looking at design trends

over a cup of coffee

Trends in web design come and go in waves, and right now the “flat design” trend is ebbing out. What comes next is anybody's guess. All I know is that it must cover mobile devices.

Can not quite remember what the last trends before “flat” were – have not paid enough attention to trends over the years. That can easily be remedied with a quick surf around the web though.

Looks like promoters of one design appearance and/or method over all others, are on retreat. Too many new options arrive monthly to set fixed goals for, me thinks.

This is good, as there are advantages and disadvantages with all design‐options, and all can and should be explored.

visual design…

I casually throw all visual design variants into three basic design categories, with main characteristics.

  1. Rich design: all 2D/3D options.
  2. Flat design: simplified 2D w/ saturated colors.
  3. Vanilla design: black on white.

There are few absolute barriers between categories. In one way or another all web designs cover the entire range.

I think “vanilla” with a touch of “rich”, suits me best these days. “Flat design” is too retro for my taste.

screen sizes…

I also sort screen size design‐methods into only three categories, with main characteristics as follow.

  1. Rigid: window must adjust to page.
  2. Adaptive: sized to a number of screen sizes.
  3. Responsive: fluid with breakpoints – fits all windows/​screens.

The range of screen sizes and resolutions is larger than ever, and is rapidly growing. Ignoring any part of that range is really not an option today.

My old “conditional elastic™” variants fall nicely into the “responsive” category. They work even better with the improved CSS standards and growing browser support in later years.

what else is recycled?

HTML5 provides many new toys, or tools, that cover design options that required plug‐ins in previous years. Thus, design options are growing, and old design ideas can be thrown back into the “rich” mix along with new ones.

The old “less is more” memo should be recycled too, as good web design is mainly about achieving the right balance.

Over the years I have picked up design ideas from just about everywhere, and turned a few into something that suits me. Design trends as such haven't influenced me all that much though, and I don't think that will change radically in the future.

I am not a renown web designer, only a regular web developer who knows what he likes to see on screens – his own and those of others, and who knows how to make it happen. That is really all I want to be in web design.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 13.nov.2013
last rev: 16.apr.2014

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