Websites are now more dynamic and interactive because of the changes in viewership trends. People now prefer quick navigation, easily found information and sharing options. With these changes in trends, what worked last year might be considered outdated this year.
If you are a website designer, you must have ample knowledge about the latest web trends so you can offer your clients up-to-date websites. In 2012 we have seen positive changes in design trends, here are ten essential web design trends designers are following:
1. Responsive Interface Design
With the increasing use of mobile browsers, tablets and apps, smart phones have prompted web developers to come up with fluid images that can be seen on the screen sizes of various devices. According to experts this is just one step in the mobile direction, there are more things to come in the future of the website design field.
2. Over-sized Images & Headers
It seems that the use of over sized images on web pages, especially the homepage of a website, is growing. Whether used as background or to highlight certain content, big images grab viewer attention and are a fast growing trend. Examples of industries currently using this trend include fashion, apparel, food and entertainment.
3. Image Slideshows
4. Social Media Sharing Buttons
As social media grows, sharing buttons have become a necessity for websites. Make sharing easy for users by providing social media button options. Do not limit these buttons to just Facebook and Twitter, pick the top 4 or 5 that work best for your client’s business (ask your client if you must). From Pinterest to GooglePlus, make sure not to miss out on relevant networks. Social bookmarking buttons for blog posts also help to allow posts to go viral.
5. Infusion of CSS3 & HTML 5
Flash is becoming outdated because it is not mobile compatible and search engines don’t bother to read it. Though not a stark replacement of Flash, CSS3 and HTML 5 are gradually being adopted as the main web developing languages. Offering better flexibility for mobile devices, these are being used enthusiastically by web designers for creating flexible websites.
6. Custom Fonts & Dynamic Typography
Users are bored of overused fonts, such as Times New Roman and Verdana. Websites are now improving and continue to grow in the typography area. Users can enjoy viewing information in a variety of fonts. If you’re looking for a font library, Typekit and Google Web Fonts are two of the most popular. They’re simple to use, you can just go to the font libraries, pick up font code and add it into your site code. Don’t forget to give reference of each font when declaring it in CSS font-family properties on a HTML element!
Infographics prove that most visitors can convert by viewing rather than by reading. These images have quickly become the most popular in new age media and are driving quality traffic to many websites. However, when creating infographics be sure that they do have relevant information and are easy to follow.
8. Big Footer
Footers are becoming bigger and more prominent. Web designers are now adding eye-catching images, increased content, more links and business/personal information in these.
9. Stylish Popup Boxes
This trend has been popular in desktop software and mobile apps, but it is fairly new to the world of websites. Many websites are now using stylish popup boxes with a stylish light box effect. These have been found being used for user registrations, login, special offers and newsletter signups. This popup box style is a more sophisticated take on the annoying, yet traditional, popup boxes.
10. Increased Artistic Simplicity
Initially websites were loaded with information and tons of navigational units, now things are changing. People prefer a simple, yet artistic, interface. This is why web interfaces with good navigation, impressive colors and visible designs are sticking. The use of artistic banners and ribbons is also growing at a high rate.
As a web designer you need more than just technical skills, you must also have strong aesthetic skills. Learn and understand how a certain industry’s audience would react once visiting your website. The better you know your audience, the easier it will be for you to create an interactive and interesting website.