What’s Next? Four Predictions for Web Design in 2013

There is no denying that we live in a connected world. Each day more and more consumers turn to the Internet for their information; seeking out businesses to frequent, answers to questions, and inspiration for their life. With the online world continually evolving there is also an increasing need for high quality web design. Designers have the dual challenge of meeting the needs of their clients while continuing to set trends and advance the concept of web design. As we look forward to 2013 we wonder what’s next. How can designers take the current state of web design and adapt it to make it even better?

Four Predictions for Web Design in 2013

Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web DesignNew desktop and mobile devices are hitting the market at a record pace, each having a slightly different size screen and varying technical dimensions. Designing for each individual device is time consuming, costly, and unnecessary with the evolution of responsive web design. A website that utilizes this design strategy adapts to the device it is being viewed on.  Responsive web design responds to the size of the viewing device and produces a small (mobile phone), medium (tablet), or large (desktop computer) layout design. All of the design sizes share the same content and characteristics just arranged differently to maximize the screen size. Eliminating design elements to make a website more responsive also benefits the content by becoming clearer, more concise, and easier to read.

Targeted typography

Responsive TypographyWith the advent of font design services such as Webtype, Typekit, and Fontdeck there are endless possibilities for the font selection of a website’s design.  But typography is a much bigger consideration than just which font you choose.  2013 will likely see more emphasis placed on the design of the typography as the most integral component of a website’s design. Images and design elements can certainly enhance a beautiful typography, but relying on them to sustain a website’s design is overlooking the importance of both the text and negative space. Instead of focusing so much on whether a design “pops” designers will return to the core of the design to make sure the foundation is strong.

Attention to Branding

Businesses want their brand to be instantly recognizable to customers who can attribute past experiences with the branding. Consider the red bulls-eye for Target or the apple logo for Apple. Once you see either of these you immediately know what the brand is and you can associate it with previous knowledge, experiences, and opinions. Branding of a business should move well past the logo into its web presence by conveying the brand clearly on its website. In 2013 designers will refocus on the core of the brand in web design instead of creating sites that follow current trends.
In a return to an emphasis on branding, designers will carefully choose page elements to maximize the brand. One of the easiest ways to brand a business is via color. Consider what tones and hues would best match a logo or already established design work. You should also find ways for the logo to be prominent without becoming overwhelming by utilizing an attractive size and position on the site. Finding clever ways to infuse the character of the business into the website is also beneficial to branding. Take a look at your design from the customer’s perspective; have you effectively translated who the business is as well as what the business does?

Increased Use of Parallax Scrolling Effects

This design effect has been around for years in video games but was recently introduced to the web design world when it was integrated into the website for the Silverback app. In short, parallax scrolling effects control the depth of design objects on a website. Layering multiple objects and backgrounds and then varying the individual speed at which they move creates dimension and depth in a website. Designers are beginning to use this effect more frequently and there are excellent examples of parallax scrolling that you can view as inspiration to provide a different browsing experience to customers.
These predictions are just a “best guess” at what experts think will be upcoming in web design.  Do you agree with the speculation? Do you have your own ideas of what will be coming in 2013 for web design?