In 2012 we have seen many popular websites alter their design and expect to see more of this happening in 2013. Great web design is about using cutting edge technology that not only looks great but is functional as well. There is always a tug and pull between looks and function and more sites are finding new way to provide great content to users.
Photo from – What The Heck Is Responsive Web Design? A scrolldeck.js presentation by John Polacek
It may not be a new concept to techies but responsive web design (RWD) has been adopted as the new norm for a fluid web design. For those who don’t quite understand it, responsive websites respond to their environment. They are adaptive (multiple fixed width layouts) or responsive (multiple fluid grid layouts). Some websites provide a mixed approach with fixed width for large and medium layouts or they may have a fluid width with small screens. This means they show different layouts to match the screen size from large to small. A great example can be the Boston Globe (go ahead check out their site from your laptop, tablet, and phone to compare.) They are one of the largest responsive web design projects to date. Other good examples are Grey Goose or Barrack Obama.
WordPress has nearly all newly released themes optimized for mobile with their download pages stated they are “responsive”. Yes, mobile is the newest destination for web content but be prepared to start seeing larger and larger screens for home, work, and play. Some screens might not even be a screen; they may be projections on your wall that you can interact with via gestures. The soon to be big trend may come with Apple’s expected release of a TV set in 2013.
Don’t forget about the real “mobile” devices the automobiles. More and more vehicles are coming equipped with internet ready computers that can be optimized for voice command browsing and providing maps or other information.
Retina display has been all the rage this year with new devices and web applications. Apple had coined the term for which it boast up to four times the pixels of non-retina display devices. Image heavy websites need to consider what kind of device their site will be viewed upon or they may appear “grainy”.
Designers and developers have stepped up to the plate an provide a variety of solutions. These can include retina.js, along with HTML/CSS and pixel query solutions.
Many sites have provided all kinds of frameworks for web creators. They have varying degrees of popularity but none have been as popular as Twitter Bootstrap over the last two years.
Penguin & Panda updates by Google to their algorithm in 2012 shook up the search engine world. They basically cracked down on black hat tactics that SEO’s have leveraged their sites rankings on for that first result in Google. The changes cracked down on low-quality link building tactics and other ploys for rapid website rank changes and penalized those within the algorithm. Google is protecting the quality of content and providing searchers with the most relevant results. It used to be a guideline that content is king but now it is nearly a law for businesses to survive online.
Businesses now have to work harder in SEO to produce valuable, useful, helpful, and share-worthy content that shows their expertise in a field. Look for companies to provide more in terms of blogging, podcasting, e-book writing, and email marketing.
Continue reading on the next article: The second part of Website Trends in 2013
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