It’s no secret that trends do come and go but trends are a necessity in the development and growth of our profession. Trends are born, improved upon, and often generate from other trends. So as a designer or a developer when you apply these trends into your projects and forward and challenge yourself to expand upon them and make them your own.
1. CSS3 + HTML5
These two technologies will be used enormously this year then last year. As there are options like animated buttons, multiple backgrounds, box shadow, text shadow, rounded corners, mega drop-down menus, transparent images etc. all that with only CSS3.
HTML5 has a whole array of features, some of which are drag and drop feature, new APIs, social tools, typography etc. It is a lot more flexible, delivers faster which aids in creating layouts and helps to connect all type of data formats like audio, video, drawings etc. And we will see a rise up of more website will use CSS3 and HTML5
2. Responsive Web Design
Now people are browsing the Internet through mobile web on their smartphones and tablets. Because the medium being used to view a website is not fixed, web designers are beginning to create responsive website design that adapts according to the medium that is being used to view it.
Responsive web design had begun to show up the last 6 months (or so) in 2011 but it will become one of the standards of making a website not just an option.
Noticeable in web design we seen circles but recently it had died down to lay low for a couple of years. During the web 2.0 boom designers were focusing more on desktop-based trends such as drop shadows and rounded corners. But with CSS3 it’s now easier than ever to create these effects.
Additionally you can design circles and shapes without the need for any images by using border-radius. The impact of these features has caused designers to look at photos in another light.
Keeping the animation subtle is important, as it should take away attention from the main subject of the webpage. Movable images that go around the monitor in different speeds giving a 3 dimensional illusion are becoming trendy. Also known as the parallex effect, as this can be implemented with technologies like HTML5, CSS3 or jQuery
5. Fixed Position Navigation
All designers and developer have run into this technique at some point, mostly on personal websites or blogs. But this trend during 2010-2011 had disappeared, but been getting a comeback over the last few months. If your website doesn’t have a lot of main navigation then you only need to provide a few small links this concept is great to keep as it locked in place as visitors scroll through the content.
6. Multi Columns Menus
With so much to offer to users in a bid to capture their attention, some navigation menus often get messy in conventional navigation unless you push links into sidebars. User experience testing has reveal that users are more happy having core links towards the top of pages.
In 2011 this trend has shot up in popularity, especially among WordPress developers trying to keep their blogs unique from the rest. There are free online font library Typekit provides a free trial for any interested web designers and now Google has a Web Fonts service which has a big following since it’s inception.
Simply go through a library of supported fonts and Google will output the code you need to include. Then you simply reference each font by name when declaring CSS font-family properties on an HTML element
The following is what I use and recommend to other designers to check out CSS3′s @font-face media query, as you are given much more creativity. This code can be used to import a .ttf or .otf font file from your web server and include it as a usable stylesheet font.
8. Vector Art
We’ve already seen it the amusing over-sized mascots that you can spot throughout websites have begun to claim a brand of their own. The two i can think of is Mozilla and Mailchimp.
But a few years ago you couldn’t really tie illustration work into web branding. But the talent of designer’s has grown and this kind of practice has adapted into a whole new realm of website aesthetics. And if the year 2011 has shown anything it’s that 2012 will be packed full of these charming vector logos
9. Big Design Elements
Huge logos, large headings, enormous icons – all over-sized elements designed to make an unforgettable impression on the visitor will be big in 2012, As designers discover that graphics and not the content is what creates the first impression, the trend will be for big statements to the site’s tone
10. Minimalism Design
Designers will continue to feature lots of empty space in their websites. However, don’t expect to see many white/black backgrounds. Modern minimalistic design will feature bright and fresh colors, large images and expandable (fluid) backgrounds.