Predictions for Web Design in the Future
About 6 years ago I had the good fortune to start working on WordPress sites (the first being my own personal site) and see that WordPress themes and website templates were taking off big time. This gave our web design company the opportunity to position a marketplace to help build clients websites on WordPress CMS and it turned out pretty well.
It’s important for me and our web designers to always be working on our WordPress skills and keeping up with the trends and open source CMS industry. I decided to spend some time learning, coding and thinking about the future for web and online design. I’m going to take an educated guess at what 2014 might hold and beyond. My hope is this blog post will look spot on in a year and not make me cringe. Here are my 2014 web design predictions!
Mobile Optimization Made Easy:
“Responsive” web design is the dominating methodology in web design these days. Just take a look at all the new themes on Themeforest for WordPress sites. Users continue to move towards more devices in more environments. Many frameworks will fully adopt the mobile-first methodology entirely, and the barrier to creating great performing sites for any will lower. As we previously experienced with the industry adoption of HTML5, I predict we see an industry-wide adoption of best practices for mobile optimization that goes beyond simply writing CSS queries.
WordPress continues to be the CMS Juggernaut:
WordPress continues to dominate the open source CMS market in 2014. The massive community base, expanding amount of plug-ins, ease of use, number of installable themes and constantly improving product makes this one of my most confident predictions.
Of some concern is that the CMS market is so large that there will inevitably be constant challenges so WordPress must continue to evolve. With designers getting more adept on the engineering/base code side, there’s a growing realization that sometimes a full content management system is simply too much.
On the other front, the hosted CMS market continues to build momentum. I see Wix about almost everywhere with their advertising and constantly on my Facebook feed. With revenues rising 78% last year, Wix was the first to file for an IPO. In the U.S., Wix’s competitors include Y Combinator company Weebly. All of these products present an easy user experience for the mainstream, so their growth prospects are very strong in 2014.
Code free design?
Some companies have tried to make, but failed, code free design a norm in the web design industry. Webydo has had some success with their online studio. I’m expecting a few more code free design studio’s to pop up in the new year.
With the web now being able to display almost any font style now using various technologies, I expect re-designed or new websites to utilize new and beautiful typography within their designs during 2014 that make their brand stand out.
One page websites:
I’ve seen these show up more and more during 2013 and expect the trend to continue in 2014. It may hurt their SEO if they offer many products or services and must all be optimized on 1 page. However, it makes for an easy user experience where all the content is loaded to a single page design whereby the visitor can just click on a menu to navigate to a certain area of the page to find more information about the products or services offered. Although I don’t recommend this design for mid to large content sites, I expect designers to use this format more in 2014.
Retina display support:
Retina displays are becoming the main type of display for all new tablets and laptops which includes Apple’s range of products. With higher pixel counts, it means designers can do more with their designs for customers.
So those are my predictions on what 2014 holds for web design trends. What do you think might be coming?
By Brad Fogel