Web Trends for 2012

What’s in store for the coming year?

We’re constantly asked by our clients to tell them about what’s new and on the cusp in the online world so here’s our list of the top 10 things we see impacting your online presence in 2012.

10. Continued focus on minimal design

In 2012 designers will continue to focus on simple, clean and minimalist designs. The use of whitespace to focus a viewers attention is as important now to designers as it ever was. Keep your marketing pieces and websites free of clutter!

9. Facebook vs. Google+

Let’s get ready to rumble! The biggest fight this year will be between the old social media powerhouse (Facebook) and the old web powerhouse (Google) who wants to flex it’s muscles in the social media realm. It will be interesting to see how facebook adapts to more and more businesses moving away from fan pages to google+ pages, hopefully that means new and improved features, but you never know.  In any event, as a business or organization you need to be where your target market is.

8. Infographics

These have been popping up all over, a really cool and visual way to display information. If you’re conducting a customer survey or you just want to get some information across to your audience in a visual way consider infographics as a way to do it.

7. JQuery and HTML5 will give flash the boot

If you own an apple portable device you know that they haven’t offered flash support since day 1. What that means is a huge portion of the market is no longer able to view your flash banners, menus or other applications that were so cool and amazing 4 years ago. Adobe, the creators of Flash have seen this writing on the wall and begun focusing on PC browsing and more development of HTML5. So get rid of those flashy things on your site and convert them to HTML5 or JQuery now!

6. CSS3 is on the rise

Now that virtually any browser supports CSS3 you will see more mainstream websites incorporate these new features in CSS. This will result in more robust websites that load quicker (perfect for mobile devices) because they require fewer images to create rounded corners, shadows, gradients and much more.

5. Web fonts

2011 saw the upgrade of the Google Fonts library which was a huge step forward for the use of web fonts on the web. When you’re designing a site you want to use a font that is accessible on the end user’s computer or device but this is no longer a problem with the various web font options out there. There are a number of programs such as Google Fonts which allow you to link to a specific font to ensure that the viewer will see your typography exactly the way you intended – a cool option and great step forward!

4.Fixed position navigation

As page heights have continued to grow and designers begin to worry less and less about “above the fold” a number of sites have begun to bring back the fixed position attribute in their designs to allow the reader to always have the menu visible in the same location creating a consistent experience. This is especially helpful in mobile versions of websites when finding menu items can be particularly tricky. Check out this example to see a simple use of this design approach.

3. Goodbye IE6 & IE7!

As Internet Explorer 6 and 7 are no longer supported by Microsoft their use will slowly die! Designers are counting the days till this exciting moment! Both browsers offer many challenges in the way that they display content and styles differently than just about every other browser out there. The resut their demise – fewer bald designers (no more hair pulling!).

2. Responsive designs hit the mainstream

One of the most talked about concepts in the design community was the use of responsive design for websites. The basic idea is that the website is set up to determine the resolution of the device that it is being viewed, as the page width decreases elements of the website layout change to accommodate this shift and the need for information to be more accessible on smaller screens. Want to see how it works? Check out css-tricks.com and play around with the width of your browser and see how the site changes size and alignment etc.. Responsive design will be huge this year as designers begin to offer this option to their clients instead of just trying it out on their own sites in 2011.

1. Tablets and Mobile Devices – the preferred method of browsing

This is the number one trend in web design in the coming year, it’s already here – but in 2012 it will get even bigger. The fact is that people are using mobile devices as the preferred way to experience the web. Nearly all of the previous 9 points have touched on this trend in some way or another so it’s really no surprise that these devices will take up a larger share of visits to your site in the coming year. What this means is that you need to consider things that make the experience for these viewers more enjoyable things such as no flash or a responsive design are a good start!

 An exciting year ahead!

2012 promises to be an exciting year as designers and developers continue to push the limits of our web today. Hopefully this list gave you a little insight into some of the coming trends and tidal waves. What other trends do you see as being important in 2012?

Posted on: January 21st, 2012 by QT Web Designs No Comments
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