Our Latest Musings...
A lot of people ask, “What’s the latest in web design?”. Web design has changed a lot of the last 10 years in ways we can only be very happy about! Well, mostly. In 2012 we are more focused on designing websites that work well with different devices (iPhone, iPad, Android), rather than the 2002 nightmare of trying to get a simple website to look the same across Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator (remember that!). As web designers, we are more focused on the end user than ever before as technologies are working together better than ever, giving us the tools to not just to design a website, but to create a great experience! Hallelujah.
There are a few key trends that have been kicking around in the past year or so that are now starting to really become mainstream. Rather than re-defining them here, I thought I’d pick out some great articles and blogs that have done a great job of that already. Enjoy!
Web Design Ledger – Key Trends
- Responsive Web Design
- Ribbon Graphics
- Big Vector Art
SocialH – key trends:
- Mobile Compatibility
- No More Flash
- HTML5 / CSS 3
- Big Images, Big Fonts
Webdesigntuts+ – Key trends:
- Responsive Design
- Grid Systems
- Large Typography
There are a few common threads here, the most glaring ones are Responsive Design, Large Images, and Large/Interesting Typography. The wonderful advances in browser technology allowing better support of CSS3 is coming to the fore.
To finish off, I came across this fantastic article published by Smashing Magazine today. Symptoms Of An Epidemic: Web Design Trends is a very funny piece about how web design trends grow and feed off themselves. Great job guys!
At the SMX Sydney Conference recently, mobile marketing expert Cindy Crum presented some awesome statistics and insight into the current state of mobile marketing. I’d like to share a few key takeaways of the session.
Firstly a few stats relevant to our local landscape:
- Nearly half of all Aussie mobile users have internet capable phones.
- 29% of those access the web on a regular basis on those phones.
- Social networking on mobile has doubled in the past year.
- 98% of those is using Facebook, and 20% Twitter.
QR Codes….hear of em?
There was a lot of talk about QR codes. In case you don’t know what they are, QR Codes are funny looking codes that when scanned with a smart phone camera, take you to a web page or launch an app to give you more info. We’ve noticed them starting to pop up in magazines and other print media, and according to Cindy, they’re going to be BIG!
The great thing about QR codes is that they are free to create and can be put on anything…a poster, a t-shirt, a rice chip, whatever takes your fancy. They have great potential for getting that immediate call to action from anywhere right into the mobile phone browser!
Mobile – Social is taking over!
Are you one of the many who is on Facebook before you even get out of bed? You’re certainly not alone. Australians are now spending more time doing social networking on their mobile phones than eating. And a whopping 91% of mobile internet access is to socialise! Women 35-54 are the most active group, so if that’s your target demographic, you know where you should be!
Mobile – Local….just makes sense.
It comes to no surprise to me that the number one access of local information is via mobile devices. I know I’d be totally lost if I was out and about without my iPhone. It means not having to do the tedious research and print outs before leaving the house, making my time more efficient and allowing me to get more things done while I’m out!
Mobile Cloud Computing is here to stay.
With Apple’s announcement last week of its new iCloud service, Mobile Cloud Computing is set to become yet another ubiquitous service that will make us wonder how we did without it. iCloud replaces the MobileMe system that has been a rare failure for Apple, and joins the likes of Amazon CloudDrive, Dropbox, Pocket Cloud, and of course Google Docs.
Google, Bing and Yahoo have just announced the launch of Schema.org, which is a new way for webmasters to provide information about their websites in a clear, structured way that all search engines understand. Similar to the Sitemaps.xml structure which allows all webmasters deliver a single sitemap for all search engines, we will now be able to ‘tag’ data in websites to provide across the board information about the data that is contained.
You’ve probably already seen the results of such markup in Google with the use of rich snippets in search results for recipes (see below), reviews, movies and more.
Supported markup type for rich snippets include:
- Reviews and Ratings
- Shopping and Products
- Books, Movies and Music
A full list of schema is available at http://schema.org/docs/full.html. Schema.org also provides lots of information and examples on how to set up your web pages to include the markup. Google Webmaster Tool also has help and a handy tool to test your markup.
So, let’s get busy with schema markup!
As Google continues to use website loading speed as a signal of website quality for ranking purposes, Google Analytics has added a site speed indicator to reporting. This is a big win for users of Google Analytics. Not only will we be able to see how page loading times are potentially affecting our SEO efforts, but we will also be able to see how it affects the user experience and conversion rates over time.
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Being a web developer, the Internet Explorer 6 website browser has been a thorn in my side many, many times. Its mere existence can suck up valuable time and resources to create fixes and workarounds that will make, what is current standard technology, work for a browser used by a small fraction of website users. Microsoft is now campaigning to get users to STOP Internet Explorer 6. Hip, hip, hooray!
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