Top Web Design Trends of 2012

Chris Sams, January 4, 2013

Over its relatively young life, web design has morphed year over year. It has always been a playground for creativity, though striking a good balance between form and function has been a constant challenge. We survived the early days of neon type and spinning gifs and eventually arrived at some solid, generally accepted design standards for usability. Navigation to the top or left. Logins and Help at the very top right. Large images or type on the homepage.

But with the savvy and seasoned Internet users of 2012, designers began to play a bit more. Once you know the rules, you can bend them, right? With a scouring of some of the great design blogs out there, we’ve noticed some of these top web design trends from 2012. And we’re looking forward to seeing what stays, what goes and what new terrains are explored in 2012.


This no longer just refers to allowing comments or taking polls. Designer are now inviting users to be a part of the story their website is telling. Scroll, spin, play games, change theme colors, all without knowing a bit of code.


Due to technological advances with HTML5 and CSS3, designers are able to apply traditional print techniques to web design, adding a more personal, almost tangible feel the the digital space. Sites often include texture, large background images and lots of original illustration. Also, with the advent of web fonts from google and other sources, the possibilities have exploded past Arial and Georgia.

Single Page Sites

Especially among design agency websites, single scrolling page sites are everywhere. The information is divided into screen-size portions, but this style enables designers to deliver their message in the order they desire without cramming everything into a single screen. White space, large typography and illustrations are allowed to shine.

Responsive Design

Hailed as the solution to the designer’s nightmare of a plethora of screen sizes, responsive design exploded in 2012. This grid-based system reorganizes your site automatically based on the screen width, enabling users to digest your content on any device. However, JEMSU still recommends custom mobile site design, as on-the-go users generally have a different purpose for visiting your site and don’t need access to the depth of information your full site offers. Features like click to call and google map integration can be offered front and center on a custom mobile site.

What new design trends will emerge in 2013? We can’t wait to see.

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