Jan 2013

3 Web Design Trends that Will Work Their Magic in 2013 – It’s Going to be quite an Experience

Posted By - Vivian

2013 is almost upon us and people are already taking about the latest fashion trends, technology trends and a range of trends that might crop up in the New Year. This got us thinking? Why not take a look at the web design trends that are going to make their presence felt in 2013. So, I stared into my crystal ball (yes, I’ve got plenty of those), to make some predictions about the future.

So, here goes:

Web Design Goes More Intuitive and even more Responsive

Yes, websites become more intuitive, meaning they become even simpler to use. The learning curve with respect to a first time visitor using the site, is not just negligible, it will become zero. The navigation menus defining the user flow, the design elements and everything else about the website will be even more user defined.

‘Intuitive’ as a quality of a website is not of core concern in traditional websites that are information centric, but is of paramount importance in those websites that are task oriented, e.g. shopping sites, online website builders, etc. These are the kind of websites that will be more intuitive than ever before, so much so that everybody from a tech wizard to his grandmother will be able to use it with ease.

Another trend that will get stronger in 2013 will be the focus on the responsiveness of the website’s design. More and more people have begun accessing the web through their smartphones and tablets, so the spotlight is now on ensuring that a website looks equally good on the desktop, as well as, a smartphone or a tablet.

Let’s put it in another way, Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a style of designing that seeks to optimize the design of the site for use on mobile web. Every design element is chosen by keeping mobility in mind. A focus on improving the responsiveness of a website’s design is something that will become even more rampant next year.

Focus Shifts from Form to Function

This is again a trend that designers have cottoned on to, over the years. But, to date, most designers, especially those, that are just entering the field, feel the need to focus on the visual appeal of the website, and consider the functionality only as an afterthought. But, I see this school of thought slowly losing steam.

Designers and even newbies will now increasingly start aligning their visual and functional needs. Instead of according one primary importance and another secondary, a designer will keep both form and function in mind while conceptualizing a site. One won’t follow the other. This thinking has been undergoing a sea change because of the need to come up with intuitive and responsive sites, where the significance of the visuals is decreasing by a notch; and the importance of usability is increasing by leaps and bounds.

Minimal but not simple

Yes, clutter as we know it in website design, will have a new meaning. A website that looked clutter-free, say a year or so ago, will come across as something that is immensely cluttered. Why will this happen?

The answer lies in minimalist website design. Designers have already started cutting down on their use of design elements and are only using those that are absolutely essential with respect to the purpose of the site. This doesn’t mean that they are simplifying the design; on the contrary what they are actually doing is trying to focus the user’s attention on what they consider is necessary to make an impact on their minds.

The time spent by visitors on any website is decreasing every year. While this is an outcome of the intuitive nature of websites, it is also because they have a lot of options on their hands, and what’s more they don’t have a lot of time to spare (a fast paced world). This is why designers are left with very little time to make an impression; therefore they see it fit not to offer too many design elements on a website, which can prove to be a distraction.  They can’t take any chances. But at the same time, they also have to ensure that their design looks good.

This balancing act will get even more pronounced in 2013.

To conclude
2013 is going to be more of the same that is as far as I can fathom. I really don’t think that there will be an emergence of a trend that will dramatically change the scope of website design as we know it. Having said that, I believe people who are a part of this domain are going to have a job on their hands, to create a website that creates an impact. The competition is tough, a visitor’s attention span is decreasing, and newer web access methods are entering the market.

The New Year is going to be both fun and a real challenge…All the Best.

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