There is every year speculation about what turn web design will take during the following months. Experts look back at the evolution of design, analyze the current year and give predictions about what might or might not happen for the next one. Truth is, there is no certainty; only assumptions. Some trends though can be seen coming from miles away and are easier to predict. So what is the web really going to be like in 2012? My Flux Capacitor is broken at the moment so I cannot take a peek into the future, but here’s what I think will probably hit us in the upcoming months:
Responsive Web Design
We keep hearing those words, responsive web design, but what exactly do they mean? Responsive web design is the future of the web. It has already started but I suspect it will bloom. It’s a way to design and code that will adapt a website to your screen, no matter how small (mobile) or big (desktop) your resolution is. Smashing Magazine explains it very well in this article. This way of designing makes total sense; why would you make two websites – one mobile and one regular – when you can simply have one site (to rule them all) that will adapt to all screen resolutions?
Does that mean the death of mobile sites? Not necessarily, although I do believe there is no point in doing them if responsive web design does the job. It saves time, energy and retains the consistency of the original design.
In the next few months, I believe we will see HTML5 and CSS3 become more widespread. While HTML5 lets you embed video (bye bye Flash), CSS3 lets you use borders on images, make shapes, animations, rotations and a lot more. The web will become a better, prettier place and websites will become much more dynamic. Let’s not forget jQuery which is also gaining in popularity; it will also play a part in shaping the web of tomorrow.
Beautiful Typography with Webfonts
You probably noticed that more and more websites use embedded typefaces. Thanks to CSS3 and tools like TypeKit and FontDeck, there’s no excuse anymore to bad typography. It’s quite simple really; pick an elegant font, include simple lines of code in your HTML and voilà; beautiful typography all over your website.
Hopefully that will encourage designers to stop using images on their website instead of text (and in case you’re wondering, we’re in the process of changing that ourselves). Will we see webfont abuse? Perhaps; bad designers will remain bad designers, no matter what tools they use. In general though, webfonts will bring awesomeness to 2012, I’m sure of it.
Wider Images and Websites
In 2011, we saw an increase of beautifully designed minimalist designs on the web. We also saw more and more image-based websites. I believe this trend will continue and we will keep encountering in 2012 websites that will be wider, well adapted to each monitor size. I see in the future more websites with backgrounds stretching from edge to edge, image galleries taking the whole screen and large text. Hopefully designers will not constraint themselves to small resolutions anymore and, with the rise of responsive web design, will explore the whole browser canvas without fear.
I believe that 2012 will also see an increase in user-friendly web designers. Cluttered websites are being replaced by simpler, better ones every week. Companies understand that it’s in their best interest that users find the browsing experience easy, or else they leave without finding what they came for. More and more there is a sense of space in design and web designers are more daring, using to their advantage negative space, columns and grids to help visitors find their way. Hopefully 2012 will mark the end of complicated, maze-like designs that are cluttered with too much information, divs and submenus.
What do you think the web will be like in 2012?