By being an author on Themeforest.net I have the great oppurtunity to stay up-to-date with all design trends that are flooding the Web. Actually, I'm lucky enough to be part of the biggest community of designers and developers in the World :)
Web design is actually a reflection of the real World. Whatever happens out there also finds its way to the Web. So, in my opinion, the main design trend for 2014 will be... simplicity. Everything around us is getting simpler, cleaner, lighter and flatter. Have a look at this Peugeot Ad for example. All this is done for a better user experience.
Simplicity is not something new, it started conquering the World in the beginning of 2013 and even earlier. The truth is that it is extremely rare for any trend to arrive out of the blue. If you look carefully you’ll see the roots of every major trend in 2014 has been developed in 2013 or even back in 2012.
I suppose I do not need to mention that Responsive is a MUST !!
Anyway, let's go further and take a more in-depth look at the growing web design trends in 2014. Many have already been set in motion while others are just beginning to dawn. New trends are fun to check out and see how long they stick around. When browsing websites in 2014 keep your eyes peeled for any of these UI/UX trends in action.
1. Fixed Header/Navigation
This is something that started in 2013 and it is gathering popularity amazingly fast. Almost all new templates and themes released on Themeforest.net have a fixed navigation. Also, most of the websites I visit on a daily basis have implemented this feature.
The "Fixed Navigation" evolution is quite understandable. I mean it is a nice and interesting design addition and at the same time it is very practical. It is actually a great UX improvement. Visitors do not have to scroll to the top of the page any more in order to navigate through the website. They can simply click on the menu items at any given time since it is always visible on the top of the page.
My prediction is that in 2014 a really big part of the Internet will have a fixed navigation or something similar. The list below consists of Themeforest items that are a good example of the fixed navigation implementation:
- DestinyFX - Responsive Joomla Template (This is our latest project :))
- TimesFX - Responsive Joomla Template (Again one of our projects)
- Legend - Responsive Joomla Template by arrowthemes
- MOUSE - Multipurpose Responsive Joomla Template by themehippo
- Organic Food - Responsive Joomla Template by dhsign
2. Onscroll Animation
As far as I remember the onscroll animation started being used massively in the beginning of the Summer in 2013. Now, in 2014, most of the authors on Themeforest.net are implementing it. The websites are becoming more and more interactive and the onscroll animation is bringing some new look and feel, it brings new experience while browsing the Web :)
It is a nice feature which can be used to point the visitors attention to a specific part of the page. Without a doubt it can be useful (not only attractive) but you should be very carefully when implementing it. I've seen many websites where everything is moving around while you scroll and the end result is an annoyed visitor who leaves the website and never comes back. So just be very careful and think a lot when you implement onscroll animation.
I think this trend will keep raising in 2014 but it will be replaced in the near future by something more practical/interesting and still interactive. Here are some examples of Joomla Templates that have, in my opinion, implemented onscroll animation the proper way:
- DestinyFX - Responsive Joomla Template (yep, our template again :D)
- Floyd - One Page Parallax Joomla Template by ovabig (good Fixed Header as well)
- Haze: One Page Responsive Parallax Joomla Template - by dmsummon
- Neue App Landing Page Joomla Template by erwin_schro
- Yamato - Responsive Marketing Joomla Template by dhsign
3. Innovative/Expandable Search
This is another trend that is quickly gathering popularity. The Search functionality is crucial for some websites, especially for the Blog/Magazine ones which have a lot of content.
The Search should not only work perfectly, it needs to be well visible, easy to use and attractive. That's why designers around the World started investing time and effort in developing amazing Searches. Do not underestimate the importance of the Search on your website. Quite often it is one of the key factors for success.
In my opinion the Search development and the innovative ideas behind it will keep increasing and we'll see some great improvements of its design in the next couple years. Here are some examples of great Searches:
- TimesFX - Responsive Joomla Template (don't get bored, again one of our templates)
- Industrix - Joomla Responsive Business Template by themehippo
- Salient - Responsive Multi-Purpose Wordpress Theme by ThemeNectar
- Enfold - Responsive Multi-Purpose Wordpress Theme by Kriesi
- Impreza - Retina Responsive WordPress Theme by UpSolutions
4. Big/Fullwidth Backgrounds (Video or Image)
This trend is widely used in the Creative Templates and Themes nowadays. The big backgrounds look really good and at the same time it is a perfect way to atract the visitors attention.
Imagine a beautiful video playing on your site that fills up the entire screen, providing your audience with an inside look and peak into your company or business. When done right big backgrounds can make your website stand out from others, and provide an in-depth user experience where customers and readers feel connected to you and your brand.
Here are some Themeforest items that demonstrate the Big Background trend:
- Akin - Creative One Page Joomla Template by erwin_schro
- Floyd - One Page Parallax Joomla Template by ovabig (again)
- Right - Multipurpose Joomla Template by ThemeRox
- Salient - Responsive Multi-Purpose Wordpress Theme by ThemeNectar (again)
- Bridge - Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme by QODE
5. Icon Fonts (Font Awesome and similar)
Font Awesome and other Icon Fonts started being used back in 2012. But now, in 2014, this trend is increasing drastically.
This is absolutely normal and understandable. The Icon Fonts are loved by all developers for being easy to use. You are styling it as you would style text. It is actually a text :)
Icon Fonts give you scalable vector icons that can instantly be customized — size, color, drop shadow, and anything that can be done with the power of CSS.
Other great thing in using Icon Fonts is the size. Having four Social Icons made with Font Awesome for example is much better than adding four images (JPEG or PNG) for these same Social Icons.
I will not add links to websites as I have done with the previous four trends. There is no point to do that as most of the sites you visit on a daily basis are using Icon Fonts. Have a look at our website for example (www.joomfx.com). The Social Icons in the Header and in the Footer, all icons in the Blog, etc... these are all Font Awesome Icons :)
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I also hope it will be useful for you. I would be really happy if you share your thoughts by using the Comments below.