Web design styles, preferences, and standards are changing constantly just as cars, homes, and electronics are changing with new designs and styles every year. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some trends we are seeing in 2011 that are changing the way we view the internet in the web design industry. Most trends have been around, but have changed in line with technology and industry standards and recommendations.
– Color Schemes – You will see more color schemes on the websites you view that are limited to 2-3 main colors being used. Bold colors may still be chosen, but you’ll find that by limiting the palette to 2-3 colors, the website will be more tasteful and can reinforce the intended message rather than stealing attention away from it.
– Picture Backgrounds – Instead of choosing a color scheme, many web designers are going the route of using a large photo as the background of their sites. Choosing the most relative photo to enhance the content of the site can be a smart decision as the site’s viewers will be drawn to the photograph and will assign some sort of emotion to it. However, caution must be exercised as always with attention given to browser load times with people who have slower internet connections.
– Interesting Domain Names – Websites such as Google, Twitter, Digg, and Yahoo! really laid the groundwork for the evolution of domain names. Websites today seem to be choosing short, misspelled, or bizarre names to label their sites. It’s rather genius because this influences people to remember those names for their creativity. At the same time, they are not given much choice if choosing a.com domain name because most relevant names have been taken!
– Thumbnails – Browsers like Bing and Google have cornered browser thumbnail browsing. You can now hover your mouse over the individual search result and be presented with a sample of the destination website. With more and more users taking advantage of this tool so they can view a website sample before visiting it, designers are putting more emphasis on ensuring the viewer can quickly and easily see what they are looking for.
– Split between Flash and HTML5/CSS3 – Many new phones and devices don’t support Flash. While Flash will understandably never completely disappear, designers are creating a lot more with HTML5 and CSS3 to offset this issue. Hopefully all devices will soon support Flash. HTML5 and CSS3 will not at least in the near future encompass the superior design elements that Flash offers.
– Wider Designs – Most regular computer users are now owners of widescreen and high-resolution computer screens and laptops. Web designers used to optimize their pages mostly in accordance with the Grid 960 system; however, now they tend to take advantage of the abundance of space provided to them and fill up the entire screen with relevant website content.
– Larger Headers – You should be seeing larger and more prominent headers as well. A website’s header is the first impression a visitor is given of the content that will be found within the website. Focus is being put on them being eye-catching, bold, and obviously relevant to the website itself.
– Single Page Designs – Single page designs are becoming more and more popular while websites are attempting to accommodate more people browsing the web on their phones, iPads, and such.
– Quick Response Codes – This system is increasingly being used by companies on their websites. You might see this black and white barcode appear on a business card, magazine advertisement, or TV commercial. Take a picture of it with your smartphone and you will be automatically directed to the associated website.
Understanding these trends makes you a more educated website designer and allows you to fully take advantage of and utilize the best methods to build your business on the worldwide web!