The RE-invented website. New web design trends for 2014

website building

As 2014 approaches we look into new and innovative ways that websites are being designed.
First, lets take a look at the top website developing software (for mac users…and probably for beginners)

1. Squarespace:
Sleek and sophisticated with lots of room for customization. Great for blogs, portfolio sites and users who already have an eye for design.

2. Weebly:
The easiest way for anyone to build a website. If building a website intimidates you, you’ll want to try Weebly.

3. Virb:
A great choice for photographers and videographers. Virb has plenty of stunning themes that are perfect for showcasing visuals.

4. Yola:
An honest, intuitive product that makes for a very solid experience

5. Edicy:
An elegant, easy to use website builder that nails the fundamentals. Strong multi-lingual support.

6. Adobe Muse:
An impressive way to build your site from scratch. But a steep learning curve requires some level of experience with graphic design.

7. OnePager:
Simple, easy way to build one page websites. Think About.Me for small business websites.

8. Wix:
Wix is a story of over-promising and inevitably under-delivering. Beautiful templates are ultimately undercut by a lack of structure.

9. Webs:
Packs a ton of functionality into an easy to use interface. But a few cracks are starting to show

10. Google Sites:
Great at building collaboration tools, wikis and intranets but not recommended for much else.

While any of these 10 software recommendations work perfectly fine I recently have been tinkering around with Google Web Designer BETA. It isn’t half bad, although I did use MUSE to develop this site.

Ok so onto the NEW website design trends of 2014:

Category 1 – Mobile:

1. Mobile-first design.
Start designing on the small screen, then widen out to tablets and desktops. If you can’t do it on a mobile device, you probably
don’t need it on your “big” website, either.

 2. Responsive.
Use a responsive or adaptive design, so your website works great on all screen sizes.

Category 2 – Designy Things:

3.Simplicity.
Many web designs are going for a more minimalistic, simplified look. Make sure the design doesn’t get in the way of, or overpower, your great content.

 4. White Space.
Goes along with simplicity. White space can help emphasize content. Use it just like they do it magazines.

 5. No Flash.
Websites are still working on moving away from Flash and towards more modern design languages like HTML5 and CSS3.

 Category 3 – Visual:

 6. Parallax.
Parallax design is a way to provide design depth and almost a 3D look to your website. IT reminds me of layers in Photoshop … just done on websites.

 7. Flat Design.
Sorta funny. Flat design and parallax design are almost opposites (but not quite). Flat design focuses on clean design and good use of color and whitespace. Think the new iOS design, and you’ll get the idea.

 8. Blocking.
Blocks of content – think Pinterest. I think it works great on sites like Pinterest or Flickr, where there’s a ton of content and the content is all on equal footing. On library websites like New York Public Library’s main page? Not so much. I’d guess their content is NOT equal in terms of importance, and the bottom of the page looks like an afterthought, like they forgot to “finish” the website.

 9. Big Images.
Use of large images on websites is a trend at the moment – even having a large image in the background of a website.

 10. Colors.
Using colors is big, apparently. Depending on what “hot web trends for 2014” you read, you’ll get a variety of answers as to what colors are trending – subtle and calm colors, retro colors, even neon colors! But know that web design is “colorful” these days. So think about using a tool like Adobe Kuler to help choose popular colors for a website. Or just go to Home Depot and get some matching paint swatches, and use those as a color base for your website.

Category 4 – Typography:

11. Web Fonts.
We’re no longer limited to a couple of web-safe fonts. Think about using new web fonts like Google Fonts or Typekit.

 Category 5 – Content:

12. Video.
Video is still growing in importance.  A recent Pew report on online video says that 78% of online adults now watch or download video content. It’s an easy way to provide viewable content on your website.

13. Social Media.
Social media integration is important for all types of websites and organizations. It’s a great way to share content out to customers in all the online “places” they hang out at.

Category 6 – Navigation:

14. Large Buttons.
Websites are starting to use large, easily seen buttons. Make them big and bold!

 15. Vertical Scrolling.
Think about using “sticky” navigation that glues itself to the top of the page, or social media sharing plugins that glue themselves to the side of a page.

There you go! 15 web design trends for 2014.

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