With 2014 a little over a week away, it’s time to start planning for the New Year. We’ll let you make your own personal resolutions like eating healthier or going to the gym more often, but for anything related to design, development, or digital marketing, we’ve gathered our team of experts here at Zoom Creates to not only give you their predictions for 2014, but also some tips on what changes you should plan on making. Here are three things from each department that you should keep on your radar for the new year:
What Should Be On Your Pallet: Corrina Reff, our Art Director, says that “muted pastels combined with bright colors” will be seen throughout the next year. Along with these colors, you will see floral prints and minimalist designs.
Popular Layouts: The block style Pinterest layouts will become much more popular in 2014 because they can easily be made responsive so they can work on a variety of different devices. With that we will see “simple and intuitive design, with flat colors,” says Reff.
Clear Messaging: Branding and messaging have always been important, but moving in to 2014, they will become a necessity. Because we are entering a technology era that is rapidly changing and highly centered around the user, “you’re going to have to move quickly, and the only good way to do that is to have a solid message,” says Reff.
Prepare for Constant Change: “Websites are becoming more and more disposable, so anticipating is what we will do in the future,” says Lead Developer, Kurtis Holsapple. Because of this, when building a website, developers will have to anticipate any new device or interaction between the user that will need to happen when developing for multiple platforms.
Build for Multiple Devices: Moving in to the new year, API’s and responsive sites will be necessary. Technology is changing very rapidly, which means websites are no longer the only medium. In 2014 it will become crucial to plan and build for multiple devices. Modules and templates are going to become more important as we move into the future.
Browser vs User System: In 2014, our development team predicts that the browser will become more important than the user system. We’re already starting to see this shift with products such as the ChromeBook– a $250 computer that runs and operates through the Google Chrome browser.
It’s All About The Content: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you know that content is starting to take major precedence over keywords in the SEO world. “Content is important, and giving the right content to the right person is the most important thing, more important than keywords.” says Digital Marketing Director Zachary Cavanell. With this in mind, create a digital marketing strategy where content comes first.
Let go of the Keywords: We’ve already seen a major shift when it comes to the importance of keywords versus content, but in 2014 you will see how keywords are starting to take a back seat. “Keywords are selfish in some way,” says Cavanell, “it has no thought about the user. It’s exploiting what the user is looking for, rather than thinking about what they need and what is useful.”
Write For the User, Not for the Search Engines: A shift that we have already began making, and our clients have seen major success with, is creating websites based on the language and copy, more so than keywords. It’s based on how it speaks to the user. It’s about conveying a quality message and telling a story, and all of that has to be supported by design, development, and marketing,” says Cavanell.
The common theme and prediction from each department is that next year will be the year of the user. Whether you’re part of the design, development, or digital marketing process, make sure to keep the user in mind as you navigate through 2014.
Do you have any predictions for the upcoming year? We would love to know. Share them with us in the comment section.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user: Amodiovalerio Verde