The Top 5 Web Design Trends of 2012
It may seem as if the trends of web design never stop changing. New applications and design schemes are being developed and tested consistently to the point that it is hard to tell what trends are most effective. To stay on top of your website and take advantage of all the web traffic, you can follow the top five trends of web design for 2012.
Maintain function and visibility on mobile devices. There is no denying that people are accessing the Internet from a variety of devices nowdays. With the influx of smartphones and tablets, it is not surprising that more users are more likely to log on to websites with an iPhone instead of an iMac anymore. Too often businesses do not have a functioning and visibly attractive mobile version of the website and users turn to sites that are more friendly for mobile devices. Be careful to only include low-resolution images and videos to ensure that the site loads quickly even over a 3G network. Streamline the content to get information to your users on the go.
Integration with social networking websites is a must. By now, you should have at least set up a Twitter and Facebook account for your business, but there are many other social media sites to consider as well, including Pinest, one of the latest sites to emerge. These social networking and media sites can generate serious revenue, but only if done correctly. You must directly connect your website to your pages on sites like Facebook to keep the user active and interested. Your customers are looking for opportunities to share your content and feature your website, but you have to make it easy for them.
Keep browsing focused with fixed navigation. Too often, users have a tendency towards impatience and end up scrolling and clicking all over the website and before long they are lost in a web of pages. By using fixed navigation, the logo as well as the top and left navigation tabs will remain visible regardless of scrolling up or down or clicking on a new page. Fixed navigation keeps users focused on the most important things about your business and presents the content in the best light possible. Be wary of how much screen space the fixed navigation takes up, however, because they can claim much of the viewable space.
Allow for easy navigation with a multi-column menu. The debate is finally over about which type of navigation menu users prefer. Many studies have shown that users spend more time and find more value in websites that use a multi-column menu. The single column menu does not allow the user to browse through the content as quickly and does not provide the user an overview of the website. For this reason, users are showing a strong preference for the multi-column menu despite any concerns about the submenus becoming too burdensome.
HTML5 and CSS3 are the new tools in web design. Although these coding languages are still being developed and evolving as you read this, web designers everywhere are already in love with the advantages and applications of HTML5 and CSS3. Now you can feature complex animations without all the messy lines of code that extremely limit the load time of your website. Features that are now possible with HTML5 and CSS3 include creating shadows around boxes and text, rounding corners and rotating through multiple background images.
As you consider updating your web design in 2012, you must implement these five top trends. With all of the advances in web design, this list is just scratching the surface of possibilities but all great websites need to have these elements.