1. Responsive Web Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image source: Trent Walton )

Responsive web design, which has been steadily gathering a following as an emerging trend the past two years is going to continue to remain in the web designers’ lexicon for the foreseeable future.

What is responsive web design?  Essentially it is web design that will adapt to the layout of any device or screen you are using, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, or your computer.

With mobile browsing continuing to skyrocket, the expectations of users is that your website will look good, be easy to view and navigate regardless of which device they are using.  This is accomplished by using CSS Frameworks, Fluid Girds, Media Queries, and Flexible Images to ensure your website is looking good at all times.

 

2. Social Sharing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image source: Lindsey McCormack )

The ability for people to share products, articles, and brands with their friends and followers is as popular as ever.  Integrating social activity into your website is an inexpensive, and effective way to help spread your message or product to others, as well as to increase user interaction and engagement on your site.  It is really a no brainer at this point, so what are you waiting for?

Make sure to incorporate more than Twitter “tweet” and Facebook “like” and “share” buttons on your platform.   Google+, Pinterest, YouTube Channels, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon are just a handful of popular social networks that you can utilize to help create a more social site for your users, and allow them to promote your content to others.

 

3. BIG Buttons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image source: webdesigneraid.com)

Continuing with the theme of mobile browsing and more specifically touch screens, big buttons are a necessity these days.  You do not want to make it difficult for your potential customer to tap the “add to cart” button, or have them struggle to click that tiny text link with their index finger.  Big button are easy to see and touch, and everyone likes easy.

Previously big buttons were a more design-orientated trend, but now they are also becoming a functional requirement for user interface.  One area of possible concern is big buttons slowing the load time of your website pages due to increased graphic sizes, however there are ways to create smaller file size buttons to avoid this.

 

4.Custom Typography

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image  source: theexperential )

The days of having to use the handful of web safe fonts are thankfully over.  Thanks to Google Fonts we are now able to utilize custom fonts in lieu of custom graphics.  What does this all mean?  It means that designers now have an almost unlimited arsenal of typography that they can use to further set your sites’ design apart from others, and improve the look and feel of your site.   Just do not get too carried away, your website still needs to be legible and easy to read.   Our advice is to experiment, and start sparingly when introducing custom fonts throughout your site.

 

5. Scrolling, Scrolling, Scrolling…

 
 
 

 

 

 

(Image  source: Rakhitha Nimesh)

Vertical scrolling as opposed to horizontal scrolling will be much more prevalent in 2013.   Vertical scrolling is the more friendly, and convenient scroll option for mobile device users, which is clearly the future of web browsing.  We also recommend that the menu is coded to scroll along with the users down the page to provide quick and easy access to navigation at all times.

Infinite scrolling is already being utilized by some of the industry leaders such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.  Infinite scrolling just means that as you continue to scroll down a web page the content will continue to appear until it is displayed in its’ entirety.  The benefit is that you are limiting the requirement of the user to click additional pages to view the rest of the content…does anyone like to see “page 1 of 11” these days?