When I picked the topic ‘Web design trends in 2013’, instantly the rivalry of Apple and Microsoft popped up in to my head. We have seen Apple’s Aqua themed “OS X” inspired designs all over the web and experts are expecting to see a lot of Metro (Windows 8) inspired websites in the upcoming years. And of course, a lot of skeuomorph (pronounced “Skew-a-morf”) websites, which is Apple’s design ethos now a days.
Though HTML5 and CSS3 is still under development some web developers are actively using it. In some cases HTML5 can even replace flash. Mentioning flash, as I remember the coming of web2 made internet a step back, as the designers scaled down the images and added more text for search engines, which cannot interpret images or shockwave files. Unlike modern websites, future websites will be more engaging, offering excitement experience.
For the last 2-3 years we have seen shiny, glossy, rounded edged buttons, smooth gradients all over the internet, which is known as web2 style and the shades of grey, pest blue and black is sunk in to oblivion. Now designers are more likely to experiment with bright solid colors: Red, Yellow and Green etc.
It is very hard to predict the future trends of an industry which is changing in the blink of an eye, so it is very hard to tell which will be in and which will out from the design trends. As a web designer I always starve to catch up with future design trends, if you are a one step ahead web designer, then I think you should align yourself with the future trends.
Responsive design is a design that responds to the screen size of the device and shows content perfectly. Thanks to CSS, designers won’t have to create separate layout for different devices, a single design will work perfectly in all devices. As the use of smart phone and tablets are rapidly increasing it seems that responsive designs will not only be a trend, it will be the standard for designing a website. With the wonders CSS responsive frameworks such as twitter bootstrap, there is no reason to avoid this trend as it will make things much easier for web designers.
Ponytail, skinned jeans, polka dots to sofas; it’s hard to escape retro style. Retro style is on now and it’s going to rule the fashion and design industry for some time to come. And which is a big YES with Apples new skeuomorph designs. Skeuomorph simply means to make a thing look like another thing. Like the folder icon in our computer looks like the cardboard folders. On the iphone, ipad the calendar looks like the leather backed desk calendar, the alarm clock has the retro clock dials. This style will be carried out to Apple’s new OS’s and will be largely followed by web designers.
Traditionally we have not seen Microsoft as design trend setter like Apple, but experts are expecting to see a lot of windows 8 (Based on “Metro” design language, developed by Microsoft) inspired designs. Experts believe that this will be the second major trend in 2013. Microsoft is calling this style “Authentically Digital” which consists blocks of solid bright colors to represent different programs. They are not buttons or windows or tiles, they are digital elements which can only exist in computers.
Larger UI Elements
Since we are no longer surfing the net only with mouse and the “Touch & tap” is getting popular with every passing day, experts are totally expecting large buttons in the upcoming year. It is inevitable that large buttons and controlling UI elements will make good surfing experience for smaller device users. But large graphical elements will slow down the websites, so designers should come up with some wonderful solutions, otherwise this trend will not last long.
Parallax scrolling is slowly emerging but an interesting method to move elements on a webpage. Parallax scrolling adds depth to a website by moving specified elements at different speed to create faux-3D effect. It’s a nice and engaging way to present products. Parallax scrolling is I the industry for quite a long time, but before it was only used in video games. Experts are expecting to see a lot of parallax scrolling products and portfolio sites. Designers were dependant on flash to create animation and control reader’s eye; with the introduction of HTML5 they can use animations without sacrificing SEO and Apple compatibility. We have just only scratched the surface of parallax scrolling, the web developers are coming with new ideas, you will only see those designs more engaging, detailed and exciting, it will be used largely for special days, product launches and about us pages to give a visitor an unusual experience.
Brands at the Top
Every business wants their brands to be recognizable. In the coming years we will see web designers to focus on the design and color scheme that reflects the brand properly. Rather that relaying on the present trends designers will focus on corporate colors and values to design a site. So the experts believe to see a lot of websites focusing to present brand, not what is on the digital catwalk.
It’s important to understand how social media is changing the way we interact with websites. Today Social media like Twitter, Instagram, facebook & Pinterest is powerfull ways to interact with potential customers, so social media will play a big role in 2013. A small entrepreneur or freelancer will be most likely to make a facebook page before going to a local web designer. And of course the social media buttons will be playing a big role for website design.