Fixed / Locked Page Navigation
Another popular technique (often combined with parallax) is vertical scrolling of menus and buttons, where navigation or functional elements stay locked in their positions on your screen as you are scrolling the page with mouse, pen or finger.
Keeping your navigation on the page with you as you scroll, gives the visitor navigation support on-screen. Some visitors are comfortable with this, some are not. It can encroach on the page and obscure some elements, break your train of thought. But with a little design thought, care and process to encompass the navigation the effect can be seamless and usable.
This will continue – large corporate website that are already weighed down with directional and sales information websites will probably keep off unnecessary chaff or direct it to lower levels of a website – a good search facility will hopefully still cover the direct request approach. A simplicity focusing on the main messages and removing all the noise, almost the anti-view of Skeuomorphism.
Custom fonts have come of age already. In 2013 you can expect to see more websites using creative and unique fonts. Using company brand fonts to create a brand consistency which follows all other company offline marketing is now becoming more prevalent and easier to administer on a website. with the following tool options….
Applications / Converters:
Font Face – Font Squirrel – http://www.fontsquirrel.com/
Google Web Fonts – http://www.google.com/webfonts
Typekit – https://typekit.com/
Fontex – http://www.fontex.org/
Typeface.js – http://typeface.neocracy.org/fonts.html
A brief opinion on the other hand
“If content is king, readability is queen (with find-ability the crown prince), and phont phunnies can inhibit content consumption. “ – Chuck Martin
The end of Flash as a web animator?
Don’t get me wrong flash is useful and fun for certain applications and presently creates some good games online (http://www.kongregate.com/). And it successfully powering parts of YouTube, the question is how long for?
Imagery and Illustration
Full Page Backgrounds
Large Backgrounds will continue, despite the concerns of page load time. Better advancing and higher quality technologies in HD photo will help enlarge backgrounds with sharp imagery. The speed will be helped by the general improvement and upgrade of broadband in the UK and ongoing innovation round the world. Expect to see more and bigger images in innovatively produced galleries. Bigger and better may be a way to get closer to products and help sell online – seeing the tones and textures more closely makes everything more tangible – like the increased detail in HD TVs. You cannot touch or smell yet, but it’s getting closer.
Custom Photography & Illustrations
Individual professional photography and special illustrations, graphs charts and descriptive visual media will continue and may become more creative in its approach with the dynamic animative help of advanced HTML5 and CSS3.
With ever advancing website requirements and potentially bigger budgets as the world economy recovers the individuality of websites and the unique selling point of their products and services will be an impetus to produce something unique visually. The current gradual demise of the big brand high street stores becoming more prevalent will bring niche market products and services appearing online and on the high street.
An example of a unique brand product online is Independence Educational Publishers who provide independent balanced views on challenging social issues and conversational provoking subjects for education, schools, colleges, libraries and even prisons: http://www.independence.co.uk/
If a picture is worth a thousand words imagine the continued potential of video. For product explanation, learning and tutorials, clarifying a business process or just introducing you to the team in a refreshing way. Through the creation of YouTube and Vimeo channels and their videos embedded into websites it already creates a good platform for information and inward SEO to a website, blog or forum.
With our thirst for instant understandable information the expectation of absorbing information through video rather than text or a sequence of images will surely be greater with the technology of bandwidth increasing worldwide. Many videos can be a waste of time and effort, but when it comes to “showing off” a company, its brand, approach, messages and image, video shows it for real, even it is just to entertain or wow.
Retina screens are twice as dense as any average LCD screens.
So explained simply: the items used on screen are the same number of physical pixels, but digitally twice as many pixels can be fitted into the same physical space.
The initial image is sampled at double the resolution, then a standard version is saved at half the size. The larger image will be scaled down to the standard resolution and will look very crisp on retina screens. Retina support is here and in use running silently in hardware in the background and will reveal itself more during this year. It may be a new fashion.
Automated PDF generation
A more technical challenge than visual, but something worth keeping in mind as the end article is a visual presentation with text adding value to the Search Engines for a website.
The generation of beautifully styled pdf files using content either input into a website content management system/admin area or taken from the information from the customer facing area of a website. With a press of a button PDFs can be produced in an easy time-saving way.
If you have design in mind to follow your brand or have certain information that needs to be presented to customers in a virtual paper format or datasheet so they can print it out for reference, then automated PDF generation from a website is a nice feature to have.
Realnet have produced these already for a number of customers and will continue to lead the way in developing these further pushed by customer desires and requirements.
Seeing into the future
It’s never an easy thing, a crystal ball may help, but essentially we learn from our achievements and even more from our mistakes. There are already tangible things we have imagined in books and films and photos – 3D, holographic or multidimensional display systems with full “bullet time” 3D rendered imagery thinking beyond 2013 may need further operational thought. Think Minority Report and beyond. If we can imagine it and there is research time, money and human enthusiasm new communication interfaces will come.