The year 2012 was definitely a great year for web design. We saw several new trends that have significantly changed how the web looks today.
In this article, I’m going to focus more on visual design trends that I think are going to rule in 2013.
1. Flexible design
Today, when we design a new website, we already know it must be responsive by default. The responsive layout is not a feature anymore — it has become the spine of any website layout.
Instead of using extra big batches of code to make each screen resolution step separately responsive, we’re going to make our layouts fluid in the first place and let them automatically fit to all other screens.
Using responsive units like ‘em’, ‘rem’ and % will help us to make all inner text and images flexible.
This is the end of static elements.
2. Flat design
Creating shadows, gradients, bevel and emboss effects with CSS is not a problem anymore. However, the new web design trend, what we can call “flat design,” doesn’t need it at all.
The flat design makes your website look sharp and clean, and it’s easier to maintain the visual balance.
We believe that Internet users are so well educated in 2013 that they don’t need a button to have that 3D dimensional-looking style in order to know that it’s clickable.
With the flat design, the user interface can still be intuitive and create a great experience. An excellent example of that can be LayerVault:
One of my most recent design projects, AgentPress, is all flat as well. See the results here:
3. Focus on typography
The database of web fonts grows every day.
Typography became a really important part of modern web design and I believe it’s a foundation of any great design.
We can create the entire website by designing just typography and still make it unique and fascinating for the visitors.
Just look at some of these inspirational examples of wonderful typography in web design:
4. Long pages
People of 2013 can scroll! The old-school web design I learned had one main rule: “keep it above the fold.”
I heard it hundreds of times. Does it still matter? It’s obvious we want to keep some important things at the top of the website but “the fold” lost its meaning to me.
Instead of squeezing everything to the top of the website, it’s better to give it some space and let people scroll and explore the home page.
We’ve seen so many great web designs in 2012 with incredibly long pages that work just great.
People would rather scroll down the page than click and load to another page.
Scrolling is easy and we can even make it attractive and encourage people to take this action by using some effects like parallax scrolling.
Let’s look at some long page designs:
5. Big photos and detailed illustrations
Thanks to using more CSS3 and web fonts, we reduced the usage of many images in the web design. Instead, we can use images where they are really needed and we can use them in really high quality.
We saw that trend near the end of 2012 where we could admire huge full-screen photo backgrounds.
I’m really looking forward to seeing even more great pictures and extremely detailed, huge illustrations in the world of modern web design this year.
It’s all happening right now; see these examples:
Those are my five design trends that I think are worthy of special attention in 2013.
We’re definitely going to see more designs in this direction and there will be a demand for it.
Of course, we can’t stick to the trends and blindly follow them. We always have a chance to create something new and original.
We should also try to incorporate our own style into the current standards what will make our work unique and recognizable.
Which design style are you going to follow in 2013?