Fashion trends come and go and so do web trends. There are some clear trends that took shape in 2013 that will be popular this year.
No more gradients or skeuomorphism! This is great for developers like me because flat design's simplicity makes it easy to implement.
Large Background Photos
While not necessarily the best option for performance, large background photos and images give your application experience depth.
The Super Mario 2D world never had it so good. A combination of single page web sites and constrained mobile space make parallax scrolling a good modern user experience effect.
We are no longer limited to web safe fonts. All browsers support web fonts. Free font foundries like font awesome and Google fonts bring this to the average web site.
Live Tiles & Blocks
Its not about being Metro, its about making data live and be actionable. Live tiles give depth to data where space is limited.
Responsive Web Design
The ability to have a single web site that magically renders well on screens of all sizes is an affordable asset. Fixed width web sites and dedicated mobile sites are a relic of classic thinking. Responsive design starts with a mobile first approach.
SmartPhones are now ubiquitous and more and more are used to access the web. Not having a mobile first user experience is a bad choice in today's competitive world. This is not limited to consumer focused applications, but is important for business and enterprise applications.
Tablets and phones are starting to outsell desktops. Laptop without touch support are difficult to find. MACs seem to be the lone hold out. Good touch support to web application is a requirement today. This is why I created deeptissue last year.
Single Page Web Applications
The End of :
Research is starting to show those big sliding banners adorning the top of many web sites today does not add real value. Users do not take action on the extra promotions. They are also bad for performance because 2-4 hero images take longer to download.
Please die already.
How Microsoft Wins
Microsoft winds because they pioneered just about everything on this list in the modern context when they revealed the Windows 8 user interface, Modern UI. Modern UI is optimized to put the user first, embraces mobile and touch. As a bonus these trends play to the strengths of developers like me. Today Apple and Google are also encouraging these design patterns. These design trends are not limited to native platforms.
Internet Explorer 11 is one of the best platforms to execute these design patterns. IE has the best touch support offered by any browser today. The IE team has gone to great lengths to ensure font rendering is sharp and crisp at all resolutions. Combine these with great CSS3 support and blazing rendering speeds you have a platform developers should be anxious to express themselves. Microsoft made IE the ideal browser for modern web experiences indirectly by forcing it to support Windows Store applications. They also led the way for developers like me to follow, making the next generation web application experiences.