Now that we are in a new year again it is time to clear out the old and welcome in the new. The world of the Web is constantly evolving and new tools are becoming available all the time. In today’s market it is not enough to build a pretty design that just looks great, it also needs to work great. It needs to be adaptable and take into consideration new media such as mobile phones and pads. your aim as a web designer in 2011 is to engage your visitors and make them want to stay on your website more than ever before. There is a thin line between web design and web development, and web designers need to increasingly be aware of the new tools available.
Here is a list of the new tools and trends that we expect to be big this year.
1) HTML5 and CSS3
HTML5 and CSS3 have actually been around for some years now and this year we hope will finally be ready to be used in a way to benefit web design. HTML5 allows us to use the new video tag which will play video without the need for Adobe Flash. Flash has had a compatibility problem especially confounded by Adobes battle with Apple which has culminated in Apple not allowing Flash on its new technologies including the iPhone and the iPad. This year we will all slowly move away from Flash and embrace the the new tags afforded us by HTML5. There will still be plenty of room for Flash as it is still a powerful tool, but now there is a new3 contender on the block.
Another exciting development is CSS3. CSS3 allows us to create text shadow, border radius and image transparency all within the CSS code rather than have to rely on image tools to do the work for us.
2) Touch Screens
Touch screens are taking over in 2011 as we can see in our phones and the number of pads and tablets that are becoming popular. Using your fingers for navigation rather than a mice can introduce some interesting new forms of web design and is another element to consider. A new website needs to consider as part of its design that a percentage of ity’s visitors maybe using a touch screen. Drop down menus and link hover aren’t possible with a touch screen and so if we are to move forward we need to think of a new way that embraces the touch screen visitor.
3) Mobile Phones
With mobile phones getting smarter and web browsing on a mobile phone getting more popular, we need to take this in to consideration with our web designs. Our websites need to look good and function well on a mobile phone in order for us to compete this year. Forecasters predict that smart phones will outsell personal computers this year, so it is vital that our websites conform to these standards.
4) Social Interation
We’ve all seen the rise of Facebook and Twitter in the last year. Social mediums like these are here to stay and they are integrating themselves into our entire experience on the web. The Internet is becoming more personal in the way we share our lives via social media activity. The web will become even more intimate this year and we can expect to this this reflected in the websites we visit right the way across the web.
5) Thumbnail Design
Finally, any avid watcher of Google will have noticed the new option for thumbnail browsing. Now searchers of websites can look through thumbnails for the website they fancy visiting rather than just reading the text. Unfornutately this thumbnail technology doesn’t display Flash so websites that rely heavily on Flash will be at a distinct disadvantage to a thumbnail browser. As people are in essence attracted to things visually, then i’m sure viewing search results via thumbnails will be more appealing than lines of text. If this is a trend that takes off the we need to consider how our thumb nail is going to stand out among our competition.
2011 is promising to be an exciting year for technology and the web and we as web designers need to keep with the times. By taking into consideration the five tips above then we may be on our way to edging away from our competition and truly be on the cutting edge of web design.