Web Trends 2012
Content Structure First
Know the structure of the content before you design, so you know what type of content you are dealing with. You don’t have to have all of the content or texts before you start, but you need to know some facets about the content before you dig in. The “Content is King” mantra is getting a bit old, but the reality is that content writers still aren’t getting the attention they deserve.
Is responsive design just a fad? Are mobile phones and tablets going away? No! Yet again, we are forced to learn how to deal with the winds of innovation. Web design is changing, and responsive design is about learning how to deal with a new landscape. More and more people are browsing on their mobile phones, and that number is only going to increase.
Back to Fluid Layout
With responsive design, an old debate has resurfaced: should we design our sites using fixed pixel-based layout or fluid layout using percentages? While both options are valid, fluid layout is more “future proof,” and can adapt better to new devices. It’s also easier to manage when dealing with the ever growing number of screen resolutions. Using a fluid layout, you can build a site that behaves like a fixed-width site, but can easily change and adapt to your needs without having to rewrite a lot of CSS code.
Open Source Fonts
Finally, we can start using other fonts that are different than the ones installed on the user’s computer. Google Web Fonts is an awesome place to start looking for fonts to use in your design. I’m always amazed by the quality of some of the fonts that are available. Right now Open Sans and Droid Serif are my favorites.
Parallax background were big last year, and will likely continue to be in heavy use. These are a bit gimmicky, but can produce super interesting results when executed well and not overdone — especially when using to many layers and heavy backgrounds that drain resources on the users computers and slow the experience down.
Into View Animations
Using a jquery plugin like inview, developers can easily code animations when elements on web sites come into view. This can go very well with a simple parallax background, and is a great tool for designers for creating a narrative by using simple animations that are triggered when the user scrolls down a page.