Web Design Trends to Watch Out For in 2011

During the past year, the Internet has seen plenty of changes that have been made to the way we think about and approach web design. With the advent of mobile internet devices such as smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad, there is a major shift in the way users consume and interact with media on the web.

Moreover, Flash no longer reigns supreme; the introduction of HTML5 and CSS3 by the top browsers has now spurned webmasters to integrate these new standards into their web design, making their sites more dynamic and optimized for specific uses.

For small businesses in particular, keeping up with the fancy web design features of the websites of larger companies and organizations can be a daunting task, especially with the limited resources they have. It’s understood that better design features equate higher cost, so redesigning a website for the sake of being accessible to a wider range of Internet users might not be worth the expense.

Still, there are major trends in web design for 2011 that can be incorporated into the sites of small businesses. Furthermore, these design features hardly cost any money at all.

The use of Flash for example, is not as important as it was a couple of years ago. Web developers are slowly moving over to other solutions for animation, video and navigation. One major reason for this shift is the increase of mobile Internet users, whose mobile devices don’t fully support Flash.

There has also been an increase in websites opting to make their websites more smartphone and iPad friendly. An optimized website is not only easier to use on a mobile device due to its smaller page size, it’s also faster to load over mobile phone data networks.

More and more websites — big and small — are taking the time to make their sites small screen friendly. Having a mobile compatible or mobile optimized website means that not only will your site load faster over cellular data connections but that content will be better formatted for the screens of smaller devices, making it easier to access and understand. A prime example of this is the new Twitter page, which is clearly optimized for the iPad.

These are just a few of the web design trends for 2011 that you should watch out for. In the dynamic world of the Internet, it definitely pays to stay ahead of the competition.

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