After a few months of 2013, it’s clear which trends will dominate the year and which ones will fade away as hearsay. Whether you want to completely re-design your website or create an entirely new one, it’s a good idea to match the trends of this year. People respond to these trends, and it’s what could gain you increased traffic.
Checking the trends isn’t just vital for online shops, any business can benefit from looking into what’s hot right now. Here are seven of the top trends in website design for 2013.
1. Mobile First and Responsive
The general trend in the debate between a Mobile First and Responsive design is to make the mobile version of your website just like your desktop one. It will look different, but it should have all the same functions. If someone can buy a service on your normal website, they should be able to do the same thing on the mobile version.
A website with a good mobile and desktop website is instantly more accessible. With so many people using smartphones to access the Internet, it’s an essential part of optimising yourself for online trade.
2. Minimalistic Design
A minimalist design is not about having lots of white space with nothing to fill it. It’s about using less to create more. Rather than spending lots of time on complicated designs and transparent text boxes, keep things simple and it should offer more.
This is a trend geared more towards online shops. Clothing, in particular, will reap the benefits of a minimalist design. It’s about letting the product speak for itself.
Another advantage to a minimalist design is it’s something which will never go out of fashion. At least if minimalism suddenly goes out of fashion your site isn’t screaming ‘out of date’, unlike if your website was still using a design from 2005.
3. Photo Backgrounds
It’s a trend which just keeps coming back for more. Large photo backgrounds still work well with most websites. As long as you have a high quality photograph, it will always work. The rules about photo backgrounds still apply, though.
- Make sure it’s a general photograph which illustrates your website.
- The highest definition photos only.
- Be careful with the colour schemes. Nobody likes reading faded text because the text colour clashes with the photograph in places.
A company logo is a good option for a photo background, but if you can’t find a general photograph it’s best to not use one.
4. Fullscreen Typography
Many people have reported stumbling onto websites which welcome them with a huge typeface. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this, but it isn’t for everyone. It depends completely on what your website is and what it’s supposed to be saying. It’s probably not good for a professional company, but it’s definitely one for clothing shops and other fashionable websites.
It’s wise to only use this on a welcome page. Don’t attempt to use this as your home page or it could provide a distraction from your content.
5. Creative Navigation
Creative navigation is a more general trend. It doesn’t indicate anything in particular. It just tells you to do different things with your navigation. Rather than having a conventional menu, you could include little gestures for each section of your website. This extraordinary presentation adds some much needed uniqueness to your website.
Again, some websites will benefit from this and some won’t. Clothing stores could benefit from this. Yet professional websites for lawyers and accountants would best stick to the traditional way of doing things. Make your decision based on who your target audience is.
6. Fixed Navigation
Fixed navigation is a type of header or side bar which follows the user as they scroll downwards. It’s a simple trick which has been done with social media bars before. It’s definitely a useful function you can add to your website.
For stores which sell a lot of different products, having to scroll right to the very top each time you want to go elsewhere is troublesome. Having the shopping categories follow you downwards is an ideal way to remove this flaw.
7. Infinite Scrolling
To sum this trend up, infinite scrolling makes sure a website never ends. As you scroll down towards the bottom, new items load. It’s like Google Images on steroids. In most cases, this is a trend you don’t want to incorporate into your website.
Follow the lead of Google. If you have a large gallery of images, apply it to this part of the website. The Etsy marketplace recently implemented infinite scrolling and the load times actually demonstrated users saw fewer items than the conventional limited scrolling functions.