Posted on January 6, 2014

Web Design Resolutions for 2014

The reasoning behind New Year’s resolutions is to set up a clean slate for making changes in our lives. We do it with the best of intentions and are determined to keep up with our new goals. As we try to change, the world around us changes as well, and most noticeably the technology that we use on a daily basis changes too. The computers we use, the smart phones, the applications running on such devices – they all are in a constant state of evolution. The same goes for web design. I am going to highlight a few trends we are going to see in good web design in 2014.

Don’t lecture, interact!

Don’t try to tell people everything about yourself at the first opportunity you get – it may as well be your last. Give people a chance to talk to you. Don’t lecture, interact. By lecturing people you are at risk of boring them, confusing them, and ultimately losing their interest. The only way to capture a lead is to make it talk to you. Yes, I am talking about your website as a communication tool. Websites used to be used merely for informative purposes. Doctors used to think their home pages needed to be filled with medical and technical terms to impress their potential patients, but not anymore. Websites are now your 24/7 marketing and communication tool, and most importantly they aren’t made for other doctors, but for people with little or no ophthalmology knowledge. Those people don’t speak “doctor lingo”. They do not care whether you have this or that laser, what they care about and what they want to know is how you can help them with their eye problem. The look of your website needs to reflect that. Make your website more about the patient than about yourself. Listen to your potential clients and simplify, you’ll see results in increased interested in your practice.

Form follows function

First and foremost we are going to see an even bigger shift to minimalistic, clean, and easily legible layouts. We, as people, are very visual beings. We are going to see truly interactive designs with every element of the page having a clearly defined purpose. Once thought beautiful and amazing, the often animated, big, eye-catching banners we are used to seeing on every home page, will now give room to open, single-page scrolling home pages, with large pictures used more so for background wallpaper. Large pictures are going to be used only as a secondary visual support for a message as opposed to being the main attraction with no real function. Designs will become even more functional rather than just “good looking”. The form will definitely follow the function more than ever before. Less is more and a lot of “empty” space in upcoming designs will act as a navigation to guide eyes through the page layout.

The King is dead, long live the King!

Flash used to be considered the web’s king of visual awe. Not anymore, and the reasons are plenty. The buggy, awkwardly written, proprietary, and incompatible Flash was an unfortunate monopoly of the animated world on the internet. Fortunately, the people revolted and staged a coup to overthrow the complacent king and a better, simpler, graceful and above all, an open source technology has been put in his place. HTML 5 and AJAX technologies will replace Flash on all fronts. These new technologies will cover animations, video players, audio, and interactive modules of all kinds and it will bring users to a long awaited freedom.

The art of Typography

Typography was always one of my favorite subjects during my art school years. Therefore it became very personal when I was forced to watch it be butchered by programming geeks for whom typography was considered Times Roman, Arial, and for the “artistically challenged”, Comic Sans. Ouch. The days of font deprivation are over. We are no longer constricted to only system fonts. With Google fonts, (to mention a couple), and the ability to upload any fonts of our choice via CSS, we are finally capable to make typography a full-fledged contributor to the overall aesthetics of web design. Exciting, isn’t it? But don’t get too carried away as you don’t want to go crazy and start using every font in your font library just because you can. The same less-is-more approach goes for typography as well. I firmly believe there should not be more than three different kinds of font types used in each design. Use one type of font for the main typography of your design and another one or two for your accents – if you have any. This is not a trend as it has always been a sort of unspoken rule. Typography has always been about exercising caution, legibility, and elegance. We are going to see varieties of San Serif fonts, nicely sized, spaced and leaded. The art of typography is finally entering the world of the stark and unimpressive binary code.

With all that has been going on in web design in the past couple of years, we are going to see more simplistic and direct web design in the near future. As web design and its technology move forward, we are going to see a shift from complex designs to more simple designs with a more enjoyable browsing experience. Restoring eye sight is a graceful work of art and your website should be a testimony to that.

About the author

Maxim Havlicek is one of the founding fathers of Glacial Multimedia, Inc. He also serves as Glacial’s Creative Director leading an international team of talented and experienced designers. With his residency in Los Angeles, California, Maxim puts himself in the center of an inspirational art and technology collective that fuels his drive to perfection and also makes him stay a step ahead of Glacial’s competition.