Design changes with the times is always common practice and this year is no different. Remember a time when bevelled edges on graphics were common place, now you look at a site that uses those principles and you will be disgusted with the look.
The biggest change that comes this year is the move towards tablets and high resolution displays. These devices are gaining in popularity drastically and by the end of the year will overtake as the primary device for browsing the web.
The big trend this year is to design with chunky buttons and a lack of corners. It seems many are jumping on the bandwagon of the whole windows tile system as seen in Windows 8. This type of design does have legs but it’s not something that should be used every time. Each site should be analysed in depth to determine its target audience and consider aspect such as SEO and content volume before even starting the design stage.
The unfortunate thing is that most designers do not realise that not everybody has high end displays and as a result they will alienate that user-base. It's easy to design big when as a designer you had a high end display yourself, but think before doing anything.
Testing on different platforms
The best thing you can do nowadays is to test your design on various different platforms. In this modern age that includes PC's, Tablets and mobile phones. Don't just stop there, you need to also consider the resolution of the devices as well as the individual browser. This can be a nightmare for any web designer as this all accounts to time and therefore cost.
We keep saying it but while compatibility is paramount, resolution is just as important for usability. Remember you're not designing for yourself with large displays, you're designing for your market.
Be mindful that things do change too and keep an eye on adapting trends. You'll need to analyse your current trend that you're designing to as well. Have you jumped on the bandwagon too late? Then consider that you may be redesigning in a shorter timeframe than normal.
As we all know design is subjective. After all, we all have different cars in different colours and everyone has varied tastes. With this in mind it’s a great idea to test your design and get feedback. You will never please everybody but at least you can gain a good understanding of how you can improve and find any glaringly obvious design flaws.
Where do we go from here?
The biggest issue most people face is continually adapting and changing. Web design never really suffered from the concept of things being in fashion, but now after two decades things are starting to come around again. While we will probably never see the craze of bevelled edges come back, certain ideas and methods will. Just take a look at the print industry, that does go around in circles but it is something new for web design.
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