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20 Hot Website Trends In 2014 (Part 1)

TjPlanet - The Planet of Technology Jockey

Over the course of 2014, new trends are emerging that may or may not shake up the industry. Here are 20 of the best that have bubbled to the top of the curve. Some were already set in motion while others are just beginning to dawn. New trends can always be fun to check out, if for no other reason than to see how long they stick around. When browsing websites in 2014, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any of these trends in action:

1. Grid-Style Layouts

All of the major social news feeds have always been created in a streamlined fashion, like Twitter or Tumblr. Today, even many Facebook pages scatter timeline updates and appear like a grid.

This isn’t something that you can do to an old website. The user experience always comes first, and in situations using thumbnail images or text updates, the grid layout puts everything into a concise, easy-to-read format. Everything becomes skimmable, yet it stays coherent, and it doesn’t require a lot of space on the page.

2. Crafty Image Captions

Many websites use image galleries to showcase their portfolio items, photographs, thumbnails of articles, etc. By using a text caption, visitors can connect more information to the image. With CSS3, you can now rely on natural browser resources without resorting to JavaScript effects. Each website should always have its own design in order to provide benefits to the reader.

3. Extended Form Elements

Most front end developers know about jQuery and that it helps you to write smoother JavaScript code with fewer lines and a lot less clutter. jQuery plugins have essentially taken on their own market, and they’re currently in high demand.

Some of the jQuery form plugins enhance the user experience. Floating labels, input validation and guided tooltips are just a few. Just take a peek at the Unheap form gallery that catalogs open source jQuery plugins you can download and test in your new projects.

4. Focused Landing Pages

There are now literally millions of apps for iOS and Android devices. Many of these applications even have their own companion websites. Software developers will often purchase a domain name and then launch a website as a marketing tool. The idea has expanded to encapsulate mobile games and open source scripts, along with even smartphone apps; almost any digital product you can possibly imagine. These landing pages essentially are designed to encourage prospective customers to learn more about a product before buying.

5. HTML5 Video Players

 Times are changing with HTML5 media and the emergence of JavaScript libraries. Flash still has a purpose when its necessary, but almost all web developers would agree that the future of Internet video is going to be HTML5.

Media Element brings us some default skins and greater documentation to build our own player designs. Also, you can try building a music/audio player using the same codes. Both scripts provide documentation with an API, and they are both fantastic libraries.

6. 3D Transitioning Effects

Creative 3D animations are appearing in more and more websites today. These are often built into the animated image galleries page, navigation menus, and elements. They can be created using jQuery but CSS3 is fast beginning to catch up.

Of course, the animations are not fully supported in all browsers. Designers should be wary of using too many animations on a single page. However, if you want to try new things, just scour the web for examples of 3D animated code to play around with.

7. Flat Design Elements

No discussion about web design trends would be complete without mentioning the widespread use of flat UI elements. When CSS3 began to be popular, it allowed designers to create much flatter buttons by using natural box shadows, text shadows, and even rounded corners. This flat UI pattern moved on and transcended into form inputs and even navigation menus.

Flat icon sets and GUI kits are now available for free on dozens of different websites. Metro-style layouts are also now popular, from Microsoft’s Windows OS and the Windows Mobile Phone.

8. Personal Portraits

If you want to convey a little bit about yourself, like where you’ve been, and then showcase your work samples, simple personal portfolio websites are the way to go. But in order to keep people truly interested, you need to form a human connection. An excellent way to accomplish this is to include a sample photograph of yourself on the page.

9. SVG Icons & Images

Vector-based graphics are not built around pixels, but around lines and coordinates. Individual shapes are organized by a set of mathematical equations, and this allows you to stretch vectors to almost any size you want. SVG images are similar to vectors in the sense that they can be manipulated easily without a lot of loss in quality.

The biggest problem, though, is support for these images in all web browsers. Many people still use older versions of Internet Explorer and other legacy titles which do not support vector-based graphics.

10. Unique Web Copy

One of the nicest new features in web development is the @font-face declaration. With this, you can import font files hosted locally or even externally on another server. The fonts are defined within CSS, and you can write them into font-family properties in order to style your webpage text.

Today, this has grown to include font-based icons where flexible icons can be rendered on the page as text. These icons are not as well-designed in comparison to real graphics, that can incorporate a multitude of different colors. Simply having the ability to customize any font on the page, though, is a powerful technique to help your website stand apart from the madding crowd.

Smaller interface concepts are not something we think about everyday. However, it is these smaller accents that will bring life into a clever website layout. Hopefully, this article will shed some light onto a handful of design trends we may notice coming in future projects.

 In Part 2 of this article, we will continue describing the final 10 of the best website trends of 2014.

Author bio: Raadberg is a web editor in Key Difference. He like to write new articles for different bloggers and it will be based on Social, Business and Technology. If you want contact him at raadberg5359@gmail.com

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