Over the last two years, web design has advanced at an accelerated pace due to the advent of new technologies. While the demise of older technologies such as Flash was predicted, no one would have thought that this would happen so soon as the HTML5 wave is spreading much faster than expected. With more than 50% of users now accessing the web via mobile devices, traditional web design practices are taking a backseat with newer design aspects taking their place. Here are some of the advancements in web site design that took place during the last two years.
Modern web design now focuses on touch aspects due to popularity of smart phones and emergence of ultrabooks and laptops that feature touch screens. Web page elements and interactions are now more geared towards touch interfaces with touch-friendly design options such as card and flat design. With the emergence of retina devices that boast more than four times the normal resolution, scalable vector graphics are now gaining more popularity compared to raster graphics that could show coarse pixel structures.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design has gained momentum in the last two years, with Twitter Bootstrap being a de facto framework that is widely being adopted. A major goal of responsive web design has been to support multiple devices without having to redesign the layout for each of these devices. This is an important goal, as one cannot predict the screen size due to different devices being used for browsing the Internet, ranging from a mobile device to a larger TV. Several add-on components and glyphs exist for Bootstrap framework. Several Bootstrap-based themes are now available for popular blog and content management systems such as Word Press. Efforts are on way to standardize responsive web design and companies like Kalexiko lead the way when it comes to this type of website.
HTML5, Lean Design
Video is now emerging as an important element in modern web design. Older Flash based videos are being replaced with HTML5 compliant videos. Another aspect that has gained momentum is the emergence of lean design approach with visual storytelling feature. Hero graphics and ghost buttons have replaced the bulky text paragraphs and traditional buttons to provide more visual appeal.
Website typography has gained a great momentum in the past two years with the emergence of web fonts. Google has taken a lead on open source technology with Google Web Fonts, while commercial implementations such as Typekit are gaining popularity as well.
With Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update for ranking the web pages, search engine optimization has now become a complex task. This has affected web design and content to a focus on new, quality content that is not duplicated anywhere else.
Support for Social Media
Social media strategy is one of the core themes of a business today. Modern web sites now come with integrated social media features that are changing the way web design is done. A seamless way to display and share social content is a very important consideration that has influenced web design heavily in the recent years.
In essence, last two years have set the tone for a major paradigm shift in web design. As the technology grows rapidly, so are the web design trends. It would be interesting to see where the web design is headed in the coming years as the technology continues to gain momentum.