Now I’m no expert but here are 5 Web Design And Blog Trends For You To Think About For 2014, that I think should be taken into account when reflecting on your own websites for the new year. A few things to consider include:
1. Font size and line spacing, especially when it comes to blogs.
Websites used to look great, with a tiny 10px font size, then a reasonable 12px and now, blogs are starting to use around about 14px font size, and some larger still, which is good, easier on the eyes and a joy to read.
Whether it’s me getting older, or just because of the amount of blogs I have been reading through lately, either way I cant stand looking at tiny font anymore. When it’s a screen primarily full of text, I have noticed the impact the font size has.
Large font makes everything a delight to read, coupled with a large ‘line height’ (spacing between each line) is an essential. On mobile devices too, none of that pinch and zoom needed, just clean reading.
I see many blogs writing similar posts, about the new ways of web design, yet they have tiny text shoved up into the top left corner of their site that makes me want to just close the tab. Im afraid there’s no excuse for having hard-to-read text in 2014.
2. Parallax scrolling, the way forward?
For clarity, parallax scrolling is where the content and the background all move around differently when scrolling up and down the page giving a 3D effect.
I’m not talking about one page websites. Although parallax scrolling is often a one page site, but we are talking about the scrolling.
A good example of parallax scrolling: moto.oakley.com
However it really is a matter of opinion, although the majority seem to be loving this feature and are all for it taking over in 2014. Personally I don’t like it.
I’ll let personal sites displaying media such as art, or photography off as it can be interesting. But for professional, informative websites such as moto.oakley.com, even though this site is amazing, I don’t think it’s needed. The loading screen isn’t a positive and the huge images make the scrolling very rigid.
In my opinion the whole thing just feels bulky. I don’t like one page websites either. The idea of having to scroll from the top to the bottom and seeing the entire content does’t appeal to me. I think it’s a fad and I think it will definitely fade out before the year ends, it’s just one of those pretty things that people like to see, for a bit.
I prefer small chunks of information on different pages. Again I think it’s ok if you have short bursts of information and some great pictures, but thats the only exception for a parallax site.
If you look on themeforest, they’re taking over! most people don’t have images high quality enough to cover a whole background, they just look great with high res stock images. Things can get very messy when in parallax is in the wrong hands.
3. Light grey fonts on white backgrounds? Add some contrast.
If you see modern day web design you notice a lot of people are applying, for example; light grey fonts on white backgrounds. This may look beautiful and simplistic on your Macbook Pro Retina display, but for the majority of people on their low resolution monitors, they wont even be able to read your ‘designer’ text.
Ok, so the orange maybe a bit much, just maybe, and the light grey may look pretty slick, but just think on a low res screen or on a small screen such as a mobile device the struggle your viewers are going to have. Just add a little contrast.
I love off-black and off-white colours, nothing beats dark grey as your main font (thats if its on white). It’s all about clarity in this day and age and if people are struggling to read it, they simply wont bother.
4. Flat Design
Flat design is something I love, so I am a bit biased. The reason however for loving it, is that of it’s functionality. Flat design is design without gradients, drop shadows and all other styling elements.
it’s plain, simple design and it looks great, it can come in many forms. The form of nice clean looking images, normally vector or some simple CSS code in the form of things such as buttons.
You’ll see most social media icons are now flat design along with Apple’s IOS 7 software.
Flat Icons from: designinstruct.com
iphone ios7 software from Apple
Accessibility is one of the main things you need when it comes to your website. By this I mean loading times, the ability to easily read content across multiple devices without any strain on the user.
Using CSS instead of images for things such as buttons is a very fast for the browser to load, scalable to any size without loosing quality, so they will always be sharp on retina screens too.
You can set the width of an object to a percentage, thus allowing it to be ‘fluid’ it will adapt to any device such as mobile and tablets. Because your using a colour code it wont distort like a bitmap image. But I just like how nice it looks, and the clarity the text has without the horrible drop shadows and heavy gradients.
5. Padding and margins
You’re probably thinking this doesn’t really matter and shouldn’t be worth the mention but if you look at some modern day web design and some of the popular WordPress themes from Themeforest (my favourite and only source for themes) you will notice some of them have extremely large padding between objects, which looks great.
Applying large padding and margins to your own website will drastically improve it, and improve how easy it is to read and to navigate.
If you look at things such as buttons, increasing the font size and having a large padding around the top and bottom of your elements it can make a big difference.
Responsiveness and large padding makes things a lot easier for your readers, it allows them to determine different parts of content as well as clickable items being big enough to press with your finger on touch screens. Space things out.
The space between the sidebar and the main content, the padding around your logo, the padding between the top and bottom of the page etc, all this can transform your website to a whole new cleaner, less cluttered level. Making your visitors lives more easier, and it wont deter them away for eternity.
I hope this bit of information about some of the Web Design And Blog Trends To Think About For 2014 has awoken you to the benefits of simpler, simpler design and has you running back to apply some of the key points mentioned above, to your own site.
Again just my opinion and this is one of my first posts appealing to a large audience so try not to get too critical with me if you disagree, but let me know either way in the comments below.