Web designing has come a long way in the recent years; it is a constantly evolving territory. As developers get creative with their work, new design and functionality emerge. The race for this creativity has been fueled by the increased competition among websites for eyeballs. Every designer wants their website to attract the audience. Sometimes small ideas become trends for long years, while in some cases big ideas fizzle out before without making any news. The year 2012 has been quite an exciting year for the web design industry with many new trends and techniques being applied to web development. Let us take a close look at some of these web design trends which have become popular in 2012 and changed the way websites are designed and developed.
Responsive is undoubtedly first and foremost
HTML5 and CSS3 bidding farewell to flash
Slideshows: Turning many heads, still!
Did we say slideshows? You might ask what is new about slide shows in 2012. True, it cannot be described to be a trend of 2012 as this has been in use for quite some time now. But it is in this year that a majority of websites have included the slide show features as an integral part of their design. Creative transitions and positioning of texts and images add to the visual attractiveness of the website. Audio files and graphic animation are giving way to traditional text and image based slide shows. Earlier slide shows were typically restricted to ecommerce stores and media and entertainment websites, but now all genres of websites ranging from governmental organizations to educational institutes are making used of slideshows in their design. Slides act as the perfect way to deliver the message within a small, confined space.
Ribbons: Not just for auspicious ceremonies
Microsoft Office 2007 made ribbon based design popular and many web developers seem to have picked this design technique over the last few years. 2012 has been a revolution of sorts from the ribbon based web design as them make pages look attractive. This kind of design is ideal for website which has less content and depends heavily on the graphics and the art work. With design tutorials easily available many bloggers have adopted this type of design for their blogs to increase popularity and be recognized by their visitors. Ribbons are also becoming one of the most important graphics in the design. For example many websites have designed their search box and banner around a ribbon.
Use of Circles
The structure of a website doesn’t always need to be rectangular as designers are getting more and more creative. Wikipedia introduced the spherical homepage where hyperlinks were wrapped around a sphere. Developers have taken a cue from this and in 2012 we have witnessed many designers make use of circles and 3D spheres in their web design. Circles aren’t merely used to form the background or logos but also for used for menu items, sliders, and portfolio works etc. Some designers have gone a step forward and created 3D circles which link to different sections of the website. Earlier this was limited only to the Flash-based websites, but with the introduction of HTML5 and CSS3 it is possible to create animated circles which make the website stand out it terms of visual appeal.
Vector Art Is Cool
A few years back you would rarely come across a website with large vector graphics. But with the increased competition and need to be stay ahead of the competition, vector art has become one of the coolest things in web design. Mozilla’s mascot has led this revolution as web designers are setting new benchmarks in the use of vector art in 2012. Many small businesses and startups are finding this as a potent tool in grabbing the visitor’s attention immediately which adds to their brand value.
Vertical Scrolling Is No Longer A Taboo!
‘Keep it above the fold’, this is what most businesses would say to a web designer if you rewind to some time back. But since smartphones have embraced scrolling, the web design world also started moving towards it and that ‘taboo’ tag got vanished. Some designers have taken scrolling to the next level and have made this as an integral part of their web design. This has allowed more creative freedom when it comes to use of graphic and logos as more information can be packed into the homepage.
It’s the age of 3D
2D designs will soon become passé as the Avatar generation takes the new leap and goes into the three dimensional world. The number of websites which have adopted the 3D technological innovation in the year 2012 makes it one of the hottest trends in the year. This trend has been emerging for quite many years now but was never adopted at this scale. Three dimensional graphics create the illusion of depth on a 2D plain and make the site more eye-catching. This web design technique is ideal for business websites which lack much of text content and want to convey their message with the use of 3D art. Popular brands such as Economist Group, Audi and Coca Cola have made use of this technique in a wonderful manner.
Premium WordPress Themes: Perhaps an everlasting trend!
In the last few years we have witnessed WordPress adding to its popularity and become the most revered content management system in the world. If the earlier years belonged to free themes the year 2012 has brought in a new wave of customers looking for premium themes. These themes are designed with surgical precession and can be customized to the last pixel which explains their growing popularity. You can choose the theme which best represents your values and needs from a large pool of theme genres and purchase them online. In fact, many amazing premium themes are available for Joomla, Drupal and other open-source CMSs as well.
These are some of the most popular web design trends which have emerged in the year 2012. Others trends which have emerged this year include use of drop shadows, pop-up boxes, animated hyperlinks, large icons and creative fonts. Some of these trends would continue to be popular for many years while some will phase out as new trends emerge. However, it is very important to incorporate these trends into your website design with surgical precession to make it appear visually attractive as well as functionally dynamic. Finally, let’s wait with bated breath for what’s about to trend in the fall of 2012, and 2013, for that matter.
This post is contributed by Sahil Anand. He’s hands-on experience in technical writing and enjoys writing on the topics like web designing, WordPress etc. He works at PixelCrayons, a web development company that specializes in PSD to HTML conversion and responsive web design implementation.