Digital design in 2014

Posted by | February 04, 2014 | Digtial | No Comments
FLAT UI

LESS IS MORE, MORE OR LESS

Well after 12 months of working our metaphorical horse chestnuts off and making it to a new year in one piece we hit 2014 with a clear head and can look at what lays in wait for us in the coming months.

Now I am no Mystic Meg but after 3 hours of my first day this year I was asked 3 times, what’s the big thing for 2014? What’s should we be looking at to shake things up a bit? And what digital design trends should we keeping our eyes on? So I thought I’d better add my voice to the mix.

I am a believer in lots of little changes stacking up to make big differences and it is this I have been talking about with my team moving forward into 2014. But now is not the time to talk about our ‘share it sessions’ our ‘timesheet protocol’ or even our new seating arrangements, all of which will make a big difference to us this year. I know you want bigger than that so I will try.

2013 was the year that responsive web design became the expectation rather than the exception. Check these out, simple, intuitive and all present information really well:
www.arsenal.com, www.osborneclarke.com, www.mulberry.com

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 10.42.53_1

2014 will be the year where less is more, in design terms.

1. Flat UI design
Historically in design, as in fashion, trends tend to shift continually between the complex and the simple. But we will see flat user interface design start to dominate the digital landscapes of students, agencies, and more importantly clients. This is not such a new thing to some, but it embodies my less is more 2014 mentality.You only have to the new IOS7 interface to see how this is working and the influence it has had. What will also be interesting to witness is how this flat style converges with the world of data, analytics and infographics which could lead to some really interesting outcomes.

2. The rise and rise of single page websites.
Now not all trends are necessarily good ones and this one should be approached with caution. We have consumed a plethora of sleek, parallax sites in 2013, destinations that lure you into their web of beauty – and this shows no signs of abating in 2014. But this beauty is often only skin deep and these sites can let you down in substance when you scratch below the surface.

Used in isolation single page websites are like (to use a football analogy) the star signing for a team who cant get into the game as he cant get any service. The single page website (the big money signing) needs the support of a hard working team behind him (the deeper content pages) to supply him with the chances he needs to work his magic, score a goal and impress the paying public.It was great to see an example recently of someone doing this right – a site where creative excellence met with practical function. Sonys’ latest offering is the cherry on a well baked cake www.discover.store.sony.com/be-moved/

3. Don’t say it show it
If a picture paints a 1000 words, then the way we handle content will be evermore vital in a society which is becoming evermore thirsty for instant content fixes, this will be integrated into sites, shared and consumed on the move and video and interactive infographics are going to play an important role in raising brand awareness, creating points of difference, increased product adoption and an enhanced user experience.

Creatives will need to work evermore closely with ‘heads of content’ (a role itself that should become a trend in 2014!), search marketing and copywriting teams to tell the clients story which leads me nicely onto my last trend for the year.

4. Less design more collaboration.
The way we build digital experiences and how we deliver them is rapidly changing and this will leading to a really positive change in office dynamics. Traditionally siloed teams will be broken up and asked to form truly integrated multi-faceted teams able to deliver compelling content, crafted with the user in mind and delivered across multiple channels and devices in a rapid and innovative way.

So there you have it. My 4 thoughts for the new year! Less is more, more or less.

2014 (much like some people New Year’s resolutions) will see the ‘decluttering’ of design; ‘twerking’ off of excess fat found in the content of large multi-page websites. We will break down barriers, talk more and get closer to our project ‘families’ and we will show our clients users how much we really love them and value their business.