As web design advances the emphasis of designs turns to simplicity, usability, and delivery.

Several new trends in 2013 focus on these core features to help users interface more effectively with brand and company websites. With simplicity as a core element designers should avoid using the kitchen sink method. Not every badge, gate, or structure need be implemented. However keep in mind the following trends when developing your design strategy.

Responsive Layouts

With such a large variety of screens available to view websites, responsive layouts are key to providing users an experience that suits the screen of their smartphone, tablet, or computer screen. Building in device responsiveness to your layouts makes it easy for users to access content in the form that provides the best integration with their chosen screen. With multi-screen use becoming the norm, people scroll through their phones reading financial advice while streaming a movie via Netflix on their laptop. Providing users with as many layout options as they have devices is imperative.

Infinite Scrolling

Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook all integrate endless scrolling in their layouts, allowing feeds and pages to continuously load providing an infinite amount of content and information in an elegant format. While infinite scrolling is not appropriate for every site, it does elegantly solve staccato of tabbing through to the next page or down a scroll when content is consistent and abundant.

Bigger is better

Au courant website designs feature large format photography and fullscreen typography as way to make a visual statement with impact. Go big or go home seems to be the credo of designers who capture the attention of page visitors with the attention span of gnat with bold images and lettering. Look for striking images that present a singular viewpoint to instantly transport users to mindset of your site. By choosing to focus on a single large image or a vivid big font statement big design get big attentions over small and cluttered formatting.

Fixed Header Bars

Use the CSS position: fixed; to fix a header bar at the top of your site. This design feature works particularly well in conjunction with infinite scrolling to provide users a quick opportunity to get back to a navigation point.

Interactivity

Users look for increased interactivity and engagement. NerdWallet has an interactive tool to search for credit cards with flight rewards or other special offers to earn. Create a game show format to unveil concert acts. Allow customers and readers the opportunity to upload Vine videos and Instagram photos directly to a site. As social media takes over the soul of the internet look for any opportunity to integrate the reader in the web design. Utilize detailed illustrations, surveys, and social streams to deeply involve your user with your site. Don’t forget about plug-ins – they can add interactivity and fun to your page with a simple code or download.

Retina Ready

The time is now to start building sites to be viewed on retina display. While the displays have not saturated the market, retina screens provide twice the image density of LCD. Twice as many pixels fit into the same space. Sample an image at twice the resolution, then save it to standard at 50%. This scales down the larger image for fit on normal screens but also ensures the image will appear crisp on retina displays. While often simple to implement, keeping up with these trends in web design help keep your projects fresh, usable, and cutting edge.

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