The ever-changing landscape of the web and the lightning speed at which technology advances requires designers to find new ways to present content across a multitude of devices. A few months into 2014, there are already a few web design trends that are setting the tone for the rest of the year. Each of these trends have a basis in improving functionality and user experience. This being the case, I’ve included a link to the source site so you can better understand the way these trends look and behave.

1. Single Page Layout

Creating an entire website on a single page has become increasingly popular. Larger amounts of traffic via mobile devices have spurred the use of one-page design. This simplified layout gives the site more versatility. The experience becomes more consistent across all resolutions, which makes for a less frustrated user.

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2. Flat UI Design

Sayonara drop shadows and goodnight gradients! Emphasizing content to reduce clutter is the mantra behind flat design. Toning down the amount of visual noise on a page leads to a more digestible web experience. By making the calls-to-action and graphics the focal points of the page, the user becomes more apt to convert.

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3. Large, Enticing Imagery

Want to make a great first impression once someone views your site? A surefire way to achieve that goal is to wow them with clear and large imagery right from the start. Whether the imagery serves to promote a product or act as a background element for your messaging, you can be sure that big images will work to captivate visitors on your site.

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4. Sticky Navigation

What better way to promote site exploration than to make the navigation accessible at any point on a web page? This is especially useful in cases of extremely lengthy pages where site abandonment can be an issue. A further enhancement to this method is to have a minimized version of the navigation appear once the page scoots below the fold.

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5. Video & Animated GIF Backgrounds

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth more. A lot more. Using videos instead of pictures as backgrounds as well as other design elements allows a story to be told that isn’t otherwise possible with static imagery. New methods of optimizing animations and videos for web have led to a spike in the use of this type of media.

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It remains to be seen how these web design trends will fare beyond 2014. New devices and technology may end up rendering these obsolete. However I believe it’s safe to say that for now, you will continue to see increasing use of these instances across the web.

What kind of web design trends have you noticed?