Web Design Trends for 2012Reading Time: 2 minutes
Looking back on the last 17 years of web design, there has been an incredible explosion of web technology. In the late 90’s, not many had a website, businesses were still exploring the idea, and designers were exploring what web design truly defined. As new technologies are created and old methods are improved upon, it is an overwhelming challenge to ensure that each website uses the most sophisticated techniques – delivering a profound impression to the market and maximum ROI for the company. Here is a list of a few web design trends to look out for in 2012.
Responsive Website Design
Expect in 2012 (and beyond) a huge demand for mobile and desktop solutions that require to work with many different devices and platforms. Having a visually appealing website is important, but how well will it function on a smart phone for example? Many websites over the last 5 years have used a technique called ‘fixed positioning’ (a website that does not change in size). Have you noticed this with your own website? Does it appear to be so much smaller than it used to be?
Responsive Web design is something you will need to factor in with a sites strategy. Responsive web design ‘reacts’ to the users screen size allowing more sites to easily be viewed across multiple screens sizes and devices.
‘Less is more’ and it is quite true. Too much clutter on a webpage is only going to confuse your target market. We need to keep a customer fined tuned to the goal at hand and not quickly click onto the next website. As a business starting out with a website, time4design always recommends clients take a close look into strategy and architecture. More time should be spent on drafting layouts, how navigation should be simplified, and use of color. Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, was a great believer in simplicity and thus this has been reflected in his own products and design.
In early 2011 time4design spoke of User Experience (UX). For many, this created a new understanding of how a website influences a user. (www.time4design.com/web-design/user-experience).
2012 website design will start to investigate more into ‘user research’, to fully understand how one interacts with a website. This type of study will help navigation and responsive website design. As an example, rather than scrolling navigation, be prepared for ‘fixed navigation’ to present options on a menu for the user at all times. The study of how end users interact with a page will influence how designers create a layout, while a website’s content will become much more less complex for a better user experience.
These are just a few of the emerging trends that time4design predicts in 2012. Website design is growing and one can only imagine what 2013 will bring.
Happy New Year from time4design!