Want to know what’s hot or more importantly what will be important for your website in 2013?
Here it is:
Across the board changes
Responsive design & fluid layouts :
About a year ago I wrote an article on mobile websites and that idea of creating an optimised version of your website is an option as oppose to creating a second mobi website.
A year on, the first option of creating an optimised site AKA responsive site seems to have become the best way forward. Major and minor sites have are all becoming responsive websites in which the design adapts to the users screensize to cater for tablet and phone browsers.
This is basically what’s been known in web design for years as fluid layouts but with more devices, languages and scenarios to work from, its evolved to “responsive design”
Responsive design will become the norm in 2013.
Better mobile design:
Elements such as buttons and forms are still a little weary on mobile sites so expect even more user friendly adaption for mobile interfaces in 2013
Navigation and pages
We redesigned our site with a fix bar at the top. It appears that we’re not the only ones. Everyone is opting for a fixed nav bar for ease of use in navigation but also to maximise on the use of vertical scrolling.
Simplified navigation: Apps and phones have had an effect on the way we work, live and use technology and that style of design will follow through to the internet and web design with simpler navigation elements. Expect to see more, fewer icons then text based links.
Infinite scrolling: I remember seeing this on a CSS design site a couple of years ago. You scroll down and the page just never ends, loading more and more info as you go. Pinterest popularised the same idea and Google followed suit with their images search. Even Sunzu has it.
I’m not sure if it will become the norm as it does have a wider effect on things like pagination but its certainly becoming popular. If it becomes the norm it will be a big change in the way websites are structured.
Single page sites: I predicted the end of 5 page brochure sites around a year and a half ago but it appears they have taken another form. Single page sites are popping up and have become very popular with design agencies. By using vertical scrolling to maximise the use of space, a single page site is now holding 5 pages worth.
Its much like the infinite scrolling scenario but there is an end to the page. I don’t think this will become a norm but certainly a nice trend and hidden gem for a while.
Getting Big on design
Graphic Design will get bigger. Expect to see bigger font sizes and bigger use of typography on websites with the use of advanced CSS (below). Along with that, there’ll be bigger buttons, wider sites, longer sites, bigger photos, images and in essence everything will just be bigger.
Full page background images: A full page background image looks great but in the past it caused issues with screen resolution and content layout. Some people might see it and some might not and hence it was only really creative agencies that used it.
However with screen sizes going bigger and smaller simultaneously and the use of evolving frameworks such as jquery it’s now becoming a popular and accommodating choice in both design and functionality.
CSS: Dropshadows, non standard fonts and transparency were all doable in the past but with consequences, some may see them and some may not. However browsers and the technology seem to have aligned a little more today and the use of these styles in a technical format are becoming more functional.
We’ve already implemented these on our sites ……….expect to see more in the future.
Smaller Technology getting bigger
Frameworks: These are like opensource extentions to websites allowing the developer to add greater and smarter functionality to near any website or app development. More and more are appearing and showing common use with one big one expected to be a hit this year being “twitter bootstrap”
Faster Sites: With the need to look at sites on any device, anytime, websites will try to get even more faster in 2103. However keeping in mind the coming of 4g and smartphones with much more power, speed may well just remain constant as hardware improves instead.
The End of Apps
2013 won’t be the end of apps but apps really don’t have anywhere else to go as the market has become saturated. Apps are great and money was/is still made from them but Apps need to evolve again with the next technology or further integration into our daily life in the foreseeable future possibly redesigning itself for desktop, as well as places we don’t have access to them right now. (eg the car).
What do you think will happen on the web in 2013?