It’s that time of year again. The time where we take a moment, look at the calendar and realize just how quickly this year went by. Whether 2014 was good, bad or somewhere in between, now is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the major happenings of the year. And by looking at what happened recently, maybe we can even predict or prepare ourselves for the future in 2015.

2014 was a pretty revolutionary year for technology. New devices emerged, technology policies were tested, and cybersecurity was exposed again and again. So let’s take a moment to look at tech trends in 2014, virtual and physical, the good and the bad.

Wearables

One of the biggest tech trends this year was the advancement of wearable technology. In particular, health trackers and smart watches were pretty popular this year. With Apple releasing its own smart watch line, and introducing the HealthKit app, Silicon Valley seems to have some pretty strong ideas about what’s important to people. And it’s true. Pebble, Jawbone and Fitbit are continually revising their products to meet new demands. Even Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon (pardon the pun) and released their own health tracking device. Whether the drive for health trackers is a reflection of America’s shift toward healthier lifestyles or simply just a new trend, there’s no doubt that wearable health monitors will continue to be prevalent. With all the data people are gathering about themselves, we could see a major shift in the way we process health data, creating a more comprehensive and personalized health plan. Wearables were an exciting part of 2014, and no doubt their evolution will continue to pervade the future.

Web Design

With all these new devices coming out, companies online are starting to realize they need to adapt their websites so that all consumers can access their precious web pages, no matter how they’re accessing the internet. Responsive web design existed before 2014, but this year is really when the most conversions occurred, according to several online tech blogs. And really, responsive web design is just going to become an online standard, so it’s good many sites took the plunge to revamp their online formatting sooner rather than later. Another huge trend in web design has been the emergence of long, single page web pages. Many modern sites are favoring having all their information for a particular product on one long page that users click or scroll through. Often the pages are broken into sections, which you can jump to or take your time scrolling. New web tools and the desire for simplistic layouts are, in my opinion, the main reason for this trend. And with the amount of information we have nowadays, it makes sense to combine it all onto one page, instead of clicking through to tons of linked pages. It also makes the web developer’s job easier when designing and maintaining fewer pages. This trend might continue into 2015, but we’ll have to see.

Cybersecurity

This year has perhaps been one of the biggest for online security and privacy, and not in a good way. From credit card leaks to Heartbleed to hacks, companies have been beleaguered by flawed cybersecurity. And unfortunately, the average citizen can’t exactly do much about it. Every time you use your credit card online or in a store, there is a chance your information is at risk. But it’s a risk everyone has to take in today’s world, and the best we can do is pressure those with the ability to prevent these hacks in upping their game. Recently having talking to someone on a cybersecurity team at a major retail company, I know that many businesses are doing their best to keep their customers safe and keep their company out of the news. If anything, hopefully the online disasters of 2014 will spur new research into the cybersecurity field and raise current security measures.

So that’s 2014 in a nutshell. Be sure to stay tuned if you want to hear about predictions for 2015 in my next post! I think 2015 will be another exciting year for tech, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Happy New Year!