Wed Design Trends: How to use them

I am speaking to the Web Design & Development Society at BYU-Idaho today. I decided to talk about recent trends in web design. Focusing on the trends that impact the visual look of a web page and how to use this information.

Initial research

To get some perspective of where the trends are I did a basic search for 2013 web trends and here are some of the results.

Web Design: 20 Hottest Trends To Watch Out For In 2013 By Jake Rocheleau.

  • 1. Responsive Layouts
  • 2. Retina Support
  • 3. Fixed Header Bars
  • 4. Large Photo Backgrounds
  • 5. CSS Transparency
  • 6. Minimalist Landing Pages
  • 7. Digital QR Codes
  • 8. Social Media Badges
  • 9. Detailed Illustrations
  • 10. Infinite Scrolling
  • 11. Homepage Feature Tours
  • 12. Sliding Webpage Panels
  • 13. Mobile Navigation Toggle
  • 14. Fullscreen Typography
  • 15. APIs And Open Source
  • 16. Deep Box Shadows
  • 17. CSS3 Animations
  • 18. Vertical Navigation
  • 19. Single-Page Web Design
  • 20. Circular Design Elements

15 Web Design Trends for 2013 by David King

  • 1. Content First
  • 2. Design Simplicity
  • 3. UX Centered Design
  • 4. App Style Interfaces
  • 5. Responsive Design
  • 6. No Skeuomorphism
  • 7. Coding Languages
  • 8. Fixed Header Bar
  • 9. Large Photo Background
  • 10. CSS Transparency
  • 11. Social Media Badges
  • 12. Infinite Scrolling
  • 13. Homepage Feature Tours
  • 14. Sliding Panels
  • 15. Parallax Design

2013 Web Design Trends by Creative Market

  • Responsive Web Design (RWD)
  • Flat Design
  • Parallax
  • Full-Screen Photo Launch Pages
  • Advanced Page Scrolling and Navigation

This list is just a sample of the trends for 2013. The lists are shown in this post to look for trends. Some of the trends are on all of the lists. Does this mean that as a designer you should incorporate all the hottest trends in your design?

These articles from Why Following Design Trends Can Turn Your Website Refresh into a Colossal Waste of Time & Money & The Psychology of Why Sexy Websites Suck at Sales argue that trends are bad for sales. Does this mean that trends should be avoided?

How not to be different like everybody else

A focus on the customer and content is the role of a real designer.

Base your design decisions on the site’s content and voice. Design based on content has a longer shelf life than design based on trends. Following a trend doesn’t make the design of a site successful. In fact following a trend may make your work disappear in a sea of sameness.

following a trend may make your work disappear in a sea of sameness.

Focal point make sure that a user focuses on a communicating element immediately.

Clarity Make sure that the user knows what to do.

Payoff Reward the user for spending time on your site with useful content.
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