Get out of the water! Your web design is trending… it’s a Sharknado!

What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen? Worst, as in: bad, awful, terrible. Don’t say Sharknado, that’s mine (though I may not admit to actually watching it). Now, while shaking your head in disgust at your most horrible cinematic experience, imagine this movie is someone else’s favorite. Sad, but it’s true. Someone loved this ugly baby of a movie idea enough to create it, and then share it with the world.

Making a movie, like designing a web site, requires time, money and many people. Yet, somehow, with all of the shared interest in the project, things go wrong. Not always “Sharknado (straight to TV, not even worthy of DVD) wrong”, but definitely not as planned. And yet, even terrible design can draw attention – just for the wrong reasons.

Bad web design happens, and sometimes it trends.

Here’s a brief warning about basing your design on a trend, and a summary of the web designs trending now in 2013.

Does mass hysteria influence your design?

Everyone wants it, until no one wants it. There’s your problem with designing toward a “popular” trend. You benefit now, as popularity grows, but what’s left on stage worth watching when the applause dies out? If you’re committed to a design, if it’s in place for a long term reason, you don’t need to worry. Regardless where popular mass hysteria strikes tomorrow, with a unified web design, your brand will hold strong.

Why do web designs trend?

SharknadoFor the same reason I remember Sharknado and thought it worth mentioning here, even though it sucked away precious moments of my life. Web designs (like most anything) trend when they’re interesting enough to:

    1. Get our attention
    2. Compel us to tell someone

Now that I have your attention, before you run off telling someone (see what I did there?); think about some bad examples that fit this “interesting” criteria. That’s right, bad things trend too:

    • natural disasters
    • scandals (for those involved)
    • transportation wrecks
    • public health threats

Do you have a pencil? Who am I kidding, pens are trending right now. Grab a pen and write this down:

Next time something is trending, I will ask myself why.

With this simple point, you learn a crucial life lesson (that also applies to web design). Trending is an effect; your value is in the cause. Knowing the cause of a trend allows you to logically decide if what it stands for is a good fit for your business and your website.

3 Web Designs Trending Now in 2013

What came first, ugly design or the desire to create it?

Calm down, there’s a reason I’m calling trending designs ugly. I want you to see this list and form an opinion free of persuasion. Take a look at these 3 web designs trending now and decide for yourself if they exist for a good reason. Then, declare your unique personal opinion in the comments.

Trend#1 Flat User Interface

web design trends 2013

While skeuomorphism tries to resemble something real (like fake wood grain on a station wagon), flat design is fundamentally bold and refined. This article by medium discusses why flat design (in at least some form) is crucial for touch screens and the future of mobile devices.

Trend#2 Interactive Effects and Data

This covers a broad range of web design elements, including: parallax scrolling, graphing and data visualization, and html5 canvas elements. What they all have in common is movement. Video is a fairly recent addition to web design, but 2013 has seen an increase in on-page visual effects made possible by html5 and css3.

Trend#3 Responsive Layouts

Unless you’ve been offline until the moment you opened this article, you already know what responsive web design is. While responsive layouts automatically adjust your website to any screen size, there are numerous ways to achieve a “responsive” web design. If you don’t know the differences, you might be doing it wrong.

Which trend is right for your web site?

Maybe you need an original design. Ask Fingerprint Marketing, your Sammamish Web Design Company, during your free 15 minute consultation. Creating a unique web design perfect for your business is what we do. Regardless of the latest design trends, we hone in on what makes your business unique and customize a website design that leaves your mark with your customers.

photo credit: Niccolò Ubalducci Photographer via photopin cc
photo credit: Cleecanth via photopin cc
photo credit: WIlly Volk via photopin cc