This article is the second in our two part series on 2011 web design trends.
6) Creativity will trump trendiness
When it comes to building new websites, the client/designer workflow often follows this pattern: The client calls, saying he wants an amazing new website that stands out from the competition. He cites a few examples of industry competitors he wishes to emulate. The web designer takes these suggestions into consideration, does some additional research, and develops a site proposal filled with "cutting-edge" ideas and technologies culled from other websites. That’s all fine and well, but what often gets left out is actual creativity – the very thing the client was looking for in the first place! And what is actual creativity, you might ask? In truth, it’s tough to define since it doesn’t follow a pre-established pattern. Nevertheless, we know it when we see it: an original illustration in place of clip art, a unique page layout that facilitates usability, web copy that doesn’t read like it was produced by marketing robots. In 2011, as the internet becomes saturated with ever more trendy websites, expect originality to make a comeback.
7) Simplicity will have its day
The internet is cluttered. Websites are becoming increasingly complex. That’s why simple, streamlined sites are such a welcome addition to the world wide web. In the past few years, a new crop of websites have emerged, foregoing window dressing and multi-layered functionality in favor of clutter-free design and dedication to a single idea. We believe this trend will continue and simplicity will be all the rage in 2011.
8) Interactive headers will attain 2.0 level status
What’s the first thing most visitors see on your website? You guessed it, the lead image on your homepage. And unless you want that to be the only thing they see, you best make it memorable. Until recently, that meant making an animated .swf in Flash. But today, web designers can work much of the same magic using standards-compliant, search-engine friendly technologies such as jQuery, HTML5 & CSS3. Homepage images, along with nav bars, company logos and other top-of-page elements will never be the same again.
9) Website footers will demand equal rights
Copyright symbol. Company name. A few links and some contact information… the website footer of old was often overlooked an almost always misunderstood. But today’s website footer represents a new breed entirely, packed with SEO-rich links, keywords, news and live feeds. We believe that 2011 will be the year the formerly marginalized website footer comes into its own.
10) "They" will find you. And then they will sell you stuff
You have been profiled. By Google, Facebook, and dozens of other websites. Your search queries have been logged, your personality quantified, and your future purchases predicted. If that weren’t enough, the fusion of social networking, geo-targeting, and smart technologies promises to give you exactly what you want, wherever and whenever you want it. This isn’t George Orwell or Phillip K. Dick. This is your very near future – a future in which sales and marketing finally overcome the impediments posed by space and time. It won’t happen overnight, but we think 2011 will be the year the masses take notice.