As the web continues to evolve, new design and programming techniques are constantly surfacing to meet the demands of new mobile technology. At the close of 2013, 1 in every 5 people (22%) of the global population owned a smartphone and 1 in every 17 people (6%) owned a tablet. Those numbers are expected to increase exponentially in 2014.
Now more than ever is the time to analyze your site’s design, content and features to ensure that you are presenting a mobile compatible site. Below are a few design trends to keep on your radar this year:
Consider a smaller site
The typical website has dozens of pages with a full navigation that encourages visitors to navigate from the homepage. Lengthy sites can be cumbersome to navigate on a mobile device; while a smaller 5-10 page site with condensed content is easier to navigate without relying heavily on scrolling. The smaller sites help to convey a controlled message to visitors and help focus on important details. These types of sites would be best encouraged if lead generation was a top priority but not ideal for sites with a lot of content and if search engine optimization is a focus.
Scrolling is no longer considered a concern
As mobile devices have become more popular, small screens have forced readers to scroll more to read all of the content on each page. This familiarity with scrolling has helped reduce the need to keep all content “above the fold.” Visitors today are used to scrolling which can open up more layout possibilities for websites. However, keep in mind that longer pages can also overwhelm readers if they’re overly cluttered. It’s important to find a balance across all devices.
The hot trend in 2014 for content-rich websites is a fixed header bar at the top of the page. A fixed header stays put on a browser window and doesn’t disappear as a visitor scrolls down the page. This technique makes it easier to navigate between pages within the site instead of scrolling back to the top of the page.
Larger font sizes
How many times have we heard a client say “make the font a bit larger.” Well now they may get their way. Smaller fonts can be difficult to read on a computer screen and seemingly impossible to see on some mobile devices. 2014 is the year when website redesigns will include larger text that’s attention-grabbing and easier on the eyes.
Responsive website design
Responsive design streamlines the process of designing a website for both desktop and mobile, ensuring that the website content looks consistent and works seamlessly for all device sizes. This isn’t a new trend but it will continue to gain momentum and evolve this year.