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Hot Web design trends for 2014

  • Published on January 21, 2014
Hot Web design trends for 2014

The landscape of the Web has changed dramatically during the past decade. As primarily text-based pages have given way to increasingly visual online experiences, the skill set of Web designers and developers has had to expand and diversify substantially. Taking HTML training through the American Graphics Institute can help you learn the fundamental best practices for working with the core language of the Web, but what trends are likely to dominate the Web design field throughout the rest of the year?

Visual and functional simplicity
Last year, Apple caused quite a stir in design circles when it debuted the striking new look of its iOS mobile operating system. Utilizing bold color palettes and removing extraneous design elements such as bevels and drop shadows, Apple's so-called "flat design" is catching on around the Web.

However, while flat design is perceived as a primarily visual change in Web and software design, it actually ties in well with another principle that Web designers are likely to continue to embrace throughout 2014 - simplicity. Today's Web users are increasingly fickle, and demand online experiences that are not only highly functional, but that are also intuitive and easy to use. For this reason, flat aesthetics and an emphasis on end-user accessibility are likely to remain a driving force in Web design this year.

Responsive design
One of the most major developments in Web design of recent years was the principle of responsive design, and rapidly increasing adoption of mobile devices means that this concept isn't going anywhere any time soon. Responsive design refers to the practice of creating a site that can be viewed on any device, from desktop PCs to tablets. 

Responsive design was once considered a luxury, but today, it is becoming the standard for most Web design projects. Although coding a site to be truly responsive across a range of devices may seem like more work, it can actually substantially reduce the duration of a project due to the fact that the end result can resize automatically depending on the device a user is accessing it from. This eliminates the need to create several different versions of the same site, which was a common approach until responsive design took hold.

In addition to the time and productivity benefits of adopting responsive design principles, end users have also come to associate responsive sites with rich, engaging online experiences. Whether you already know some code or haven't the faintest idea what media queries and fluid grids are, taking HTML training at AGI can help you get started.

Mobile in mind
With many people solely accessing the Web from mobile devices, it should come as little surprise that many Web designers are placing emphasis on ensuring that mobile sites are as functional and appealing as their desktop counterparts. However, the future of the mobile Web lies in much more than designing sites that can be viewed on any device.

The development of so-called "ambient" information systems such as Google Now means that Web sites must interact with and share user data between a variety of different sources. This can be accomplished through some clever use of embedded third-party external libraries such as Javascript directly within the HTML code. These APIs allow Web developers to enable sites to "talk" to one another to provide the user with a range of situational and personalized data, such as real-time traffic reports, weather updates, calendar reminders and even restaurant recommendations.

Web design is one of the fastest-changing sectors in technology, and the need to learn and adapt to new techniques has never been more urgent for Web professionals and beginners alike. If you're ready to launch your career in Web design, contact AGI training today to see how our HTML training can help you make it happen.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.