2012 looks to be an interesting year. For now, forget GoDaddy’s support for SOPA; we finally won the SOPA, PIPA war against governments who did their best to censor the internet, to deny citizens basic rights or prop up ailing media companies.
The web design and development industry, though still a young one, has shown incredible growth over the past couple of years – mobile has grown exponentially from the desktop, open information, innovative methods of designing and presenting information and content, getting out of the conventional web 2.0 model and creating ground breaking web apps. With the industry growing so fast, it’s tough to predict what the future holds but we can definitely make predictions for the industry over the coming year.
1. Flash was never threatened and it is not dead.
Like it or not, Flash remains to be the best tool for interactive videos, animation and 3D online. There’s no other reason why some of the best sites in the world that demonstrate user experience and user interactivity in the truest sense are made using Flash.
Most web designers and developers sometimes lose sight of what works and what is demanded by a larger audience due to preferring what’s considered ‘cool’ in their bubble.
There’s no doubt that despite larger corporations and industries trying to test and experiement with HTML5 and CSS3, still opt for Flash as it is indeed the predominant tool of choice to create stunning and engaging experiences. Choosing HTML5 over Flash because of hype will not be the right thing to do for many brands, and industries; stepping back and sticking to Flash would be.
Recently, renowned digital agency, B-Reel, along with Google launched a super music portal using the Chrome Web Audio API and HTML5. It shows the potential power of HTML5 and the possibilities of how it can be used to change the course of web designing in 2012, regardless, the existence of Flash is not threatened.
2. Responsive, Responsive and Responsive.
We have almost stopped considering 800×600 px resolution screen size for web viewing, right? We have and for the good. Most of the fixed width sites are made in 960px width framework and are targeted for displays equal to more than 1024px, but for how long? We, as web designers, cannot control our viewers. We have absolutely no control over the browsers they will be using to see our website, the display size they will be viewing it on, the internet connection, device, operating system and so on. RWD is the answer.
It all started with an article on AListApart written by Ethan Marcotte and took the web design industry by storm in 2011. Right after Ethan introduced the fundamental principle behind RWD, Boston Weekly changed their website to responsive, with flexible grids, media queries targeting a wide range of view ports, almost covering all mobile sizes and desktop screen sizes.
The website is not supposed to and cannot look exactly the same on every browser and device. The browsing pattern of a particular user changes when he browses on a desktop to when he uses an iPad to when he uses his smartphone. RWD allows Web designers to be able to shrink a website in size and prioritize information based on the device user and display it accordingly.
While it’s not necessary that in the future we will be witnessing all sites to go responsive, but with a good chunk of web users migrating to mobile for seeking information, it’s quite possible that Responsive Web Design continues to be one of the most talked about trends in the web design industry to look out for.
3. Big, Bigger Mobile.
This is a no-brainer prediction – mobile usage is continuously growing, the traffic reports to mobile apps and sites are astonishing and will continue to grow with more sales of smartphones and mobile devices.
Knowing that, it is very important for professionals in the Web design and development industry to start embracing mobile technologies and be ready when it becomes gigantic.
We know that the future of the web is going to be incredible. Designing the web keeping emotions in mind will connect us through it and make us more human. The web industry will continue to provide us with richer experience with designers and developers working on design and functional structures respectively. The creators of the web will continue to surprise us.