Some websites are not so mobile friendly but in 2013 that is changing—almost a must for web designers. Users want websites to be seamless and exact on PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets. What are designers looking at to make this possible? Here are 12 trends that are changing the online world.
1. More Responsive Web Designs
Image via Flickr axbom
RWD or Responsive Web Design means once employed, a website is viewable on any device, desktop, smartphone or tablet. Newspapers and sports-themed websites are gaining tons of followers with new RWD looks that dismiss scrolling left to right for reading text and the image conversions are flawless.
It is true 67 percent of Internet users say they are more apt to buy on the go. With more people using tablets and smartphones to make purchases, RWD cuts out the need for different SEO and HTML in order for consumers to browse and buy no matter what the device; the site looks the same.
2. Websites Are Losing the Clutter
Image via Flickr webtreats
It used to be the more action-packed a website home page, the better but no more. Designers have realized less is more. They are doing this with hidden landing pages and shorter navigation bars. Some websites are losing the navigation bar altogether.
With hidden landing pages, users searching on smartphones will land on the desired page instead of the home page making them more apt to buy or learn more. These hidden pages while still found in a search, when packed with SEO and keywords, are helping to end the clutter on home pages. Left and right arrows and scrolling bars are also making websites fresh and crisp enticing the viewer move through with touchscreens or the mouse.
3. Websites Will Look More Like Apps
Image via Flickr by Microsoft Sweden
Forget the old term “there’s an app for that,” and instead, think app look-alike-designed websites. The Wall Street Journal reported as of June 2012, the Apple App store offered 650,000 available apps for download and the Google Play Store was not far off at 500,000. And, mobile users are downloading those apps at a large rate—30 billion for iPhones and 15 billion for Android operating systems.
Designers will achieve a wider audience with app-looking websites and users will enjoy the familiarity they bring.
4. Navigation Bars That Move
Image via Flickr Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta
CSS programming allows for the “position: fixed” offering navigation bars that scroll up or down when users do. Although not new, they provide users an easy way to head to another part of the website faster.
The fixed position works best with where website navigation bars are page content or search-driven so users can quickly change search criteria or click on scrolling bars to narrow down desired content.
5. The Use of Larger Photos and Images
Image via Flickr Life@Microsoft Australia
Web designers are also skipping smaller images and opting for larger high-resolution images instead. Not only are these eye-appealing when designed correctly, larger images offer the chance for more elements within the image.
Popular venues for large images include expos, health care, lobbies, restaurants and retail stores that offer an inside feel to the viewer.
6. The Insertion of QR Codes
Image via Flickr Dan Zen
QR (quick response) codes are now widespread on websites as a call to action—and mobile users are scanning them.
Good for discounts, promotions, coupons or for informational purposes, when users find these calls to action they are pulling out their Blackberry cell phones to take advantage of these hidden square offerings.
7. Influx of Social Media Badges
Image via Flickr birgerking
It used to be most websites would have a Facebook and Twitter badge and that was it. Now, designers are leading users to companies on LinkedIn, Google+, Digg, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Pinterest and more.
Beyond leading viewers to these social media pages, web designers are also using social media badges on blog posts pages where readers can share the posts on their social media pages.
8. Integrated Video
Image via Flickr Bonnie Bogle
Desktop Google searches will almost always provide a YouTube video. Part of the reason is Google owns YouTube but the other reasons is the real-life scalability videos offer.
Consumers can see how a product works, take a 360 degree tour or learn how to use software and videos are playing a big part in web design.
9. Larger Typography
Image via Flickr adactio
Yes if the typography is bigger, it’s better in today’s world of web design. CSS and XHTML coding is making larger typography fit onto mobile phone screens but when using laptops, desktops or tablets, larger text—and simpler fonts—are engaging viewers.
The Sans Serif font is in again along with big text and much like larger photos, designers are using this trend for web design more and more.
10. DIY Website Design
Image via Flickr Phil Oakley
WordPress has been around for a while now allowing DIY designer to create their own designs; GitHub is another. Known as open source software many DIY designers are finding free templates created by the skilled open source pros or creating their own.
With open source software brings many plugins each with its own must-have feature and if you want your website to have a great mobile look, there are plugins for that too.
Image via Flickr Josef Dunne
Movement and engagement are the force behind this type of design.
12. Story Timelines
Image via Flickr Vixie Rayna
Companies rich in history are using story timelines and opting out of the conventional feel of homepages. This learn more about us approach allows for great imagery and text as well as a cinematic feel.
Popular industries engaged in using story timelines are automakers, food manufacturers and the fashion industry.
These new trends in web design are not only making websites more mobile friendly, they are also engaging the user, providing interaction and offer smart searching capabilities. Because technology and web designer programming changes in a flash, along with these trends in web design for 2013, expect even more from the innovative and the imaginative.