Next Generation Web Design Trends 2013

Web Design Trends

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For the past year, more and more web design trends have geared toward a more minimalist approach, with more images neatly lined up, smaller texts underneath the images, and generally a cleaner solid-coloured backdrop. On top of that, there is also the concept of cover photos, popularized by Facebook’s Timeline mode.

Upon entering a website, it takes time for a user to figure out exactly what kind of information he or she needs. Which is why nowadays, websites will have more images laid out on the home page, because while a picture is worth a thousand words, the picture by itself is much easier to take in rather than a lengthy word description. From that point, the user can gradually move forward and narrow down the choices to find what he or she is looking for.

Web users’ needs are constantly changing, there is no stop or pause in terms of trending for websites. So what are the next web design trends for 2013?

Web Design Trends 2013

1. Responsive Web Design

OK, so the truth is, this really has been going on for a while, but still, there are lots of websites not attuned to this. The idea of responsive web design is to make the website viewable and appealing across different kinds of devices (i.e. desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones).

To go back a few years, we know that very few sites, if none at all, can be viewed properly through mobile devices, which frustrates mobile users who have internet access. At times, some websites may provide a mobile template, which, while more compatible, is not as appealing as the original template that can be viewed through the computer. Having a responsive web design will encourage users to access site more frequently, plus web designers won’t have to make several templates for just one website. So to continue this trend, designers have to consider two things: changes in resolution and in orientation (portrait or landscape).

Mobile Blogging

2. Parallax Scrolling

At this point, parallax scrolling has a more aesthetic function over anything else. The idea here is to make the objects on websites, which are obviously 2D, appear 3D by adding layers and making scrolling speeds different for each layer (ex. the topmost layer may move faster when cursor is pointed at it, while the 2nd or 3rd layer drifts across the screen slowly).

Parallax scrolling is most often seen in video games, but the concept is now being incorporated by some websites, and will most likely be seen in sites designing e-cards or online invitations for events.

3. Retina/HiDPI Optimised Websites

Today, everything has to be in high definition/resolution – TV screens, monitors, cameras, movies, pictures, etc. Again, another aesthetic option for websites but is important in engaging web users. Nowadays, people spend so much time online, it is natural for them to demand to see things bigger and better. And speaking of bigger…

4. Bigger Call To Actions

Subscribe Button

Most sites are also becoming more sensitive to making buttons and links more visible. One thing that frustrates users is when they are instructed to click on a particular link or button, they sometimes end up having to look all over the site, trying to locate it. Apart from the visual appeal, having bigger buttons would save time as well as users won’t have to squint their eyes to read properly.

5. Tailoring the Site to the Brand

All the web design trends may seem appealing, but it is important to remember the brand. As marketing people might often say, “Brand is the king”. So designers must make sure that in the process of creating a site, the design must be in line with the image of the brand.

Maximize the trends that are more suitable to the image, and take into consideration what users are really looking for in your site, as well as when and where they are most likely to visit your site.

And there you have it. Whether as users or designers, remember that while new trends are attractive, it doesn’t mean that all of them put together on one site will have the same appeal. So be sure when you implement a design or give feedback on a site, keep in mind the most important features that make your site navigation experience a smoother one.

What do you think?  What web design trends do you think will be popular in 2013?  Which web design trends do you like or dislike?  Let us know by leaving a comment below!

About Celina Conner

Celina is a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Marketing Diploma and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion for cooking and formulating vegan recipes. You can learn more by following her on Twitter or Google+.

  • Andi Leeman

    Great post, the web is like the sea, always in motion and never still. Branding is the big thing I am focused on, it feels like brand names are becoming bigger and more important on the web than search terms and keywords.

    As for bigger call to actions, very true, it is funny wwatching my other half get angry when she cannot find anything on a website saying what to do next or any obvious place to click. It is so funny. 🙂

    • I find myself doing the exact same thing. I can’t stand websites that make you “hunt” for a link on their site, they just frustrate me.

      I think branding IS becoming bigger, though I do still think search terms & keywords can work. More than anything else, you need a site that will be easy to remember, whether that’s the name, what the site looks like, writing style, etc. As long as people notice your site in some way, they we’re on the right track.

  • Celina this is a great post indeed. Responsive web design is extremely important glad to see it at the top of your list. From a client’s point of view I think it’s important for them to realize how much of an impact this can have on their business and how their customer base, clients make use of technology to find them, not everyone in business are quite up with the trends 🙂

    • Hi Fabrizio!

      It is SO important for websites to have a responsive, multi device compatible website. More and more people are browsing the internet on their smart phones, so you have to make sure that your site is “mobile friendly”.

      Failure to keep up with these trends could end up costing businesses.

  • Clair Trebes

    Hi Matt,

    This is a great guest post from Celina – I’m not surprised at points 1 & 3 being on this list. More and more people are going mobile on various devices, there is nothing more frustrating a website that doesn’t convert properly. As web site owners, we need to remain on the ball so as we don’t lose web visitors because of this.

    The subscribe button, needs to obvious and not intrusive – I’ve said this recently myself, if you want people to find you then you must be easy to see!

    Patterns are forming based on these exact trends shared here, so its great to see that people are catching on – with the web business industry gaining strength everyday – people need to invest in this, because its going nowhere fast, and is without doubt the future for business in general.

    • Hi Clair,

      I think the biggest thing that people need to focus on ASAP is making sure their site is “mobile friendly”. Like Celina said, more and more people are surfing the web via their smart phones. If a site can’t be view properly on a mobile, then you WILL end up losing out on traffic & revenue.

      A lot of sites identified this as a concern last year, but there are still plenty that need to sort themselves out. Mobile use will only continue to rise, so it’s IMPERATIVE that they optimize for mobile technology.

    • On what do you base your assumption that “more and more people are going mobile” ? On trendy newsflashes or actual statistics ? Because I have personally only seen in my stats – and I blog on several blogs, in 3 languages – that actually, websites and blogs are still only visited in the great majority of cases from DESKTOP computers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s just hype, in my opinion.
      It’s not the pages that need to change to accomodate “trends”, it’s trends that need to become more realistic.

  • I’ve been in the industry for more then 20 years, but if this is the “trend” in “webdesign” I’m gonna virtually hang myself and become a construction worker or something similar. These kinds of trends, like making everything so flashy, and jquery-d, and ajaxed, and all “touchy” makes me wanna puke. Almost all search engine optimization is practically impossible, a site designed this way is a practical joke, not a site, they all look like a kindergarten child made them.
    Whatever happened to CONTENT IS KING?
    Well, ladies and gentleman, if this is webdesign, then THE KING IS NAKED.

    • Hi Attila,

      This post is focusing on “Web Design”, no one is saying that content is not important. Content is very important, much more so than many other aspects. That said though, staying up to date with what is happening with website development is still key.

      I agree, some sites out there can be a little too flashy, more style than substance. But it is still important to learn about the new trends that are coming within the near future.

      I think Celina makes some great points here in this post. A vitally important aspect that ALL sites need to do, is make sure that they are accessible across multiple devices. More and more of us are surfing the web on our mobiles and tablets, so sites need to be easily read on them, otherwise they will lose out on potential traffic.

  • Rosanna Aranaz

    I’m such a fan of parallax. It’s so engaging and visually appealing!

    • Hi Rosanna,

      Think parallax scrolling will become more popular in the next few years. Only starting too see a few sites using it, but that will grow soon enough