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While trends in the design world are somewhat hard to predict because of their quick fluidity, there are some ideas for what the coming year’s web design style holds.

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Graphic and web design is an ever-changing field, constantly evolving with the needs and trends of society.

Designers must make it a common practice to keep up with and prepare for changing trends. While trends in the design world are somewhat hard to predict because of their quick fluidity, there are some ideas for what the coming year’s web design style holds.

Trend #1: Responsive Design

It’s glaringly obvious that technology has moved – and continues to move – to more mobile devices.

Virtually everyone in our society owns a smartphone or tablet that features smaller screens and touch screen interaction. Not to mention the ability to view the screen portrait style or landscape.

Designers used to have to design a separate website for each viewing format. With responsive web design, the same site is communicated on any format, without having to show different versions.

A lot of WordPress templates offer built in responsive design.

In short, the site design responds to the format it is being viewed on so that it is usable on any device.

Trend #2: Parallax Scrolling

A growing trend for interactive websites is parallax scrolling, which is when elements on the site scroll on different lines to create movement and a 3-D effect.

It captures the viewer’s attention and is more entertaining than pages overloaded with text or simple one-way scrolling, like this example from Bagigia:


Another system of scrolling that is more common is vertical scrolling – overtaking the few layouts that still use horizontal scrolling as well.

Internet users want usability and convenience; having to scroll both vertically and horizontally – especially on a small touch screen – does not reflect these qualities.

Trend #3: Full Page Backgrounds

It’s becoming more common to find websites with backgrounds that interact with the foreground, rather than distracting from it.

This is often the case with parallax scrolling as well, because everything works cohesively, as opposed to separate elements that the eye has to jump between. The Amazing Spider Man Game site below is a great example of a well done full page background:

Full page background

This can help emphasize the personality of the site’s brand, as the background is attention grabbing. And it takes away the need (or the illusion of a need) for disjointed photos that don’t do anything for the brand.

High quality photos or vectors are needed to pull off this trend, as poor images will only distract the reader.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have high enough quality photos, try using stock photos to pull of this trend.

Trend #4: Big Buttons

With more and more internet time being spent on phones and tablets and without a mouse to click with, it’s a safe prediction that the size of buttons on touch screens will grow in 2013.

As mentioned, usability and efficiency is key in pleasing viewers. Tapping the wrong button because it’s so small is annoying and inconvenient. With the growing number in touch screen users, it’s only natural to make the buttons more useful to them.

Trend #5: Typography Design

Given all the creative possibilities for type design, websites should feature the same typographical creativity.

Many designers are beginning to lean toward more simplistic and spacious web layouts, and designing solely with type. Often an underused art, typography can communicate just as beautifully as images, like this examples from Gareth Lawn:

Full page background

Trend #6: Videos on Landing Pages

With such little time to capture your site visitor’s attention, a block of text explaining your product or service is deadly for the life of your site. Consider instead creating a landing page video that draws in the attention of your users.

Many sites are beginning to employ this powerful and captivating design element. Don’t have access to a major studio to make a high production video? Plenty of stock footage exists for those on a bit of a budget.

About the Author:

Rob Toledo resides up in Seattle, WA. He loves coffee, tech, and great design. He can be reached on Twitter @stentontoledo.


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  • Ramiro

    Nice post, and very accurate. I think we will also be seeing a lot of fun movements and fancy effects thanks to the increased use of CSS3.

  • Paul D. Mitchell

    I tend to think it’s going to decrease in complexity, with an emphasis on less graphics, less fanciness, less art. Just basic three color simple websites with large buttons and no frills. Like ATM machines.

  • WASasqautch

    Most of these so-called ‘trends’ have been being used for over 10 years….

  • Jami

    Simple is the future for mobile devices.
    I agree w/ that.
    Good read!

  • Martin

    Useful article indeed! I will definitely apply your suggestions on my websites. Thanks!

  • Karen Walters

    These are definitely something web designers have to consider in coming up with web designs for this year. Among all Responsive web designs is surely the most catchy trend of 2013 because of increasing use of Smartphones and tablets around the globe. Other then it Retina Support, CSS Transparency, Digital QR Codes, Sliding Webpage Panels and CSS3 Animations will also include in trend of 2013 web design.

  • Sports bar SF

    good post, and very clear and useful. your effects is so big. thanks to the increased use of CSS3. thanks for sharing this post.

  • Nathan Brook

    Very interesting. I will certainly put this to use. Responsive web design is very important today.

  • Wdc Web Design Company

    Its funny every year we see new changes/trends in website design,but its like a wheel.Trends we see know we saw 4-5 years ago and trends we saw 6-7 years ago will again be back soon.often you notice some of the old sites are still looking and going strong.

  • Los Angeles Security Cameras

    Oh it’s very interesting. very good information for web design.

    Many many thanks for your information.

  • Jos Kamps

    Great post. I will install these ”trends” directly on my site!

  • Vivek Baghel

    Hi Rob,
    I do little changes in Web site designing. Now a day's lot of people just want to build a unqie & more attractive website more than their competitors so they just want to have a good & uniqe look of their website & it's really a biggest reason for new Trends of Web Design 2013.