Current Design Trends on the Web

  • AUTHOR: John Carney
  • DATE: 10/8/2007

Design is an extremely important exercise in taking your brand to market.

The design of your web site will dictate how people respect not only youronline presence, but your business itself. There are a few trends in web design one should consider when designingor re-designing a website. As with all trends they are something to be mindful of and not universally embraced without careful analysis.

A Few Specific Design Movements

Simplicity

Sites that portray an elegant, yet simplistic sense of layout tend to be more successful than other sites which try to be all things to all people. Simplicity can be achieved with several methods:

Use of Space

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A flowing unconstrained use of space increases the likelihood that the contenton your site will be easily read.

Grid Format

Dividing your site into a grid format and examining where each element sits can provide helpful insight for proper content flow & structure.

Font Usage

Often overlooked, the way one utilizes typography style, size, and color can be the most important characteristic of your site design. Focus on legibility first, then move onto relative sizes, color schema, and refine from there.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

This is more of a movement in technology, which has influenced web design.Your users’ time is quite valuable to them. On a first visit to a website you have precious little time to tell your story, especially when you are attempting to garner new customers and or clients. This is where the speed and power CSS comes in. When used properly CSS can render tables, control typography, and enable a site to be displayed in a lightening-quick fashion.

Proceed with Caution on Broadly Engaging these Trends:

Glossy Buttons & Shiny Acrylic

The preferred eye candy of many current sites is the glossy interfaces and buttons we have come to know and love. As with too much of a good thing, excesses can do you harm.

Gradients

Back in the day (1996), gradients were frowned upon because they took longer to display especially in background of the site. Today they can be frowned upon simply due to overuse. Don’t distract from your content and overall messaging by going gradient-goofy!

Badges, and Nifty but Meaningless Emblems

This is a fairly new trend, and one which should be used sparingly, and with a sense of purpose. Iconic shouting with a meaningless graphic will do a disservice to your layout. Employing badges and/or emblems should directly apply to your product or service offering. Having general badges like “Web2.0 compliant” are not meaningful and do nothing to promote your site.

Invest the time

By investing your time in design and taking into consideration how your viewers perceive your site you will be able to reap many benefits. If designed properly, your site will benefit from not only brand legitimacy, but an increase in business.

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