Web design trends for 2012 that will set you apart from the competition

Great design and user friendliness are important to the success of your website. If you’re ready to give your website a fresh new look, these technologies will give your site an innovative look, keep more people on your site longer, and integrate seamlessly with your marketing. All important features for your website.

Bold, minimal, fluid layouts

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With the popularity of Pinterest more sites are using similar modular, fluid layouts, especially with visual media. One of the reasons for Pinterest’s popularity is the layout of site. The content is clearly organized  making it easy to navigate and quickly view content. A good choice for visual fields like photography and design.

Last January I worked with 3 girls photography to create a blog with this same type of design. The layout showcases their fashion focused images and videos, while the fluid grid layout makes browsing easy for visitors. The way images and videos are presented to visitors is what makes this type of layout ideal. The site has a responsive design, which means the layout  automatically adjusts according to browser type. Both images and video display beautifully on mobile devices.

Lady Gaga recently launched Little Monsters, a Pinterest like social site. You can expect to see a lot more websites using this style layout in 2012.

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Responsive Design
With iPhones, Androids, tablets, iPads, smart phones – visitors to your site are using a variety of browsers and devices. It’s expected in the next few years that the majority of users will be on some type of mobile device. People expect to be able to browse on their mobile device just like they do a desktop.

Responsive designs use fluid grids, like in the example above. Rather than a fixed layout, the site is “liquid”  and all elements will adjust and display according to the browser it’s being viewed on. If you visit the 3 girls site above, you can see how that works even from your desktop browser by dragging and re-sizing the browser to see how the elements adjust.

This type of design will become the standard this year in mobile viewing.  Below is a screenshot from the 3 girls blog on an iPhone.

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Typography

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With fonts becoming more web friendly, typography is becoming an important part of web design. Being able to use custom fonts is a great way to give your site a unique look and style. TypeKit and Google web fonts make it cost effective and easy to incorporate into a WordPress site.

Social Media

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Social Media integration is no longer an after-thought, it is a key feature that is a must for every site. Social Sharing helps Seo and social sites also drive traffic to websites.

Rich Colors, textures and graphics

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Websites are starting to mimic print design with textures and graphics. Ribbons, banners, backgrounds are easy to incorporate into your design. Graphic River has a number of different graphics and web elements for designing a site.

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