Having looked at the various design contests going on in the Trading Post I was getting curious to know what my webmaster collegues consider a trend in webdesign these days.
To give a few examples:
Using frames was really cool a couple of years ago. Then all of a sudden I came accross sites with these 'tv scanlines' background images. And last but not least rounded table corners seemed and seem to be very cool.
I have said this before and I will say it again. In the next five years you will see a merging of Television, Radio, Telecommunications and the computer. Your starting to see that now but it will become more seamless. There will not be multiple devices in your home but one device with multiple Interfaces.
This will effect the web as well. Your already starting to see some of it but it will become more prevalent. With products like Dreamcast, PSX2, WebTV, DishPlayer (satellite receiver, video capture, webtv in one), AOLTV and others, entertainment becomes more pervasive. Small independant developers will be squeezed out or absorbed by larger companies. Content will still reign supreme but you will have video, audio and communications included.
The only way smaller developers will survive is freelancing for larger companies, partnerships and building smart businesses.
My father has been saying the exact same things...we'll have "communications/info" devices all over the house...most of them capable of checking email, bank transactions, watching television, listening to the radio, surfing the net, and talking on the phone.
As for "learning" from other sites...it's unavoidable and ever experienced designer has done it at some point or another...whether they realize it or not. I'm not promoting blatant stealing or copying of an idea...but if you see certain aspects of several sites that you find attractive, I find nothing wrong with trying to enhance them and put the pieces together for your own layout...I never promote taking anyone's code or modifying it in any way...but we're all influenced by what we see...
If someone visits Freesources.net and likes the Flash logo, they should have every right to create their own...let's face it, everything's been done, most of it just hasn't become popular yet...if someone comes to a site I've created with a bunch of rounded corners, and they go and load theirs up with rounded corners, too...I couldn't care less...every designer is inspired and influenced by other sites.
- ok, someone can adapt the flash movie and even put it at the top, but not with the same animations (fades,...) I'm sure there are just people out there who take different colors, put theanimations in a different period of time , etc.
- you can take rounded corners, but that's something everyone could think of and could make in no time. Rounded corners are not really new..
- Java is definately OUT
- never 'learn' from a site, because at the ned you'll see you just made a copy just with other fonts and colors.
This may seem hard... But remind the NETIQUETTE...
inspiration is the reason behind such sites as coolhomepages.com and others. i don't imagine they were created to allow other designers to copy, but rather to showcase good and interesting design and to allow other designers to break through the occasional bout of "designers-block". i, for one, see nothing wrong with learning from others, just so long as you don't cross the plagerism (sp?) line.
Some of you mad remarks about sites with more and bigger graphics becoming a trend since more and more users have broadband access.
I think we should not forget that the average Joe still uses a 33k6 modem. In my opinion this is one of the reasons of the faillure of Boo.com They had this great site but a nightmare to load through a regular modem.
Personally I think that the main trend nowadays is user interaction and personalisation towards each user. More and more sites are being developed so when the user firsts accesses the site they are prompted for info about themselves and when they return the site it recognises the users info.
I think that's why more database driven sites are being developed.
Soon to come,