10 Digital Design Trends for 2013
2012 was a year in which mobile really took off (The Year of Mobile?!) as more users in the U.S. and Canada are checking email from their phones then through webmail using a browser (Return Path Study). The impact this had on digital design was huge to say the least, and we think that we can safely say that in 2013 digital design trends will once again be driven largely by mobile. Without further ado here is our list of the top 10 digital design trends for 2013:
1. Responsive layouts
Responsive design tops the list of trends for 2013 as people are checking email and browsing the web on all types of devices. From mobile phones and tablets to desktop computers, there are so many screen sizes that a fixed layout is no longer a practical option. Using grids and a fluid layout can ensure that your design looks its best at any size.
2. Large fonts
Typography is becoming more and more noticeable. Websites have started using exaggerated font sizes to grab attention and put the emphasis on content. With the popularity of mobile devices, larger fonts are a “no brainer” as they are easier to read on smaller screens.
More subdued colour schemes are making their appearance this year. For example Pantone’s Color of the Year 2013 (http://www.designboom.com/design/pantone-color-of-the-year-2013-emerald/ ). We are seeing soft, calm hues that allow the user to relax with white, grey and black being used far more as primary colours.
4. Flat design. With even Apple distancing itself from skeuomorphism it’s only natural for the rest of the world follow suit and embrace flat designs. Microsoft surprised many with the flat UI in Windows 8. This trend, combined with minimalism and responsive design, will produce clean, user friendly layouts.
5. Full page backgrounds
Many websites have begun using full page backgrounds. These designs look current and are visually appealing. With people accessing the internet on their HD televisions and an increase in monitor sizes it makes good sense to fill the screen with wonderful images.
6. Fixed header bars
The popularity of mobile browsing has been the driver of this trend. Long scrolling pages are no longer an issue because people are used to accessing content on their smartphones. However, scrolling all the way back to the top to switch pages is not a good user experience. The solution comes in the form of fixed header bars that stay in place no matter how far down you scroll.
7. Vector graphics
The need to scale designs to accommodate various devices has increased the popularity of vector graphics. These work well with flat designs and large typography and they streamline the workflow so it’s a good bet that we’ll see many more vectors in the future.
8. Minimal design
Simple is better. Something designed in a minimal way is much easier to digest, loads quicker and translates better to a responsive layout. Examples of minimal design are everywhere, and paired with an adequate amount of white space it allows for better scanning of the content.
9. Mobile menu toggle
Responsive design looks great on mobile devices however, navigation bars can prove problematic. Adding a menu toggle can save space and still allow the user to easily browse your site.
10. Modular design
Windows 8 has inspired many to rethink some older trends. Modular design will be a big trend in 2013 as it works well with responsive layouts and email content blocks. These designs are clean and versatile and it’s easy to move around sections to update the look or add a new tile etc.