simplistic because it can be boring or too safe.
These are just a few out of many the thousands I like. Below are some sites I like to draw inspiration from every day to kick start my creative juices.