Friday, November 11, 2011

Recent Web Design Trends

I am in the middle of a website redesign, in case we haven't yet met. So I spend a lot of my time researching new technologies, trying to spot design trends, identifying things I think might work on our new site. Here are a couple of cool new things I'm seeing out there. It's not all earth-shatteringly "wowsers" and it isn't necessarily something I will want to / SHOULD want to use on my firm's website. Still, I think it's cool. For one reason or another.(Interesting to note that Nike represents in almost all categories.)

Striking Backgrounds & Imagery

Say goodbye to boring grey/blue...
J Lo's Official Website
Baker Donelson
Nike Skateboarding 

Parallax Effect

Scroll to zoom you through website images, with popups coming at you from all directions. I think it is still too early to tell if this is a design trend that will catch on for professional service firms, but I can see it being very cool for retail, tourism, and social networking apps.

360 Langstrasse Zurich lets you stroll by scrolling (a web documentary about an urban district in Switzerland)
Nike's Better World vertical scroll effects
Thinkforaliving horizontal scroll effects

Animations and 3D Views

Fun depth perception and overlap effects.

Jumpman23 History of Flight
ctrl+N Graphic Design

Responsive Design

Ethan Marcotte's book
I am slap-happy about responsive design. What's not to love about a website that readjusts itself to present a UI that works on the device the user is accessing it from? (Pardon the prepositional atrocities in that last sentence.)

I point to the following sites for anyone new to the concept of responsive design, but am sure there are loads of other great examples:

The Boston Globe
Social Marketers Summit
Think Vitamin

And a site layout that I find...well, not so swell.

While I like the simple "Ogilvy" b&w flash opener, I am stunned by the noise of their home page. My eyes get all crazygonuts, and I can't close the tab fast enough. And, if I am able to focus long enough to click on the bottom banner reading "1203 more items," I am then treated to another page of line after line of plain text. At least this time it is all one color. I don't pretend to understand the thinking behind this treatment.

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