Web Design Trends in 2011

As we start another year the speculation on what the hottest trends in web design are going to be becomes the focus of the online design community.
Here are the top 5 heavy hitters which are going to make a real impact.

1. Growth of animated sites using HTML5 and CSS3

Needless to say HTML5 and CSS3 will dominate the web in 2011 with designers using both technologies to create new user experiences previously only available when using Flash.
Several sites started the new year in style striving to be the first to show off these new technologies:
Nike World uses and interesting technique to move objects as the user scrolls.
Ben the bodyguard shows an animated character walking the streets as the user scrolls

2. Mobile Web becomes mainstream

Last year saw mobile emerge as a real viable platform to design for with Apple’s iPad leading the way with a gorgeous 9.7″ touchscreen.
Nike Labs iPhone optimised site is a perfect example of simplified design for a better mobile experience
Now at the start of 2011 it is crucial that mobile devices are considered when designing any site which needs to reach a wide audience. It’s important to note that using frameworks such as jQTouch or Sencha touch will be extremely useful when developing for mobile.

3. Augmented Reality usage grows

In 2010 Augmented Reality came out of its shell and designers began to explore blurring the boundaries between the digital world and the real world. So far as a technology it has been mostly used in the promotion of products or as a marketing tool.
Adidas Neighborhood uses augmented reality to help the customer engage with the product they just bought.
However it is important to note that if web design really is to progress we will need a way of engaging people more and making the web seem less like a sterile environment and more like the world around us.
Augmented reality is one possible solution, although still far from perfect it will be interesting to see how it is used on the web in 2011.

4. Touching not clicking

How we interact with the web will continue to change and touch screen devices will become more mainstream. The way the web is currently designed and built still works on touch screens but it is far from ideal in most cases.

The web will need to be dramatically simpler, more usable and functional. Therefore how we design websites needs to change to accommodate touch screens and fully use their potential.

5. Using daring colours and typography
to stand out from the crowd

In an online world which is already extremely saturated with endless amounts of information it is essential that you stand out! This year making an impact using colour and bold type is essential.
See the latest Diesel campaign for a perfect example of this mantra:

2011 promises to be an interesting year when it comes to web design trends, no doubt there may be a few surprises in store for us in the next few months that we weren’t expecting. What do you think are going to be the upcoming trends this year?

Further Reading:

State of Web Design Trends 2011
Web Trends 2011

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