Most business owners and startups tend to ignore web development and design trends while they remain busy focusing on actually running their business. However, your business website plays one of the most important roles between you and your customer, as it creates the first impression and the first interaction point. Good web development, including design and usability, are a necessary part of your larger web marketing and user experience picture.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to be aware of what’s happening around you so that your website and services stay innovative and engaging. Here are a few 2013 trends to keep an eye on.
Responsive Web Design
The explosion of mobile and tablets has left web developers seeking innovative ways to optimize website’s online and mobile performance simultaneously. A website is ‘responsive’ if it looks good at any resolution. This novel and practical approach to web design encourages building websites that are optimized for screens of all sizes – small mobile devices, tablets and large desktop monitors – instead of the traditional method of building two versions of the same website – desktop and a mobile. The cost benefits are huge as developers can focus on developing just one business website that looks sharp, is user-friendly and contains a readable layout irrespective of the device or screen size.
HTML5 and CSS3
These programing languages go hand in hand with mobile and developing professionals to generate logical, responsive and well crafted websites. HTML5 provides multimedia support, canvas, new input types, custom data attributes and in-place, editable content. CSS3 offers font-face – downloadable custom fonts (note: typography!), opacity, RGBA colors for specifying the transparency and fluid transformation for rotating, scaling, etc.
Social Media Integration
2012 was the year of social media integration. 2013 foresees social as more intuitive and part of users’ basic navigation of the web and between websites. The modern consumer is all about sharing purchases, ideas, and even becoming brand evangelists on social platforms, which is why social media can increase customer engagement and brand awareness right on your webpage. For designers and programmers, the challenge will be to be constantly devising and innovating more thoughtful ways of integrating social media into a website’s design, instead of just an afterthought tacked on as an imperative.
“Agile” is so much more than just the latest buzzword – it’s a professional lifestyle. In essence, agile is a lightweight set of principles that will guide you through project management to daily development. It’s a modernized outlook that’s quietly changing the way we work, how we communicate and the way we see business, including web development. Agile can be seen in many of our established business models and project management methods already – from the Lean Startup model to Scrum.
Your website is your first impression when dealing with customer or clients, and typography can help you make that impact. Unique and creative fonts are an effective way to instantly grab the attention of your visitors and keep them around for a high-quality, visually-stimulating experience. Moreover, typography is becoming an integral part of any web design project and in 2013 the use of custom fonts will be an essential creative asset, contributing to the overall identity of a website and branding in conjunction with other elements such as color or artwork.
Remember, you do not need to start incorporating all these 2013 trends at once. By gradually updating your development practice and implementing a few new design features, you’ll keep your website fresh and engaged, and isn’t that the bottom line?
Follow me on Twitter