Eight Trends to Spot in Web Design

In today’s high-tech world, a small company’s website is an important marketing tool. As a result, it behooves you to keep your company’s website “fresh” and up-to-date. Take note of recent developments in website design.

Basic premise:Recent innovations such as smartphones and the iPad are changing the way users access and interact with content. Similarly, adopting web standards like HTML5, web fonts and CSS3 by browser manufacturers can open more doors. Of course, there is a cost attached to moving forward in this area, but small-business owners may be able to incorporate some design changes within reason. Here are eight recent trends to consider:

  1. Static designs are “out.” With the online technology currently available, web designers are coding websites more creatively than using simple images and HTML/CSS. Visitors to websites are beginning to expect a higher level of functionality and interactivity as designers use programs such as AJAX and JavaScript.
  2. Grid-based designs are “in.” However, grid-based designs are typically used more in portfolio, product pages and blogs than corporate websites. With the huge amount of data that is present, classifying information based on its context, rather than content, becomes more important.
  3. Print design techniques are being applied to the web. This includes layout techniques such as using morewhite space. As a result, layouts may resemble print magazines or posters with striking headlines, highlighted quotes, indented text, side notes and footnotes.
  4. Faster and better web browsers are in vogue. Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera offer more choices to web users. But a company’s web designer must ensure that text is easy to read on all major browsers and platforms.
  5. Presenting real-time information is critical. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have resulted in a “real-time” feel to the Internet. Getting information as soon as possible becomes paramount. For example, Twitter gives immediate and breaking information on their websites.
  6. Slab typefaces are becoming more popular. In the past, logos and headers were smaller and often understated. Combined with the trend toward larger headers, slab (i.e., thicker) typefaces lead the reader to take notice.
  7. Robust typography has played a major role in web design for years. Bold, strong, heavy headlines can effectively convey the purpose of an e-commerce website, while subtle headings help structure content and improve legibility. Designs are trending toward richer, more versatile typography.
  8. Finally, sites are utilizing more personalization. Personalization has become an important component of managing the web experience for site visitors and delivers real business value.

Unless you are an expert yourself, or someone on your staff is, seek guidance from professionals in web design. They can help your website gain the luster it may have lost.