Web Design Services

There is a fine line between good design and development. Five years ago it was enough to draw beautiful mock ups in Photoshop.

Currently, the average Internet user requires more. All beauty, with no substance, gets boring after a while. 2011 is not about beauty, it’s about function. The trends for this year and decade to come are responsive web service design, constant connection and virtual reality.

The goal of a designer is not to dazzle but to entangle. Create an environment which charms and captivates the user where he does not want to find the ‘Back’ button. Several elements come together: harmonious color scheme, intuitive design, easily accessible information and fast response. Additionally, one can never under-estimate the power of simplicity. Your business Web design must contend with smart phones, Netbooks, Tablets and the like.

Top 10 Web Design Trends 2011
1. More CSS3 + HTML5

Designers are finally starting to let go of Flash based designs. However you may feel about Flash, it does not do well with some of the hot, new technology available to your current and potential visitors. In 2011, you will slowly step away from Flash and embrace HTML5.  Flash has been heavily misused in the past.  You don’t have to eliminate 100% of it but its presence should be minimal and controlled.

2. Simple Color Schemes

Simplicity can be interpreted several different ways. Forget black and white or shades of gray. Think of green, yellow or even red as your primary color. However, limit your palette to two or three colors. Work within the shades of each color for variety. It can be truly remarkable what a few colors can do for your message.

3. Mobile Ready

Smartphones, iPads, Netbooks…  There’s a large amount of mobile products available to the consumer in 2011. This means your Web design must be responsive to multiple view ports.  It may be tempting to just create a dedicated mobile site, but that may no longer satisfy your audience. Increasingly, mobile sites include the option to visit the original Web version.

If you do not offer this option or if your original Website is not optimized to mobile standards, you are simply not ready for 2011. Forecasters predict that smartphones will outsell personal computers this year.

4. Parallax Scrolling

Parallax scrolling: not just for old school video games. As aforementioned, the hot Web design trend for 2011 is creating a sense of depth. What better way to create that than with parallax scrolling? The parallax effect uses layers to present the illusion of a three dimensional space. Parallax scrolling can be most effective as a secondary element on your design, for example, as a header, footer, or background. Making it an integral part of your navigation may prove frustrating for your site visitor.

5. Designing for Touch Screens, Not Mice

Instead of navigating your mouse to remotely connect, your destination is literally at your fingertips. Tablets, most smartphones and some desktops use touchscreens. Does your design accommodate fingertip navigation? How much of your design is mouse-oriented? There’s no hovering in touchscreen. How will your design indicate links to your visitors? What about drop-down menus? That’s also a no-go in touchscreen design.

Similarly, how will visitors peruse your site? As controversial as it may be for standard Web browsing, horizontal scrolling may be more appropriate for touchscreens. Fitting nicely into this niche is a magazine-like layout where visitors virtually flip through your site.

Lastly, consider using liquid layouts as part of your commitment toward responsive design. In 2011, you are no longer dealing with screen resolution size. Visitors can change their viewing orientation from vertical to horizontal. Your design must be flexible to meet any challenge, or you will be a relic of 2010.

6. Depth Perception in Web Design

Depth perception is about creating dimension in your Web design, so that parts of your site look nearer than others. It conjures a faux 3D effect when done masterfully. Although 3D technology has not yet made it to Web design, you can still replicate depth in your design.

7. Large Photographic Backgrounds

Large scale backdrops will surge in 2011. These images will be high resolution, and covering the entire site. Large photos are an instant way to grab your audience– they cannot help but to see it and have an opinion about it. The background photo must be content-appropriate. Simply having a pretty image in the background without any context will disrupt your user’s experience. Trends point to soft and slightly transparent imagery that does not over shadow your content, but harmonizes with it.

8. Adventurous Domain Names & Integration

Although not in the strictest sense a Web design issue, look forward to seeing more creative domain names. The once-coveted .com domain has lost a lot of its appeal– primarily because you have to think up words in Na’Vi in order to find a domain that has not been thought up yet. 2011 will see a more wide-spread venture away from .com and into more whimsical domains like .me or .us. Think of the possibilities and scoop it up before it’s gone.

9. QR: Quick Response

If you have noticed those square barcodes popping on business cards, magazines or elsewhere, you may already know that they are a hot trend for 2011. The barcodes are called QR, short for “Quick Response”. Simply take a photo of the unique barcode with your camera phone. Like magic, your phone will call up the Website associated with said barcode. The beautiful thing about QR is that you can use it in a myriad of ways. Feature your QR on your Website, in order for site visitors to have a shortcut to your mobile site. You can also track your visitors through QR, by placing a special referral code on your URL.

10. Thumbnail Design

The ever-enterprising folks at Google have introduced the average user to thumbnail browsing. Gone are the days of clicking through to see the content of a Website. These days, you just click on the magnifying glass and hover (assuming you’re not on a touchscreen). Magically before you is a glimpse of what waits on the other side of your click.

If your design is Flash-based, that is definitely going to be a problem. The preview will not display those elements of your design.

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