As the year winds down everyone is taking a look back at the trends of 2013 and predicting the trends for the next year. As any fashionista will tell you, staying ahead of the trends is no easy task. So should you concern yourself with chasing the latest web design trends for your site?
Before you redesign your site yet again to keep up with the latest trends (or predicted trends) here are some questions you should ask yourself:
1. Are the new trends in keeping with your brand?
Pantone's color of 2014 may be radiant orchid but that doesn't necessarily mean your site should be that color! Not all trends compliment all applications, including your website. Don't sacrifice your own branding for the sake of a new trend. Nurture and care for your brand carefully, modernize it when it makes sense and is beneficial to it.
2. Will this new trend help your brand?
Are you chasing this trend because you happen to like it, or does it provide a tangible benefit? Will it improve the customer experience? Or hurt it? Does it lend itself to your brand or is a real stretch to incorporate it? If the trend doesn't provide a real value to your brand or your customers it's best to avoid it. Never prioritize trends over the needs and experience of your customers and your brand.
3. Is it practical?
If you just redesigned your site another trendy design probably isn't necessary. Time and money spent on a brand new trendy design could be better spent elsewhere, either improving your existing site function, marketing, or in other areas that may need it. Additionally, is it practical for your audience? Ultra-thin type with low contrast may look gorgeous, but can your site's visitors read it?
4. Will the trend last?
This is one of the most difficult things to pinpoint. Will it last? Or will it look dated within the year? In the beginning, some thought social media was just a fad. Now it plays a major role within most marketing departments.