A website’s design is one of its most important aspects. Done correctly, it can attract valuable traffic and spell success for any website owner, while on the other hand, a poorly designed site will most likely turn people off. It is of vast importance then that a web designer should be able to successfully meld form and functionality into a coherent whole to keep web visitors interested.
Due to rapid changes in internet standards and technology, web design has become an exceedingly fluid industry. Trends vary from year to year, and designers are constantly trying to keep up. For example: more and more people nowadays are using their mobile devices, (like smartphones, computer tablets and other small Web-enabled gadgets) to surf the Internet, giving mobile browsing a formidable share in the Internet surfing market. Web designers now face the challenge of not only making a design work on the already numerous browsers found on desktops and laptops, but also configuring it to be similarly functional on smaller mobile browsers such as Google’s Android and Apple’s Safari.
Another major change for 2012 is the decrease in popularity of Adobe Flash, the old standard platform for adding interactivity, animations and other cool stuff to webpages. Flash has now been replaced by HTML5 and CSS3 in creating phenomenal websites.
All of these technology updates have radically altered people’s approach to web design. Here are some of the few things that defines what web design will look like in 2012:
1. Social Integration
After the Google algorithm updates that changed how websites were usually ranked – from the old pageviews and backlinks system to the more reliable method of measuring a page’s relevance through usability and the amount of social signals it generates (i.e. retweets, Facebook likes and shares, +1s), developers and designers are now prominently integrating social media links on their pages.
2. Responsive Web Interface
This term is currently a popular battle cry of web designers in 2012. Triggered by the growth of mobile web browsing, a responsive web interface design means that a page has the ability to “respond” to any browser size specified by a user and still be able to retain its functionality. Sizes range from a full desktop browser, like those offered by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, to the relatively tiny screens of mobile browsers found in small gadgets.
3. Use of Parallax
This cool effect is made possible by seamlessly integrating new technologies, HTML5, CSS3 and JQUERY. One of the most engaging web design templates ever, it transforms the rudimentary task of scrolling to a whole new level. Parallax is currently utilized by famous sites like the Mario Kart website for the Nintendo Wii and by other slightly more creative ventures such as the HoboLobo of Hamelin.
4. Over-sized Backgrounds, Images and Headers
Most likely sprung from the need to cut costs in design, this technique proves to be quite effective in catching a visitor’s attention. Using a few large eye-catching images on a page instantly creates a huge impact that will leave visitors wanting more.
Let us know what do you think will be major design trends to look for in 2012 & how its going to change the web design industry.
Guest Post by Alexis
Alexis M. is a freelance writer by trade and contributes to several sites including Degree Jungle a university student resource. She likes to write about tech-related things and eat spicy food.