As a website designer, it’s important I keep up with the latest interactive design trends. After all, website design is constantly evolving with new technology and interesting ways to improve user experiences and audience engagement.
I enjoy reading about what other designers and programmers predict will be the future trends of web design. Although their ideas can be all over the place, there are usually a few common elements. For 2011, the word on the street is…
. This is a no-brainer. Smart phones are predicted to outsell personal computers in 2011. More people are turning to their mobile devices to get their news and information – not their home computers. From a designer‘s perspective, this leaves a lot of questions. For example, will traditional navigation change (i.e. scrolling from left to right instead of top to bottom)? What about touch screen websites or thumbnail navigation? How will we make mobile sites user friendly while keeping them well designed and consistent with their brand and main site?
Less is more
. In others words, a two to three color scheme is the new max. Too much is, well, too much! This has always been a great rule for graphical elements and text.
More White Space
. The white space gives the eye a break and helps important elements stand out. Websites today have more and more white space to make reading through the growing content easier and less intense on the eyes.
Social Media is a must – and it must be designed into the site
. Obviously, you must give your audiences a way to connect with your brand through Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. But now, designers are being asked to include these new social media tools into the designs they’re creating. A simple logo won’t do. You have to truly integrate it into the site in an organic way.
. Why use a standard web font when you can now use more elaborate – and better designed – fonts online? In the past, you only had a couple font choices that were web compatible, but Typekit is changing that – and this gives website design a major advantage. I really hope this one catches on. Check it out at http://typekit.com/
HTML5 and CSS3
HTML5 and CSS3 are new emerging codes. A few of their exciting programming and design features are:
- They make it easier to add video to your site without the use of plug-ins;
- You have better design options such as rounded corners, shadows, better color and gradient options; and
- Web forms look more professional and are easier to implement.
Although they’re still in their draft stages, some browsers (like Safari) are already implementing their features. These new codes will become more popular as they’re finalized and more designers and programmers explore their possibilities.
So in the end, 2011 will be a big year in web design – all these new trends will help you keep your web designs in style and functional. Have your own thoughts on web trends? Add your comments below.