Are you a coach or consultant thinking about a new site for 2011? Then here are 11 web design trends that you’ll want to take a look at.
We saw some major changes in web design starting in 2009 that have continued in 2010. Many of those changes will remain in the coming year.
New software technology is actually leading the way for the biggest changes, not new designs. Let’s take a look at 11 of the most prominent web design trends for 2011.
Web Design Trend #1 – Use of HTML5 and CSS3
In everyday language, this means that sites are going to load and run faster.
HTML5 is the most recent revision of the programing code used to build websites. CSS3 is the most recent version for stylesheets. These new versions allow coding that will replace Flash, custom graphics, and other third-party plugins. I’m already using HTML5 for video playback instead of Flash on my sites.
The only thing holding back widespread use of the new coding has been the Internet browsers. The older versions haven’t been able to correctly read and display the coding. That will change in 2011. Expect to see more browser upgrades.
Web Design Trend #2 – Rich Typography
Until recently, if you wanted beautiful, fancy, or large fonts on your site, you had to have custom made graphics created for each and every one. Normal type looks pixelated on websites when you enlarge them.
Now with the use of Cufon fonts, you can easily add rich and more versatile typography to your site – all without the need for custom graphics. I started using Cufon fonts on my sites in 2010, and they look really nice.
Web Design Trend #3 – Magazine Layouts
This refers to the layout you find inside a magazine, not the magazine cover. Old fashioned column layouts are being replaced with magazine layouts.
This includes web pages with easy navigation, interesting articles, large, beautiful pictures, quotations, and lots of subheadlines. You’ll also see less text on these web pages and more succint messages. You want to give your message in just a few clear words.
Web Design Trend #4 – Use White Space
This is a big design change that started around 2009. We often refer to it as the Web 2.0 look – clean and uncluttered. It’s also a lot easier on the eyes.
Instead of filling every space available with banners and text, sites now focus on the main message. This also happens to be a great online marketing technique. Make your message easy for people to read.
Web Design Trend #5 – Social Media Icons
Social media icons, like Twitter, Facebook, and Digg, will continue in popularity. And don’t be surprised if a new icon starts showing up everywhere. The social media landscape is still growing rapidly.
Web Design Trend #6 – Artistic Graphics
Custom, artistic graphics, especially hand drawn illustrations, will continue in popularity. In years past, sites that had large artistic graphics took too long to load. So websites used tiles to repeat the background. Now with most people having access to fast Internet, web designers are showcasing their beautiful backgrounds.
Web Design Trend #7 – Mobile Sites
Smartphones, like the iphone, are making mobile sites much more popular. But the iPad, released in 2010, is going to greatly expand the growth of mobile sites.
If your market reads your site on mobile devices, you’ll want to be sure that your site is displayed correctly on these devices. Remember that iPhones and iPads cannot play Flash graphics or videos.
Web Design Trend #8 – Interactive Designs
The trend to reach out to your website visitors continues in 2011. The days of static web pages are over.
We’ll see more sites that continually update their web page content, especially on their landing page or home page. You’ll also see more sites using video, audio, quizes, and surveys. WordPress makes it very easy to incorporate these into your site.
Web Design Trend #9 – Changes to Headers and Footers
Another trend that will continue into 2011 is larger headers that make an impression and footers with more personal information.
It used to be that footers were just an afterthought with address and copyright information. Now, look for footers with social media links, contact forms, personal profiles, and latest news. It’s also a great place to incorporate SEO strategies.
Web Design Trend #10 – Lighter Colors
Lighter colors are in. Strong colors are out. For most businesses, white, beige, tan, and grey will be the dominant colors. Text will be dark grey on a white background. Accent colors will be brought in through the use of large and vibrant images or graphics.
There are still some markets that will want to use a dark or black background. Just keep in mind that strong colors hurt the eyes and keep people from staying on your site longer. And if you use a dark background, make sure you get a strong contrast with the font color.
Web Design Trend #11 – Impressive Images
Because most people surf the web on Broadband, website images have become larger and much more appealting. Expect to see sites with large, vibrant photos, transparent PNG images, overlapping images, and opaque tables.
I don’t see any major changes in web design trends for 2011. Instead, I see further implementation and expansion of what has been happening in 2010.
In the coming year, it will become more apparent which sites were designed pre-2009 and which were designed afterwards. Don’t let your coaching practice suffer because of an outdated website.
Remember your website is your sales representative. It’s out there representing you and your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Make sure it’s presenting you in a way that attracts high-paying clients.