Web Design Trends for 2011

With 2010 coming to a close, what will 2011 hold for online media & design? There are a few trends that have been gaining headway this year but haven’t yet caught on completely yet. Keep your eyes peeled for the following trends to increase in popularity or become more of a factor in the web world this next year:

Mobile Sites

Many online retailers have mobile sites in their radar. But only a few of the larger online retailers have put money or time into improving and/or launching their mobile presence. Sears, for example has had a mobile director since 2009. Some retailers do recognize their is a demand for this type of shopping as the number of users on mobile devices grows.

70% of firms will increase their mobile budget in 2011, with one in four companies doubling or tripling their mobile budget, the study finds. -Forrester analyst, Thomas Husson “How Mature Is Your Mobile Strategy?

With the smart phone market skyrocketing this year, more and more consumers will turn to their mobile devices to make purchases and do their shopping. But, they’re only going to do this if it’s easier or as easy and convenient as shopping on their computers. Usability and mobile design is going to play a big part in the success of these websites. I’ve done some research into a variety of different mobile shopping apps from Target, Zappos, & Amazon to Old Navy and Macy’s.

I’ve noticed some of the struggles & triumphs, which can be read in my upcoming article on Onextrapixel.com. Some of the important takeaways for usability are improving call to action (buttons & link) placement & size, allowing users to checkout as a guest, rather than forcing them to sign-up for an account first and finally allow users to see multiple images and views of the products, just like they would on the original website. The amount of sales done via mobile devices is continuing to increase for many retailers. Even those without an official mobile site are seeing some sales from these devices. 1-800-Flowers launched their mobile store in 2008.

1-800-Flowers is going to take mobile seriously when for the first quarter of its fiscal 2011 ended Sept. 26, m-commerce sales topped $1 million, a 9,900% increase over Q1 2010 sales. And eBay did $600 million in mobile sales last year and is on track for $1.5 billion this year.” – Katie Deatsch from Internet Retailer’s article Mobile is Moving on up

1-800 Flowers Mobile App

It’s only a matter of time before you start seeing a percentage of your revenue shifting to mobile sales. Don’t be left behind!

Web Fonts

Web fonts, TypeKit, Web Type, what’s it all about? Web design has been limited by browser capabilities and font limitations since the beginning of the internet. To integrate unique fonts that aren’t available on every computer that is looking at your website, designers have to make these instances images. This isn’t good for site load times and it creates roadblocks when it comes to search engines reading the content that appears as an image.

So, designers are limited to web-safe fonts. To name the most commonly used: Arial, Georiga, Times, and Verdana. Web typography is beginning to all look the same. More and more websites are leaning towards web font services like TypeKit & Web Type, that offer hosted fonts at a yearly price. These font selections are then integrated in the site’s CSS allowing the type to be searchable & viewed as it was intended by all users.

TypeKit - Web Fonts

Webtype - Web Fonts

CSS3

There very well could be a light at the end of a long and dark tunnel. Internet Explorer 9.0 Beta is now available and is supporting many CSS3 properties currently not being supported. Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google’s Chrome and Opera are now all supporting the new CSS3 properties available to web designers and developers.

So what exactly is CSS3? For those of you who aren’t web geeks, CSS3 offers effects such as rounded corners, multiple background images, opacity settings, text shadowing & more in just a short bit of CSS coding, where as in the past these effects had to be done using more heavy solutions, such as multiple images and/or multiple lines of Javascript code. CSS3 offers a simple solutinos for many properties that will help improve load times, usability, accessibility, decrease code size & improve the overall user experience on the web.

Business Blogging

Many businesses are turning to blogging to increase their web presence, improve their search rankings and to connect on a different level with customers. Blogging allows you to bring fresh content to your website as much as you see fit. It’s another way to allow for customer feedback on new products & services too!

Blogging continues to be important for businesses heading into 2011. Blogging increases website traffic, increases sales leads, and improves customer relations. Leading companies on the Web create content. Blogging in some way needs to be part of your strategic discussion for 2011.” – Dayne Shuda of Ghost Blog Writers

It does take some patience and writing skills to properly publish a blog article that will be successful for your business. Many companies are hiring additional internal resources to address this marketing channel or they are reaching to contractors for help writing blogs. It’s important to find someone with a general knowledge base of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to write for your company. Blogging is a great way to target specific keywords that might be relevant to your business. It takes time to build up traffic on any blog, but you can do so by increasing the number of posts you are releasing per week. Keep in mind the content in the posts should be relevant and of a high-quality to perform well from a SEO perspective.

What trends to you believe will be hot this year?

Sarah Shuda

Sarah Shuda

Designer. Mom. Wife. Loves Gilmore Girls, healthy living and a good cup of coffee.

Need a hand with your website?