The 2013 year end report on Design trends

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Design can make or break websites these days. But the problem is: It’s not always clear how to improve the design of web sites, mobile apps and connected devices. Is it just about making them cleaner, more streamlined, and less cluttered?

Clean icons

I’m purposely not calling these flat.Whether designers like it or not, iOS7′s design will force them to also create cleaner icons, lest their creations look like tacky dinosaurs in Apple’s clean interface. Expect more minimalist icons that are easily recognizable across platforms and across the color wheel.

Bold colors

Speaking of the color wheel, unless you want your app to be invisible, it must be rendered in color. If you’re like many people, your app dock these days is probably a sea of blue. Apple’s new design is a boon for color theorists. While traditional app colors like blue suggest reliability, they also infer the status quo. Using bright colors can provide a visual indication that something new is in the works.

Data integration

Instead of creating data visualizations in other software and uploading them onto a website, data-driven elements are part of the web page from the start. The result: interactive data visualizations that are also crawlable, meaning they can be found through a search engine. Tools like this continue the trend of making data part of the design process, not an afterthought.

Web typography

Web fonts used to mean a handful of glorified print fonts that were simply digitized for the screen. That meant many of the design elements that made text beautiful in print failed to shine in pixels. The proliferation of web-safe fonts presents all kinds of new possibilities for making fonts look as attractive as the content it’s expressing. Keep an eye out for more expressive fonts and larger font sizes.

Parallax scrolling

Parallax scrolling—a trick used in animation when background images move more slowly than the foreground text—is tricky. But done well — like in the New York Times’ ”Snowfall” or The Verge’s arcade piece—it creates an immersive experience, and punctuates a story with necessary breaks, transitions and visual cues.

Social Media Badges

Marketing is one of the ultimate determining factors in a website’s success or failure. Social media and viral marketing are exploding in many different websites. Digg used to reign popular in this domain but has since conceded to rivals like Reddit. You can check practically any social community for sharing badges and will likely find a great solution. You can position these badges pinned to blog posts and articles anywhere in your layout. These are still used actively by readers and fans who want to share content quickly on places like Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn.
User interface design is one of the most complex topics when building digital products. This rings especially true for website layouts, trying to match navigations and content styles for a successful user experience. These design trends aim to point designers in the right direction.I hope you may consider some of these ideas and think about how they do affect modern day websites.

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