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"What's in" in Web Design





ck88
I am in the process of developing a website. During some "research" on the web I have noticed that styles and preferences change a lot. CSS has become a standard and by looking at the latest versions of Amazon, MSN, Flickr, Istockphoto and so on I realized that rounded corners seem to be "out". My question is now: Where are the best resources to find out whats "in" or "out" and what do you think whats "in". One example for a new hype seems to be AJAX.
boringest
also, check out web 2.0, basically users now want a simple website with easy to read pages.

check out 9rules, they have quite alot of websites which are pretty nice.
DoctorBeaver
There has also been alot of hype about Web2.
To a large extent it depends on what kind of site you want. A fun site with games, puzzles, jokes, etc. can have all the whizzbang gimmicks & flashy colours. But for a serious site I would always stick to basic designs that are easy on the eye. What audience are you aiming your site at?
Whatever type you want, make sure the visitor knows in the 1st couple of seconds exactly what it's about. Keep your homepage fairly small & concise. I can't be bothered scrolling down through reams of text or ads just to see if there's something on a site that may interest me; and I'm pretty sure I'm not a lone in that. The content pages can be longer as by going to them the visitor has expressed an interest.
Trends and fads change. If you try to keep up with them all, you've got a full-time job on your hands even if you have only a moderate-sized site. By all means go for a few "eye-catchers"; after all, that's what you want to do. But remember that not everyone has Flash, Js, or popups etc enabled. If you rely too much on gimmicky stuff, it may not show & your site will appear very bland & uninteresting.
Unless you're advertising flashy web gimmicks, your website should be geared towards what your visitors want to see, not just used as a means to show off how clever you are.
A lot of what I've written here was confirmed in an article I read recently on the psychology of web-surfing (I'm a psychologist, by the way).
ck88
Great. Thanks so far. I should have remembered Web 2.0 myself. That happens if you read to much. You forget (ignore) the obvious. I strongly agree with the user group specific design. I halfway already decided not to use client side scripting but CSS, XHTML and PHP/MySQL only. But that is still not fixed. Some AJAX things they do on the istockphoto and Amazon website look great. But at the moment I am really interested whats "in" right now. Something like rounded corners, shadows or not underlining links...
riv
From what I've seen, minimalistic designs are really popular. (Or else most webmasters are really lazy. Laughing )
Marston
riv wrote:
From what I've seen, minimalistic designs are really popular. (Or else most webmasters are really lazy. Laughing )
lol probably a combination of the two Razz
anticitizen1
CSS rules now... ( theres a lot to learn... )

And if you design so simplsitic is great... but if your site is 100% useful.
for example: google.com

my visitor like designs, pictures so i use something old dated.

my suggestion, dont use midis as music backgroudns. its a joke =P
CompactHaven
Web2... Is that a website, style, program??? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Web2++%22website+design%22&btnG=Search
Can't find it. It's all irrelevant.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Web2+&btnG=Search
ck88
Quote:
Web2... Is that a website, style, program???

Try searching for web 2.0 or start looking here
achene
it depends on what site you are looking for. straight corners are great for some bussiness sites. Bussiness sites dont use a lot of graphics either. But if you for instance are looking for a band website straight lines might not be what you are looking for.
GB
I try to always be on the look out for what works and what doesn't in design. I look at websites, advertisements, even things like cups, silverware and dishes. Magazines are another great source for finding out "what's hot." Here are a few good websites to consider as well:

I hope those help. I also want to echo what so many people here have said: Content is King. If you start with quality, well thought out and developed content, you'll be fine. If you start with flashy, whiz-bang, bling-bling elements, your visitors will eventually leave because of the long download times, not finding the information they want, and because they simply lose interest.

Oh, by the way, I'd definitly say that square is in.
ck88
Web pages that suck! Great site. I had heard about it before, but never really looked at it. Awesome. I also found this one that would go nicely with the list GB posted: Zen Garden - the beauty of css design.
GB
ck88 wrote:
Web pages that suck! Great site. I had heard about it before, but never really looked at it. Awesome. I also found this one that would go nicely with the list GB posted: Zen Garden - the beauty of css design.

Yeah, I really like WPTS. Pretty crazy. Like Vincent Flanders (brains behind the site) says, "The thing that gets me is that someone actually said, 'yeah, that's smooth!' about this site."

CSS Zen Garden, yeah, that's a good one too, I just forgot about it when I put together that list. Good catch!
Chris Tiaens
I'm quite surprised that, after 12 posts, nobody mentioned RSS yet. I think it's one of the most important improvements of the past 15 months (yes, I know it exists longer, but few people really used it before the release of MSN Messenger 7).
ck88
Thanks Chris.
You are right. I am in the process of figuring out how to implement a rss/xml feed. But it's not really a design issue. RSS is more functionality. I think that's why we have omitted it so far in this thread.
ck88
AJAX

During the last week I had a good look at AJAX. Most of the websites I looked at look great and offer fast response to user input. HOWEVER (as far as I understand) AJAX is working with client side Java scripting. Is that true. If so than that is really a design variant I can not fully support. One reason is the fact that there are user that disable Javascibt support for security reasons. Another reason is that at least I am trying to build sites that are accessible from all kinds of platforms, including mobile phones and PDA. So I try to do as less work on the client side as possible.

Any thoughts on that would be welcome.
Marston
ck88 wrote:
AJAX

During the last week I had a good look at AJAX. Most of the websites I looked at look great and offer fast response to user input. HOWEVER (as far as I understand) AJAX is working with client side Java scripting. Is that true. If so than that is really a design variant I can not fully support. One reason is the fact that there are user that disable Javascibt support for security reasons. Another reason is that at least I am trying to build sites that are accessible from all kinds of platforms, including mobile phones and PDA. So I try to do as less work on the client side as possible.

Any thoughts on that would be welcome.
If only there were more developers/designers like you... Crying or Very sad
ck88
I am still looking and now pursuing XML to find out whats the hype. I now what's possible with XML and have a basic clue how it works but that's it. If anyone can recommend good resources I would appreciate that. Books, Magazines or web resources. How do I know about it. I code in PHP, XHTML and CSS now and had to find out where the X came from Smile .
littlegiant
DoctorBeaver, do you have a link to that 'psychology of web-surfing' article? I'd be very interested in reading that.
tomahawk19
Two of the big ones that I've heard about recently are AJAX and Ruby on Rails. I just got Ruby installed on my FC4 laptop, and am going to mess around with a bit, but haven't as of yet. I've seen some sites that use it, and it looks really interesting, able to refresh without refreshing an entire page, and I'm sure there are other features that are nice as well, but, again, have yet to discover them. If anyone knows of any good places for tutorials or an online manual that'd be awesome (for either AJAX or Ruby)
ajs089
A nice site to find out the "in" is

http://www.stylegala.com

It lists some of the more accepted and popular styles of some sites. Along with a webdesign showcase, it offers different resources to suit your needs. For example, there are new "css hacks" available.

And to learn how to incorporate different elements used by many professional webdesigners, visit

http://www.alistapart.com

Although the site many be for advanced webdesigners, it still proves to be a vital source of designing knowledge and explanation.
ck88
Thanks ajs 089. I had a look at listapart and found quite a number of offsprings with similar names.
I also found this one.
ck88
Last night I purchased this CSS book by Eric Meyer: More Eric Meyer on CSS, ISBN 0-7357-1425-8. (Borders had one of their 30% off deals)
After reading the intro and some of the tutorials I decided to go back and have a look at the first book: Eric Meyer on CSS. The book is well written, informative and not one of those cheap black and white colored guides for Idiots. The book has some of the same pointers to web resources as this thread including Zen Garden and Listapart.
The book was published in 2004. That makes me think that "Whats In" in web design is not changing as fast as I thought.
sprinqles
ajs089 wrote:
A nice site to find out the "in" is

http://www.stylegala.com

It lists some of the more accepted and popular styles of some sites. Along with a webdesign showcase, it offers different resources to suit your needs. For example, there are new "css hacks" available.

And to learn how to incorporate different elements used by many professional webdesigners, visit

http://www.alistapart.com

Although the site many be for advanced webdesigners, it still proves to be a vital source of designing knowledge and explanation.


Thanks for posting the link about style gala. I'm still browsing it right now and I'm getting alot of good information. I'm currently on the process of building an online shop and knowing what's the trend is right now for the web design industry helps alot. Smile
Tex_Arcana
Another good place to look if you want to learn how certain effect are achieved is to check out the templates available at Open Source Web Design at www.oswd.org/. It's a web site where web designers share their work. There are over a thousand templates there that are XHTML/CSS compliant. It's not all like ugly trash stuff either. Seems quite a few web Designers are posting their work for bragging rights.
ck88
I am still researching and I came across this article yesterday.
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html
It talks about how most user look at your website. It might influence on how you layout your web pages. I did not have the chance to validate their statements in any way though.
ck88
Ka7raK
Minimalist designs sounds very good. Besides, make sure you have all your information very well organized. People are tired of having to look for information in one thousand links.
ivanegues
This forum has been very clarifying in so many aspects. I just wanted to show my appreciation for that.
looksbad
Yes Minimalist designs are very much in at the moment..

Also i think very clean and professional designs are very much always in nice gradients and clean colours that contrast well. Also Old School Sites are in.

So for a good site at the moment go for clean colours that contrast well maybe 2-3 main colours.. a favourite of mine is an Orange colour with a dark grey blackish colour with some white in it works very very well.
rfwrangler
The key is to really understand your target audience this will drive you towards the trends they are looking at. You also need to figure out if this project will be accessed mobily and if so what you will have in place for that audience. Everyone one has their own ideas on what the trends are but the best sites make their own trends. It isn't about what everyone else is doing it is about what you users want.

Think about what they are looki for first and you will have a site they will come back to.
ck88
I am finally taking a class in XML and got some material about AJAX. That said I have to say that information about both topics are most probably wrong in this post, since they are not design but programming languages/tools.
rfwrangler
It is true that the information that you have recieved about AJAX and XML. They are development languages and they are an important part of website design. If you are just looking for trends in that layouts of websites there are a lot of website template sites that will give you a lot of design ideas about how the site is layed out and the popularity of the different design elements.

The important aspect is that you develope the site using CSS and keeping the design elements and the content seperated. This will make it a lot easier when you want to change the look of your site.

www.csszengarden.com is a good resource for different CSS designs.
ck88
I have two new favorites that I enjoy using and take as examples how I think good visual design and functionality are achieved. Both of them are photographic websites. One is flickr. And even better is istockphoto. istockphoto uses a great layout and Ajax for quick response to user requests. I still dislike the use of Javascript but it has to be said that that what is now called Ajax makes me enjoy the page much more.
Part of my latest research is now into Ajax and I will post more links and information on that as I go on.
ck88
It has been half a year since this thread was initiated and I am wondering if there has been a significant change in design mainstream. I noticed that drop shadows and rounded corners seem to go away and most sites now have a centered or full frame dynamic layout. No fancy stuff and clear navigation seems to become the standard.
I have finished my project and "sold" it. So I want to thank everybody for the great inputs that helped a lot. For the sake of others we should still try to keep this thread alive. There has been a nice accumulation of links and resources.
Kyoushu
I used designmeltdown for help and inspiration on making my layout. It's great help.

http://www.designmeltdown.com/
ck88
Quote:
Kyoushu:
I used designmeltdown for help and inspiration on making my layout. It's great help.

Nice site. I had a look at it right away.
{name here}
ck88 wrote:
I am finally taking a class in XML and got some material about AJAX. That said I have to say that information about both topics are most probably wrong in this post, since they are not design but programming languages/tools.

Correction: XML is a markup language, not a programming language(That "ML" in HTML, XML and MathML all stand for markup language, which basically means its meant to define something rather than create machine code that can be natively run by your computer like say BASIC, nor allow you to create flexible dynamic pages like a script(Bourne Shell Scripts, Perl, PHP, Javascript)). It's a common misconception. Even MySpace(not very surprisingly) has created that misconception.

As for AJAX, that's kind of a way to model your documents rather than a language(Asynchronous Javascript and XML).
ck88
I finally finished all my research into web development. At the end I decided that Ajax is nice to look at but hard to create. Luckily the necessity for me to use Ajax is not there yet. And for every project an analysis into the cost effectiveness would be necessary. It takes a lot of work and programming/coding to create an Ajax enabled site.

Is it "in"? Yes and there are enough people pushing it, creating libraries for the ones without to much time on their hands like me.

For a great example take a look at the YouOS project. An OS running in your web browser ( and a great way to evade every College Firewall filtering your IM ports or your MySpace access Twisted Evil ).
Dragonfly-online
What you really want to do is make a simple to navigate site that has some interactivecorners to is, and a clean, shiny, linear format, and web 2.0 look. DEfinaltly all abstract and looking like it is from 1994
ivanegues
Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation Here it is a good reference
Kyoushu wrote:
I used designmeltdown for help and inspiration on making my layout. It's great help.

http://www.designmeltdown.com/

nice page Kyoushu.

Check this one (relationship color / pictures)

http://color.slightlyblue.com/

(i know it is not estrictly related, dont mention it)
ck88
Orange is the new black.
Thanks for the last two posts. I checked them out and got sucked into color management.
ck88
After some long months and a stressful move I am back online and save at home in Germany.
The web 2.0 hype is still picking up speed. I still dislike the client side scripting... but there seems to be no other way to achieve the interactivity without to much load on the "lines" of the web.
And VIDEO is becoming a must for a website. That is definitely "in".

So come on people. Post the latest "ins" and "outs" of the web.
One "in" I discovered is the increase in miniature FONTSIZES. I seems to me that even some BB sites, newsgroups and Wikis are trying to "shrink" their texts.
Or I am just getting old and need some glasses.
jylan
I have just been browsing this topic and found that it was a very good resource for people wanting to learn about accessable and standards-compliant websites.

Another good way to determine trends is to browse the blogs of such people as Jeffery Zeldman, and when your'e on his site check out his list of blogs as most are very good.
friuser
minimalist design is the best. Some of the greatest appear complicated but aren't. Here is an excellent site where you should take a look which is done with just css and html. http://www.csszengarden.com/
Azmo
be original and think outside the box.. and don't use boxes at all.. I hate checking out a website that's full of boxes.. a good site is www.giftig.se I know u might not understand a word of it, since it's in swedish.. but that's outside the box thinking.. (hrm, I made it for a client as his personal portfolio, just kept my first version of it as my own portfolio since I liked it and had nothing better to put up)
ck88
Haven't been here for a while. Looks like nothing has changed much in web design during the last two years. I am still waiting for the new CSS version.
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