Design Trends

Guest Post by Chuck Longanecker

In January of each year, we flip over the hourglass and, once again, we have everything in front of us. The new year gives us a clean slate, a chance for change and encouragement to evolve the way we do things. In the past, we’ve yielded to client and user requests to pack our website designs full of unrelated features and countless pages of duplicate information. The change we have been waiting for has come – our users have matured. 2010 is the year of Design Simplicity.

As we are stepping in a new decade, I can foresee that web design in 2010 is going to be fun and filled with experimental works. With the new CSS3 and HTML5, designers and developers are trying to utilize the new features to create impressive designs. Sketchy and large background styles are fading out. Serif fonts and texturized background will be popular. Thanks to CSS3, we are going to see a lot of rounded corners, RGBA transparency, and drop shadows. With the rise of smart phones, mobile web design is going to pick up this year.

Since 2007, every year I do a round up of best of CSS from Best Web Gallery (check out 07 and 08 collection). Well, it is the time of the year again — Best of CSS Design 2009. This year I’ve selected another 50 nicely designed web sites. Among the list, I notice a lot of them are minimalistic design with beautiful serif fonts. The grungy and sketchy styles are still strong. However, the large background is no longer as hot as in 2008, instead, texturized background is popular in 2009.

In the past, we’ve been told not to use serif fonts due to its readability on low resolution monitors and poor rendering in WindowsXP. Now, with display technology advancing and IE7+ supporting ClearType by default, I think it is about time to change that rule. Take a look at the example sites that I’ve collected, you will probably agree with me that serif typeface will be the next web font trend.

Guest Post by Joel Reyes

Web designers always have to strike a balance between usability and visual appeal when designing a website. Without this balance, a website might be nice to look at or difficult to navigate. Or, it might be easy to navigate, but not easy on the eyes. With this in mind, balancing attractive navigation with usability does not need to be overly difficult. To help you generate new ideas and inspiration for user navigation, here are 30 great examples of attractive and usable navigation.

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