Three ideas will define the design trends of 2014: storytelling, seamlessness and aesthetics.
That was the message of Anna-Feliza Sy, a graphic designer with digital marketing and web design firm R2integrated who delivered a presentation on design trends during Technical.ly Baltimore’s #notatSXSW party last week.
Increasingly people access the web through mobile devices, she said, which means designers have to find a way to communicate information that sticks in as short a span as possible. “Big images, less copy,” she said, as designers often do.
Sy explained to a room of tech professionals and fellow designers on the 11th floor of R2i’s Inner Harbor-based offices how designers and design agencies might use those three principles of design to do that in 2014, as well as why each of those tenets have become popular tendencies in the design world.
- Tell a tale about the company using videos, images, or parallax scrolling, which gives a 3D effect to websites, instead of text. Use larger images and less stock photography when possible.
- Break down detailed processes into a series of visual steps, instead of blocks of text.
- Use overlays and tooltips to get as much information on one page as possible. Caption overlays are another way to ensure that viewers don’t have to open new pages on a website. Also, employ endless scrolling: it’s easier than waiting for new pages to load.
- Think of ways to make less important things take up less space. Make the search smaller. Make social sharing icons smaller. And use a grid layout to make it easy to go from desktop to mobile.
- Remember parallax scrolling? It works here as well. Use it to add depth to a website. And don’t worry about “web-safe” fonts — just pick one that works for the message.
- Keep it simple with flat colors, and then add some flair using illustrations to give the site a printed feel.