By Craig Buckler

10 Web Predictions for 2012: the Results!

By Craig Buckler

Twelve months ago I published 10 Web Predictions for 2012. In this article, we’ll look at the accuracy of my prophecies to determine whether I’m the next Nostradamus…

1. Chrome Will Overtake Internet Explorer

An easy one. I predicted Google’s browser would take the coveted #1 spot in the middle of the year and it was confirmed during May.

Cumulative score: 1 out of 1. It’s going well!

2. But IE10 Will be Better Than You Expect

I speculated IE10 would be released in the spring, have full W3C standards support, amazing speed, a slick interface and receive glowing reviews. It arrived in October and remains a beta on Windows 7. My own review was generally favorable but IE10 only just catches the competition — it doesn’t overtake them.

In summary, it’s OK but wasn’t better than expected. Bah: 1 out of 2.

3. Windows 8 and Windows Phone May Surprise You Too

My quote:

Windows 8 will be applauded by businesses, home users, gamers and developers alike. It’ll sell well even though the western economies are in meltdown. Web developers will also be able to leverage their skills and write native Windows applications using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.

Other than speed, many existing Windows users have criticized the new OS. It may not be a disaster of Vista-like proportions but my prediction was way off: 1 out of 3.

4. Tablets and Mobiles Will Begin to Influence Web Design

This is a harder one to assess but, in my experience, many more clients are using and considering tablet support. Retina displays have also received an unwarranted amount of attention given their relatively low level of usage. I’m going to be generous and award myself another point: 2 out of 4.

5. Responsive Design Will Go Mainstream

I suspect the number of responsive websites increased exponentially during 2012, but popular “mainstream” sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yahoo, MSN, and the BBC retained their rigid fixed-width designs.

Perhaps I was correct in questioning the industry’s readiness for responsive layouts? Half a point I think: 2.5 out of 5.

6. Many Mobile App Developers Will Switch to HTML5

I thought this was a safe bet. The fragmentation of the smartphone operating systems (iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry OS, webOS, bada, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, etc.) combined with more sophisticated mobile browsers and APIs would make HTML5 a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there with more money than sense. Despite evidence to the contrary, many consider mobile apps to be more popular, easier to develop and highly lucrative (refer also to 5 Reasons Why Zuckerberg Has Not Killed HTML5). While I wouldn’t suggest HTML5 was always better or easier, it’s not superseded mobile apps this year: 2.5 out of 6.

7. Advertisers Will Discover HTML5

HTML5 advertising scares me. Consider the power agencies will have to monitor your location, adapt to differing devices and change any part of the page. HTML5 adverts would also be far more difficult to block.

Fortunately, no one’s bothered and advertisers are sticking with Flash. Wrong again: 2.5 out of 7.

8. But Flash Will Survive. Just.

Yay — I got one right. Flash is far from dead. Game developers may be migrating to HTML5 but advertisers are remaining faithful. 3.5 out of 8.

9. IE6 and IE7 Will Finally Die

This time last year, combined IE6/7 usage was 5.8%. Today, it’s fallen below 1.2%. However, the browsers may still be popular for your target audience — especially if you’re selling to large organizations or Government departments. Fortunately, they’re becoming a distant memory for most of us. Another point: 4.5 out of 9.

10. Average Page Sizes Will Reach 1MB

According to trends, I predicted average page weights would reach 1MB by the end of 2012. I never imagined they would bulk to 1.25MB by November. Utter madness — especially when mobile usage is increasing and HTML5/CSS3 should reduce page sizes.

I’ll award myself half a point: it was a correct prediction but I underestimated the scale.

That gives me a grand total of 5 out of 10. Hardly spectacular although infinitely better than your horoscope. It illustrates the futility of predictions, but will that stop me? Probably not…

  • Michael

    Wow you were pretty hard on yourself! I would have given you a lot more 1/2 points. Well done though, I’ll be looking for your 2013 predictions :)

    • Helen Natasha Moore

      Agreed. Far too hard on yourself, Craig. In particular, I and others I know, absolutely love our Windows Metro phone interfaces.

    • Thanks! My 2013 predictions are now available…

      Can’t promise they’ll be more reliable!

  • Jim

    +100 points for writing some great articles in 2012!

    • Bas

      Absolutely, thanks a lot Craig!

      I like your articles most of all. I wish you a good and inspirational 2013!

  • If you were considering web developers readiness to implement standards, then your predictions would have probably reached 10 (100%).

    I feel that one of the biggest selling points of HTML 5 is the reason for lack of site re-writes: video. HTML 5 video actually raised more problems than solutions and is still a questionable addition to the markup language.

    Without an easy way to incorporate video, HTML 5 is nothing more than HTML 4.01+. Additionally, with fragmented standardization and browser implementation of CSS 3, the evolutionary change in web design promised by the W3C is falling way short of expectations.

    Web developers may have grown tired of chasing the magic dragon and have settled to stick with what works…at least until all the smoke clears.

    Reevaluate your predictions in 2014 and you may see some better scores. I predict in 2013 web developers will decide to take control of the web and force standardization by removing forked coding and allowing users to find the best browser that works.

    • I agree — the HTML5 video tag may be an agreed standard, but encoding with three or four different codecs for browser compatibility is ridiculous.

  • the works on windows is amazing.
    can you tell details about windows 8.
    thank you

  • I think you were spot on with #5. I know that Squidoo recently switched their format so that their web pages would be responsive to mobile devices. I think it’s about time (the iPhone has been out since 2007!). Great predictions. What are your predictions for 2013?

  • bsmity

    Why would you ever give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt? Terrible company with horrible products.

    • Don’t hold back bsmity — tell us how you really feel!

  • Christian

    “I never imagined they would bulk to 1.25MB by November.”

    Is some of this due to a rise in single page applications, where the first page takes a huge hit (actually the only hit) but it’s compensated for by the fact that there are no hits elsewhere?

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