Times New Roman font and a cookie cutter web design are out for 2012. Personality and visual aids are in. Changes in technology, keeping a website distinct and knowing how internet users spend their time on the internet are the driving forces behind the web design trends for 2012. To keep a visitor, websites need to both stand out from other sites on the crowded internet and have features that visitors expect of all websites.
Successful bloggers know the key to success is to connect on a personal level with the reader. To get readers to visit a blog day after day, the readers must feel like they know the blogger and feel they have found a kindred spirit. Bloggers make those connections with their prose. Smashing Magazine reports that it’s now time to make those connections with the look and feel of the website as well. The first place to seek inspiration is not from what others are doing, but from yourself and the image you want to create to represent you and your brand.
Not only should your written message have personality, but so should the design and feel of the website. Picture what top travel sites look like, such as Expedia and Travelocity. You probably don’t remember the logo or even the background color. Now visit the up and coming travel website Hipmunk.com and you are sure to remember the cute chipmunk that welcomes you to your travel planning and gives the site a personality that other travel sites lack.
You may build and design your website while sitting at a computer, but your visitors are using any number of mobile devices to view your website. In November 2011, Ericsson, a telecommunications company, predicted that, “Across all devices, internet access will continue to drive mobile traffic development and mobile data traffic is expected to grow by nearly 60 percent per year between 2011 and 2016.” For websites to cater to those mobile and traditional PC visitors, the website design must be easily viewed on any mobile device as well as computers.
To make it easy, most websites use a default font. These default fonts are easy to implement and easy on the eyes for reading. However, they also make your content look like content on every other website. This is starting to change as web masters start to use more stylish fonts that give the content a distinctive look that flows with the rest of the website design. When changing your website’s font, do keep the most important aspect in mind: the ability of the visitor to read the content. Subtle font changes are best with this trend.
You may have already notice this trend, as many websites owners are catering to website visitors’ preference for how information gets delivered and aiming to keep visitors on their site longer. Through 2012, many websites will have videos added alongside content that gives a visual explanation of the topic. This gives visitors the option to read or view the information. With free use of embedded YouTube videos, this is simple addition to a website that keeps up with trends and website visitor expectations.
The look, feel, and functionality of a website can easily date the website. If website visitors feel your site is old and outdated, then the information is also quickly viewed as old and outdated. Implementing just one of these web design trends for 2012 will give your website a fresh look and help keep your website visitors on the site longer.
Smashing Magazine; Redesigning With Personality
Ericsson: Ericsson predicts Mobile Data Traffic to grow 10-fold by 2016