New Year New Website – Bringing your design to 2014
In 1964 one of America’s most famous men - Isaac Asimov - was at the New York World Fair. Asimov was a fascinating man. He was born at the end of 1919 and he died in 1992. In his lifetime he was vice-president of Mensa International, a professor of biochemistry at Boston University, and a prolific science fiction writer. Building and designing websites wasn’t a thing back then. But his predictions about the future were scarily accurate.
While Asimov was at the 1964 World Fair he wrote an article for the New York Times predicting what life would be like in 2014. So, in the spirit of Asimov, here are some predictions for web design trends in 2014 to help you spruce up your website.
One of Asimov’s predictions in 1964 was that the “appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords.” With the explosion of mobile devices, including phones and tablets, he could not have been more correct. If you do nothing else in web design this year make sure your website looks good on mobile devices.
Fifty years ago Asimov predicted that we would be watching television on “wall screens” and that watching 3-D movies would be commonplace. He was right about both but in the world of website design the trend is for simplification and flat design.
Much of the move towards flat design can be attributed to the design of Windows 8 and Apple’s iOS 7. Flashy illustrations and fancy animations are out, as are designs created to bring elements on the page to life.
In place of this is a more minimalistic approach that is clean and crisp with two-dimensional images. Flat design embraces open space and uses bright colors to be as functional as it is beautiful.
Long Pages, Continuous Scrolling And Sticky Headers
Asimov predicted in 1964 that we would have screens on our phones and would be able to see the people we were talking to. He also predicted that we would use our phones for “studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books.”
These are astonishingly accurate predictions. Mobile devices are now commonplace and they have changed the way we use technology. Users now prefer to scroll through long pages rather than clicking to load new ones. This means that websites designed with long pages are already popular and this is a trend that is likely to continue in 2014.
With long pages comes sticky headers and continuous scrolling. A sticky header lets users know where they are even when deep into a scroll. Continuous scrolling is not as popular yet on small business websites, but you could set your design apart from the competition by implementing this style of design. It takes the idea of the long page a stage further by automatically loading the next story as the user scrolls, further reducing the need for clicking.
A Golden Age Of Website Design
Asimov did not get everything right. For example, he thought we would be driving cars hovering on “jets of compressed air” and predicted that we would be living in houses built underground.
Other predictions were insightful, including his belief that a lot of people in 2014 would suffer badly from boredom and as a result there would be “serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences.”
One particular prediction will warm the hearts of anyone involved in website design, content, and creativity:
“The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine.”
We’re in the golden age. What are you doing to bring your design into 2014?