Big, Bold, and Beautiful in 2013

We are merely days away from the New Year — and an exciting year it is going to be. The world of design is constantly fluctuating and evolving but we’ve got a keen eye fixed upon a few trends that have already begun to take shape across the web:

Responsive Design

We’ve highlighted this in several recent blog posts, but it’s important enough to mention again. Web design is no longer limited by fixed dimensions. Websites are being accessed by a variety of mobile devices and tablets at an astronomically growing rate and responsive layouts are quickly becoming an established means of rendering a site correctly no matter what the screen size.

Creating an Impression

A growing trend is the simplification of presentation — a "less is more" approach. This is often accomplished with oversized headers and footers, an emphasis on quality photography, and bigger type. All are means of cutting to the heart of the matter and letting people more easily find what they’re looking for.

Navigation and Interactivity

Appearing hand-in-hand with parallax scrolling,  the popularity of single-page navigation is increasing across the web. If you land on one of these sites, be prepared to vertically scroll for a while — though you’ll probably find that you enjoy this unique way of exploring information.

Typography is in the Spotlight

Web fonts have become increasingly flexible in recent years — so much so that, similar to print design, typography can now be considered a design element. While there are still some limitations, designers are no longer restricted to the usual web typefaces such as Arial, Georgia, and Times. Websites are trending towards larger, bolder typefaces and embracing a "bigger is more beautiful" mentality. Being able to experiment with typefaces is a designer’s dream, but it can make or break a design, so it is important that the typeface add to the aesthetics of the site without hindering readability.

Less Shine and More Grit

Over the past few years, many websites have been designed with glossy buttons, gradients, and glass-like effects. This trend is fading as more realistic textures and solid blocks of color move into the forefront. I think we’ll continue to see more of this as we move into the New Year.