1. Content first
A subject which was discussed at various design conferences this year was that we need to start focusing on content rather than design elements. Ribbons and buttons are all very nice but at the end of the day content rules how we ultimately design a site and can make informed descisions about structure and layout.
2. Mobile first
This was a major trend this year and will no doubt continue into 2012. The rise of mobile optimised sites and increase in mobile devices shows the trend towards consuming content on a variety of platforms is here to stay for a long time.
3. Responsive design approaches
When designing structure and layout it is clear we must start thinking about a responsive approach. Responsive design certainly caught on in 2011 and will continue to grow in 2012. Some great frameworks with responsive in mind have already been released such as HTML5 boilerplate
4. Clean Design
Designers in 2012 will focus on cleaner designs and more use of white space. This relates directly to the first trend in this list where the content is put on show rather than the design elements.
5. Web GL
On the flipside new technologies such as Web GL will make for more inspiring online experiences which are produced solely to engage their audience through rich 3d graphics without the need for plugins. There are some great examples here
6. No Flash – HTML5 to dominate
For many agencies and designers Flash is still the defacto way to create rich interactive websites but this has already started changing with HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery beginning to take the lead. This trend is set to continue in 2012 and the number of websites using these technologies will only increase.
7. QR codes and Augmented Reality
Already in use in a lot of printed materials, QR codes will evolve and be the standard way we interface between the real world and the internet.
8.Better Social Integration
Social media continues to explode with Facebook and Twitter still at the top, however the integration between these platforms and our websites is currently still limited. Share buttons and feeds being the most common way for our audience to bridge the gap. In 2012 we may see better integration for campaigns particularly with Twitters new brand pages.
9. Interfaces for real ‘web tv’
With constant rumors that Apple is working on a real television rather than a box, there may be the need for web designers to think on a bigger scale. No doubt services such as Youtube and iPlayer could offer a more optimised tv app than current incarnations.