January 14, 2014

After a good break it’s nice to reflect back on the previous year and think about what the new year might offer. This year started nicely for me as one of my code demo’s made it into Codepen’s “Top Pens of 2013“and featured as number 66 so that was a nice reminder of something I had done last year.

Mogul launched its first product; Strea.ma which won Gen-i’s Business Breakthrough Award at the Hawke’s Bay Business Awards. We also launched some great sites for our clients including:

After a bit of digging, I’ve found a couple nice roundups of last year and also some forward looking trends for 2014, starting off with Yahoo’s year in review Featuring Ron Burgundy. Enjoy.

2013

2014

 

Looking at some of the trends above, some are pretty obvious like mobile and tablet usage going up. Here are some I thought were mentionable:

The rise in anonymity

“The age of indiscriminate sharing on social networks is rapidly changing. In 2013 we learned of NSA leaks, privacy debacles, and massive inquiries into our digital lives. Simultaneously, a social platform based on transmitting communications with minimal digital tracks was valued at $4 billion. This isn’t a coincidence; scrutiny is playing an important role in how we sculpt our digital personas. In 2014 we’ll see an influx of platforms catering to a digital experience grounded in anonymity. The rise of “The Snapchats” is going mainstream.”
–  http://www.frogdesign.com/techtrends2014/

Disruption Vs Regulation

“Disruptive app innovation? Yay! Regulation and stuck-in-the-mud industries? Boo! That was the tone of the debate at many a tech conference in 2013 as Uber, Airbnb and others chafed at the barriers put in their way by city authorities and regulators. Why shouldn’t people be able to rent out their spare room to strangers or use their smartphone to book a ride from a non-taxi car?”
– http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/10/app-trends-2014-privacy-wearables-education

RESS – Responsive web design with server side components

Another hybrid solution that’s definitely worth delving into. It takes responsive design even further, optimising  things more for mobile, like images. It’s pretty much the holy grail of futureproofing and backwards compatibility.

“The idea behind it is that we combine responsive web design techniques and server side techniques to serve an optimal experience for each device. This means that we will serve slightly different requests to some devices for a given URL, but we still use responsive techniques for whatever ends up on those devices.”Getting started with RESS

Larger hero areas quickly killing slider

This switch from sliding introductory content to a bigger hero section is welcome in my opinion. Most often people don’t interact with sliders; thus most of the content within each slide is unseen. Swapping a slider with multiple images out for a slimline hero section will also shave time off your page load as well. Bonus. Read more

Videos in place of text

I quite like reading but if there is an introductory video explaining exactly what a product or service does then I will most definitely favor the multimedia way of learning about said product. It puts the user into a receptive mode and quickly lets them get the gist of what you’re trying to explain. The only downside would be for people with slower internet connections where videos are slow to load. Depending on your target audience you could use this approach or you might want to play it safe and use both text and video. Read more 

Dropping the sidebar

This focus on content is gaining a lot of momentum these days with sites like medium among other blogs and magazines. Getting rid of clutter and also making the page more mobile friendly seems like a welcome trend.

Imagine this: you reading an article without things flashing, crowding, or otherwise buying for your attention. Designers understand this and are working to make your reading experience more pleasant by getting rid of these distractions and expanding the content of the article to take over the page. Not sure about you, but this is a welcome change and a trend that we hope is here to stay.”  – http://thenextweb.com/dd/2013/12/29/10-web-design-trends-can-expect-see-2014/10/

That about does it for this roundup, some interesting tidbits here and there to inspire us to keep pushing the web forward. Happy 2014 people!