Web design has come a long way since Tim Berner-Lee's original browser for CERN in 1993 (yes only 1993!) and every year heralds new trends in design and user interface. Creative developments are often reliant on and driven by technical advances, however in reality the palette is endless and the only limit is imagination.
A quick aggregate of the web design blogs predict a continued focus on simplicity. Less is often more of course, and the really cool sites are de-cluttering. We'll see a lot of large custom fonts, facilitated by Googles Web Fonts Directory which now allows designers to use non-system native fonts. These are going to make web pages a lot more interesting whilst adhering to SEO friendly standards.
The explosion in mobile devices will also drive design trends...and it's So Long, Thanks For All The Flash....software giant Adobe abandoned flash development for mobile devices in 2011. More good news for SEO then, as Flash content cannot be read by Google and this will encourage a lot of business owners to consider a redraw. I wonder if we will see a resurgence in the use of the humble animated gif?
The over-riding focus in 2012 will be on the user experience. The user journey must be clearly sign-posted and effortless to navigate. To borrow another creative aphorism, form follows function. We start with the 'wire-frame' first on our websites. We get the flow and functionality right, and then we work on the design. Don't forget that seven-second rule.. MOH