More Web Design Trends For 2009

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Last week we presented 10 Web Design Trends For 20091, our review of the most promising developments and techniques in web design that may become big in 2009. In the first part we covered embossing letters (“letterpress”), rich user interfaces, PNG transparency, big typography, carousels and media blocks.

This post is the second part of our review. It presents design trends for 2009 in terms of layouts, visual approaches and design elements. Please notice that this post showcases trends and developments that were extensively covered in our previous articles (e.g. handwriting, retro and vintage etc.) and therefore weren’t covered in this post (they are all linked in the overview, so feel free to explore these single posts as well). Did you miss any recent development in this overview? Let us know in the comments!

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Web Design Trends For 2009

Let’s first take a closer look at some of the trends we identified, discovered and observed over the last months. In this overview, you’ll find a review of each trend and more beautiful examples that can inspire you in your next project.

  1. Out-of-the-box layouts

    Web Design Trends 20098

  2. One-page layouts

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  3. Multi-column layouts

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  4. Huge illustrations and vibrant graphics

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  5. More white space than ever

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  6. Social design elements

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  7. “Speaking” navigation14

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  8. Dynamic tabs

    Web Design Trends 200916

  9. Still large search boxes

    Web Design Trends 2009

  10. Category visuals

    Web Design Trends 200917

  11. Author icons

    Web Design Trends 200918

  12. Icons and visual clues

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  13. Tag index19 (instead of tag clouds)

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  14. Illustrations in blog posts

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  15. Watercolor

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  16. Handwriting23

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  17. Retro and vintage25

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  18. Organic textures, tiles and photographic backgrounds27

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  19. Badges

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  20. Price tags

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  21. Ribbons

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1. Out-Of-The-Box Layouts

As we pointed out a couple of months ago in the showcase 40 Creative Design Layouts: Getting Out Of The Box32, we are observing a strong trend towards more individual and creative layouts. Instead of applying conventional boxy layouts, designers are experimenting with the way information is structured, presented and communicated.

In these out-of-the-box-designs, the overall creative approach is often more important and more memorable than the attention to details. Still, usability, typography and visual design are rarely overlooked and are often carefully executed. Creative layouts are particularly popular for portfolios, websites of design agencies and promotional websites (e.g. commercial campaigns of large companies), but they are also very popular on blogs.

Design Trends 200933

When it comes to creativity, the line between a usable and unusable design is very thin; thus, usability testing is particularly important, because a new creative approach can literally break a website. Often, it’s a good idea to find a compromise between a creative approach and a classic, traditional design, and try to achieve a balance between a “bulletproof” (yet ultimately boring) usable designs and an innovative unusable designs. Keep in mind that innovative ideas need some time to mature: to be rethought, modified, adapted, optimized and finally integrated in the design.

We strongly encourage designers to break out of the usual boxed layout conventions, experiment with new approaches and risk crazy ideas. Show what you are capable of!

Showcase of Unusual Layouts - Get London Reading34

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Showcase of Unusual Layouts - Good41

 

2. One-Page Layouts

An alternative route that designers often take to impress their visitors is using so-called one-page layouts: layouts that use one single page to present the content of the website. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these designs are minimalistic (adhering to the principle “Less is more”). On the contrary, such designs are often quite complex, include rich imagery and vivid animation effects and therefore take some time to load.

Design Trends 200942

When the user clicks on a navigation option, the page changes (partly), and new content is displayed in the area that was previously occupied by the previous content. The navigation of such layouts is supported by sliding and scrolling effects from common JavaScript libraries.

The main advantage for the user is the simple fact that she needs less mouse movement and less clicks to get the information she is looking for. Because this approach is quite new, there is a good chance that some readers will get confused by the unconventional navigation techniques. An alternative “static” version may be helpful or even necessary in this case; you’ll have to offer an alternative version anyway for search engines and for people who have deactivated JavaScript support in their browsers.

Showcase of Unusual Layouts - tap tap tap ~ Groceries43

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3. Multi-Column Layouts

A design with multiple columns (3+ columns) is not necessarily a complex design. On the contrary, when designed properly, multi-column designs can be really helpful to visitors because they are given (hopefully) a better overview of the available navigation options and can more quickly find the information they are looking for.

Over last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of content on the Web, which has led to the problem of a decrease user attention span, the time that visitors are willing to spend on a given website (see an article on ReadWriteWeb46 for details). Consequently, it’s no wonder that designers have tried to find ways of presenting information compactly, both to keep visitors on a website as long as possible and to make it as easy as possible to find content.

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One way of achieving this is simply to use layouts with more columns placed next to each other. The idea is quite reasonable. Screen resolutions have been constantly increasing in recent years (though a wide adoption of netbooks, like Asus’ Eee PC, may change that), providing users with more horizontal space and designers with additional space to fill with content.

The result: now more and more designers are using more and more columns. We have observed a strong trend towards these so-called multi-column layouts, which are often fixed layouts of 850 by 1000 pixels in width. Multiple columns are used in magazine layouts and portfolios. In these layouts, grids are often used to guarantee a structural balance, hierarchy and order.

With multi-column layouts, the importance of active white space between and within columns cannot be overstated. (Active white space is the space that is deliberately left blank to better structure the page and emphasize different areas of content.)

For this purpose designers often make use of Shneiderman’s Mantra (“convey big picture first, reveal details later”), providing users with a brief overview of available options first and offering details on demand — later, when a link was clicked (Mozilla Labs48 is a great example of just that).

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4. Huge Illustrations And Vibrant Graphics

Just as huge typography keeps dominating modern Web design, huge illustrations seem to be gaining popularity across both professional and personal Web projects. And designers are trying to communicate the message of a website using interactive elements (embedded video blocks) and visual elements (introduction blocks and illustrations). Recently in designs, illustrations have taken up much more space than before and usually supplement huge typography, and they are more attractive, more vivid and therefore more memorable to visitors.

Alternatively, designers are also using vibrant graphics, particularly for backgrounds but also for other design elements. Various styles and graphic approaches are used: grunge, collage and scrapbook, ornaments, retro and vintage, watercolor, organic textures and photographic backgrounds.

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5. More White Space Than Ever

Probably one of the most predictable, yet extremely beneficial, developments in Web design over the last few years has been the increasing prominence of white space. White space dominates many designs and is used generously to improve the flow of articles and structure of websites.

In fact, we have never seen so much padding in content areas and navigation menus. Padding of 20 to 25 pixels in the wrapper and content area is becoming a rule of thumb, and even more padding is often considered acceptable. Hopefully, this development is here to stay.

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6. “Social” Design Elements

If you take a close look at the blogosphere, you’ll hardly be able to find a blog that doesn’t use some kind of “social” icons or social blocks to encourage readers to promote its stories on popular social media websites. Every author loves traffic and recognition, which is why the social element in modern design is becoming bigger and aesthetically more attractive.

Social icons are usually put all over the place, often in the top right of articles or at the bottom of the post. Social blocks often fill the area beneath a post and sometimes appear beside a list of related articles. Twitter, Flickr and Last.FM integration is still common for blogs and portfolios.

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7. “Speaking” Navigation

We wrote about “speaking” block navigation70 in one of our showcases last year, and this design element seems to remain popular across various websites. The most significant task a navigation menu has to accomplish is to unambiguously guide visitors through different sections of a website. However, it’s quite hard sometimes to communicate the content of a website’s section with just one or two keywords, particularly if horizontal navigation is used.

That’s why navigation options aren’t often listed simply one after another using appropriate keywords (i.e. using “silent” navigation). Instead, designers are attempting to concretely explain what options are available and what visitors should expect from a website section upon clicking the corresponding link.

Because designers are trying to initiate more effective dialogue with visitors, we like to call this navigation scheme “speaking” navigation, as opposed to “silent” navigation, which is based on listings of keywords.

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So that visitors perceive content as being easy to navigate, the navigation is often structured with blocks of the same height and width. Large icons are quite often used; but in most cases the decision as to whether or not they are appropriate depends on the content of the website and the overall layout. “Soft” hover effects often support the navigation design by making browsing more pleasant.

Design Trends 2009

 

8. Dynamic Tabs

One of the most popular trends in interactive design is having a tabbed area whose content can be changed dynamically. The idea behind dynamic tabs is that the content of all tabs is loaded when the page is loaded, but only one part of the content is displayed at a time (the attribute display is used to achieve this effect). You can follow a tutorial on dynamic tabs76 and ‘tabs’ visual control in jQuery77 to create dynamic tabs.

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Did we miss something?

Did we miss any recent development in this overview? Do you have any further ideas or suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

Related posts

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/14/web-design-trends-for-2009/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/14/web-design-trends-for-2009/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/03/40-creative-design-layouts-getting-out-of-the-box/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/07/textures-in-modern-web-design/
  5. 5 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/07/retro-and-vintage-in-modern-web-design/
  6. 6 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/26/navigation-menus-trends-and-examples/
  7. 7 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/06/18/hand-drawing-style-in-modern-web-design-volume-2/
  8. 8 http://hipsterist.com/
  9. 9 http://www.taptaptap.com/#groceries
  10. 10 http://fortysevenmedia.com/
  11. 11 http://www.versionsapp.com/
  12. 12 http://signup.createsend.com/signup.aspx
  13. 13 http://www.psdtuts.com/
  14. 14 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/26/navigation-menus-trends-and-examples/
  15. 15 http://www.davidhellmann.com/
  16. 16 http://nettuts.com/html-css-techniques/how-to-create-a-slick-tabbed-content-area/
  17. 17 http://matthewbuchanan.name/day/2008/08/22/
  18. 18 http://www.viget.com/advance/5-lessons-from-a-cartoonist-applied-to-the-website-creation-process/
  19. 19 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/07/tag-clouds-gallery-examples-and-good-practices/
  20. 20 http://maniacalrage.net/past/tags
  21. 21 http://abduzeedo.com/
  22. 22 http://boompa.ca/
  23. 23 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/06/18/hand-drawing-style-in-modern-web-design-volume-2/
  24. 24 http://www.onskelista.nu/
  25. 25 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/07/retro-and-vintage-in-modern-web-design/
  26. 26 http://csstinderbox.raykonline.com/
  27. 27 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/07/textures-in-modern-web-design/
  28. 28 http://www.brainwashfactory.org/
  29. 29 http://www.wearableprint.co.uk/catalogues/#free-quote
  30. 30 http://capturethevalley.com/
  31. 31 http://www.spd.org/
  32. 32 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/03/40-creative-design-layouts-getting-out-of-the-box/
  33. 33 http://hipsterist.com/
  34. 34 http://www.getlondonreading.co.uk/Home
  35. 35 http://duoh.com/
  36. 36 http://www.colourpixel.com/
  37. 37 http://nikolamircic.com/archive/sms/
  38. 38 http://theautumnfilm.com/red-white-sale/us.html
  39. 39 http://www.annyas.com/
  40. 40 http://www.bluehatonline.com/
  41. 41 http://www.good.is/
  42. 42 http://www.arcinspirations.com/kobe/
  43. 43 http://www.taptaptap.com/#groceries
  44. 44 http://fishmarketing.net/
  45. 45 http://www.teamviget.com/
  46. 46 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/attention_economy_overview.php
  47. 47 http://fortysevenmedia.com/
  48. 48 http://labs.mozilla.com/
  49. 49 http://labs.mozilla.com/
  50. 50 http://www.31three.com/
  51. 51 http://www.thedarlingtree.com/
  52. 52 http://www.mailchimp.com/power_features/
  53. 53 http://www.versionsapp.com/
  54. 54 http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/
  55. 55 http://wpcoder.com/
  56. 56 http://www.ilovecolors.com.ar/
  57. 57 http://www.mattdempsey.com/
  58. 58 http://boompa.ca/
  59. 59 http://www.checkoutapp.com/features/#sales
  60. 60 http://thebignoob.com/about/
  61. 61 http://signup.createsend.com/signup.aspx
  62. 62 http://www.wilsonminer.com/posts/
  63. 63 http://astheria.com/
  64. 64 http://www.komodomedia.com/
  65. 65 http://veerle.duoh.com/
  66. 66 http://www.escapecrate.co.uk/
  67. 67 http://darkmotion.com/
  68. 68 http://www.psdtuts.com/
  69. 69 http://www.peakflowdesign.com/wordpress/essential-wordpress-toolkit-for-creating-new-themes/
  70. 70 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/26/navigation-menus-trends-and-examples/
  71. 71 http://www.davidhellmann.com/
  72. 72 http://www.albumcreative.com/index.html
  73. 73 http://www.30elm.com/
  74. 74 http://www.evaneckard.com/
  75. 75 http://freelanceswitch.com/
  76. 76 http://nettuts.com/html-css-techniques/how-to-create-a-slick-tabbed-content-area/
  77. 77 http://docs.jquery.com/UI/Tabs
  78. 78 http://expressionengine.com/
  79. 79 http://www.komodomedia.com/
  80. 80 http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/eagleeye/
  81. 81 http://tumblon.com/
  82. 82 http://www.forgetfoo.com/
  83. 83 http://nettuts.com/html-css-techniques/how-to-create-a-slick-tabbed-content-area/
  84. 84 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/14/web-design-trends-for-2009/
  85. 85 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/03/40-creative-design-layouts-getting-out-of-the-box/
  86. 86 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/07/textures-in-modern-web-design/
  87. 87 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/07/retro-and-vintage-in-modern-web-design/
  88. 88 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/26/navigation-menus-trends-and-examples/
  89. 89 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/06/18/hand-drawing-style-in-modern-web-design-volume-2/

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    nice! thanks for posting.

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  2. 2

    Awesome, thanks!

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  3. 3

    I’m loving 2009 already! Hopefully we’ll see more and more sites with these type of elements.

    Thanks for adding WPCoder to the list!

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  4. 4

    Seems pretty thorough :) Nice to see the web getting hit hard with fantastic designs!

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  5. 5

    Awesome!

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  6. 6

    Can somebody say which are the last 3 sites listed under “7. “Speaking” Navigation”

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  7. 7

    I gotta admit, I really dislike multi-column design, and I’m sad to see it becoming more common. I’ve always seen it as cluttered and ugly.

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  8. 8

    Let’s not kid ourselves…

    There is NOTHING here that hasn’t been done before.

    I’ve said it time and again – there aren’t any “web design trends”, only good and appropriate design.

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  9. 9

    good collection

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  10. 10

    Best Design Options

    January 21, 2009 9:03 pm

    These are very inspiring designs.Thanks for sharing!

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  11. 11

    www.greenbydiamond.com

    January 21, 2009 9:41 pm

    wow… can I get that’s themes for free:-D

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  12. 12

    love this trendy post

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  13. 13

    Thanks for another great post. I’m still learning CSS, but I can’t wait to experiment with these great ideas.

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  14. 14

    Another great post – I’ve been looking forward to it all week!

    Doesn’t really matter is some argue that these aren’t ‘trends’ – it’s a great wrap up of some awesome designs that are out there.

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  15. 15

    once again, very nice post. Keep it up!

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  16. 16

    I agree with Andrei Gonzales.

    All these lists do is make it easy for followers and copy cats to create this kind of web 2.0 with gradient and drop shadows style. Get your own style people. Do something that everyone else isn’t doing and create something unique. Just because someone else did it, doesn’t make it right.

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  17. 17

    Good post…

    But, I agree with Andrei Gonzales, there are no “trends” in web designing. What we create new is the “trend”.

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  18. 18

    Love you!!!

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  19. 19

    I saw a few interesting things in your first post on Webdesigntrends 2009 but in this second part, there is nothing that we haven’t seen in the last 3 years. Writing about trends 2009 you should pick out 3 to 5 outstanding NEW trends. We have a list of 20 and 10 (part I)! Sometimes less is more.

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  20. 20

    Welcome to 2006.

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  21. 21

    Wow nice overview and good samples to each category. By the way, thanks for including my page.

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  22. 22

    Cheers for the feature :)

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  23. 23

    Wonderful web design trends! Its really inspirational and useful for my future projects. I would say the beautiful website can be formed if the trends are used with proper common sense. I found some other trends but these are really outstanding.

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  24. 24

    what about *huge interactive teasers* ?!?

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  25. 25

    Why list 22 trends, only cover 8 and even then in a different order? This is very confusing, is there going to be a part 2??

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  26. 26

    I agree with Andrei Gonzales.

    Appropriate design is the key to winning the race.

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  27. 27

    One thing that has been gettin on my nerves… why don’t you link external websites in a new window? it’s irritating to have to use the back button so many times to reach Smashing Mag again (or right clicking links and choosing “open link in new tab”

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  28. 28

    Nice list…. there are some trends which needs to put in more details. Still, Good Stuff.

    Thanks for Sharing.

    DKumar M.

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  29. 29

    Nice Post…Thanks a lot for featuring Colourpixel…

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  30. 30

    I agree with some of the people above that there wasn’t much new in this article. However there is still some good info in there that doesn’t hurt to be repeated.

    I’m not so sure about #7. “Speaking” Navigation. If your navigation is so vague and mysterious that you need to describe each link then maybe you should rethink your navigation instead. Fix the cause of the problem instead of trying to patch it.
    Usability expert Vincent Flanders coined the phrase “Mystery Meat Navigation” to describe interfaces where it’s difficult for the user to determine the destinations of links.
    Sure, there might be cases where “Speaking” Navigation is useful but in general navigation should be clear enough without it. Also some of the examples shown are redundant and pure “eye candy” (if clutter indeed can be regarded as eye candy…) Just look at the first example: START (GO TO START), PORTFOLIO (LOOK AT MY PORTFOLIO) etc. Well… DUH!

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  31. 31

    These series of articles are really awesome. Thanx.
    Don’t change anything.

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  32. 32

    Wow! great great great article!

    It’s very enlightening. I love it! also, the web design it’s my passion.
    The colors vibrant, the fractal draws, and the social elements very designed are beatiful.
    I used in my website the tabs, these are useful, especially when i have many content but little space.
    Thanks! i’ll be back regularly.
    Greetings from Argentina,

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  33. 33

    I would be happy to have other comments on these speaking navigation bars because I agree on both the facts 1) that it can be a good opportunity to clarify links whilst it can be repetitive, 2) it look’s nice to the eyes. … So i guess the solution would be to use images/small logos instead, which really helps the user to navigate easily.

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  34. 34

    Nice Post.

    Thanks

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  35. 35

    Thanks for sharing

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  36. 36

    This type of article is somehow weak. Many of the sites are old and you can’t predict clients’ perspective over design.

    Dynamic tabs are here from 2007. Speaking navigation as well. Social elements are a relative young section and could be set as a trend. The rest are common things for several years.

    Cheers!

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  37. 37

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    January 22, 2009 3:52 am

    @pop (#18): we love you too :)

    @jerie (#19): well, we can’t just do some magic and present some ideas that don’t exist yet. We don’t want to predict future developments, we are just analyzing what is happening now. But no woriies – we are observing what’s happing on the Web and we’ll try to do our best to keep you posted.

    @chris (#24): please read the first part of our review – we covered introduction blocks there.

    @arnar (#27): we believe that external links shouldn’t be opened in new windows automatically (see this article). You can hold ctrl and click on the link with the mouse and it will be opened in a new tab.

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  38. 38

    Agreed with Vitaly re: arnar’s comments. Opening external links in a new window is only ok if you warn the user but I personally don’t ever see the need. It’s hijacking the users browser, if I want to open in a new window I’ll do just that by holding down control or shift depending on what browser I’m using.

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  39. 39

    Great article, as everything I read here.
    Missing links in some sites of “Speaking Navigation” section, namely the blue Italian one I’d like to visit, and some others.
    Thank you!

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  40. 40

    Isn’t it stretching this listorama approach a bit to call things like author pics, images in blogs posts, single page layouts, multi-column layouts… and so on… ‘trends’? I mean, come on. I think identifying an emerging new approach or style which is increasingly picked up and adopted by others is what we would understand as a trend… Actually, the biggest trend I’ve spotted in the last 12 months is magazine-style blog posts/articles which begin with the headline “50 new trends in blog post headlines!” ;-)

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  41. 41

    Really? A multi-column layout? Seriously, a lot of these are not new trends…

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  42. 42

    opening links in new window isn’t “strict”ly allowed.

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  43. 43

    Great list!
    I also realized i have been digging into these trends recently

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  44. 44

    “9. Still large search boxes” hasn’t a link :(

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  45. 45

    AWESOME LIST!! I <3 smashing magazine. Always puts out the greatest articles :)

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  46. 46

    brilliant article

    Another trend for 2009 that hasn’t been mentioned is to design a HUGE navigation, for usability on handheld devices without the need of an extra style-sheet.

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  47. 47

    Excellent resource as usual. Smashing Magazine has become my best design blog. Continue the good work :)

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  48. 48

    i love this series. It gives a much needed measuring stick to web design

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  49. 49

    Overall a very useful collection, whether these are trends or just old news. When I put on my developer hat, my enthusiasm wanes a bit. Good designs deserve effective coding, not table-based layouts and bloated templates…

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  50. 50

    That was 2008′s design trends – let’s begin the new era!

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  51. 51

    Design trends are funny. Once you try to follow the trend, you are left behind. Instead, make something new. Reinvent a standard that didn’t make previously make sense. That’s what will set you apart.

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  52. 52

    Haha 2009 ~ maybe you mean 2008. Let’s move on with things.

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  53. 53

    I just became aware of this “No links in new windows” trend / XHTML standard. I see the point on some level but it just kind of strikes me as yet another new minor issue for people to get up in arms about.

    I try to avoid them in general, but sometimes clients don’t want users led away from their site. Also, there are millions of users who aren’t aware of tabs or option-clicking.

    I wish there was an easy way to educate the user without overly complicating the user experience.

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  54. 54

    How are these 2009 design trends?

    A lot of these designs have been the same since 2007. Smashing Magazine sucks anymore. Just filled with useless bullshit.

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  55. 55

    @Vitaly

    Yeah Vitaly, that’s why you maybe don’t pretend you can by calling 2009 trends mid-way through January you tool.

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  56. 56


    Darren Taylor:
    Agreed with Vitaly re: arnar’s comments. Opening external links in a new window is only ok if you warn the user but I personally don’t ever see the need. It’s hijacking the users browser, if I want to open in a new window I’ll do just that by holding down control or shift depending on what browser I’m using.

    ….most internet users are your average joe blow that dont know shortcuts and need as much help as possible….of course we know the shortcuts, cause we create the internet, hence why you are reading this article and comment.

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  57. 57

    wow retro is cool again, isn’t that like every other year or something. You should actually use retro graphics on the off years and then you always look ahead of the curve.

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  58. 58

    Wow! so complet and interesting post!! I’ve seen lately some of these trends in most of the blogs and design sites on Internet.

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  59. 59

    Aaahhh.. white space. Love it. You just can’t have too much room to stretch out and in relax in. Definitely the direction we’ll be taking soon.

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  60. 60

    Great stuff! Thank God the internet is finally not sucking visually… mostly…

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  61. 61

    oh my god when is the forum designs?

    0
  62. 62

    re: 8. Dynamic Tabs. Definitely one of my next undertakings.

    0
  63. 63

    You Guys Rock! tons of excellent stuff. Thanks!!

    0
  64. 64

    Good to see that gloss is disappearing slowly.

    0
  65. 65

    Westy | P H O T O N O M Y

    January 22, 2009 3:48 pm

    amazing… its this kind of stuff that makes me feel like im about 3 saying this… “dady one day i want to be a great designer like those peeps that are featured by smashing mag”

    great stuff. reall spot on

    0
  66. 66

    Smash!! as always..thx alot (“,)

    0
  67. 67

    it’s always nice to see inspiring things… thanks

    0
  68. 68

    There seem to be a disproportionate number of ExpressionEngine sites used as examples here…

    0
  69. 69

    nice posting…

    cool…

    0
  70. 70

    How about Transquotation came into ‘style’, quotation of outside content like Ffffound, saying goodbye to the IE browser, -webkit functionality, content harvesting (from Flickr, Twitter, Youtube etc.)

    + 1 for more black !

    0
  71. 71

    @Tate – if you want to be WCAG1.0 AA compliant, you don’t open links in new windows unless you provide a warning to the user. Almost every user on the web knows how to use the back button in their browser, hence why it’s advised you don’t change the target of a link.

    0
  72. 72

    This was last year!!!!

    0
  73. 73

    Call it trendy or not, it’s certainly a nice list of inspirational stuff. Not anything I’ve never seen before but it’s nice to see it packed together like this.
    To a certain point I have to agree with comment #8 that a design has to be appropriate, be it trendy or not. But I always like to mix in a modern twist so these lists are certainly worthwhile.

    Good post altogether.

    0
  74. 74

    great article.

    0
  75. 75

    Nice list.
    Trends exist!! It’s a fashion thing. It’s inevitable. A website is like the window of a shop. It changes from time to time, depending on the season and the trends. You change a store window for a new season, a new collection, depending on trends. Trends is what make people buy, so everyone who sells something wants to follow trends. Same for websites. And same for TV. The graphics and transitions on TV that you see in between programmes follow trends as well. I’d like to see the websites of those who don’t believe in trends…

    0
  76. 76

    Web Design London

    January 23, 2009 5:28 am

    I’ve now got some fantastic inspiration with these samples you’ve gathered. thanks very much!

    0
  77. 77

    This is good, I thinking of ideas on how to mash these things together and come up with good designs for this year.

    0
  78. 78

    Wow! Thanks for this, i’m really liking the first one. These layout all look so modern, bring on more new and exciting things for 2009!

    0
  79. 79

    DeepSpin (Dave Spathaky)

    January 23, 2009 9:19 am

    ‘, and new content is displayed in the area that was previously occupied by the previous content.’

    I stopped reading here

    0
  80. 80

    There are some inspirational designs here in the visual sense but one trend I’m hoping doesn’t catch on is developers creating sites that simply don’t work for some users.
    Your headline example for one-page designs is a prime example. Zero javascript degradation is bad enough, but not only is the layout catastrophically busted in IE6, it actually crashed the browser! I’m by no means defending IE6, but it sadly remains an alarmingly large demographic (and those poor souls need all the help they can get).
    Nice visuals and funky navigation concepts are one thing but it’s no good without sound implementation.

    0
  81. 81

    Nothing new to me. Seen these featured around in 2007-2008.

    0
  82. 82

    Fascinating, inspirational and overwhelming, as usual.

    0
  83. 83

    yes, nothing new, but I’m very interested with one-page layouts

    0
  84. 84

    2009 and looks to be a great year for web design. Personally my preference is with the use of extra white space within layouts. And as, above, I might take a look at one-page layouts, seems a logical idea to me…

    0
  85. 85

    Hey guys at Smashing, Salesmanage (a client of fortyseven media, first example listed in the multi-column layouts) totally stole your logo!

    0
  86. 86

    Wow, thanks SM for including my site here, I’m really honoured!!

    0
  87. 87

    nice bunch of web design trends …

    0
  88. 88

    In regards to #7, I recently came up with something of a hybrid between “speaking” and two-level horizontal navigation for the Graduate Student Association of CUA.

    0
  89. 89

    Fantastic collection, these will come in handy when doing my next template.

    0
  90. 90

    wow, great job man

    0
  91. 91

    Am I missing something? Between this and the previous Top 10 design trends posting all you did was list all the major design techniques that are used today. Good sites to look at, but nothing new here.

    0
  92. 92

    Michael Meininger

    January 26, 2009 8:11 am

    I think the title was meant to be 08.

    While these look great- the designs have been used for months.
    Like someone noted before, it’s only good if utilized correctly.

    I’d like to see more CMS write ups and designs, being how a lot of companies are shifting over to WordPress and DNN.

    0
  93. 93

    Agreed with #92 & 93.

    These are just existing trends we’ve seen throughout ’08, nothing that’s up-and-coming or seeing a rise in recent months.

    Also, it’s one thing to be a trendwhore and just slap on various elements from these collections, like an “out of box” nav with a “watercolor” background and some “vibrant” huge icons — except it doesn’t really do much for your site as far as functionality goes. It just makes your site pretty, and a close carbon copy of so many other sites already out there.

    Let form fit function, not the other way around… that’s just my opinion. Unless your site exists solely to look pretty without any real content. Then all this is A-OK! :):):):):):)

    0
  94. 94

    i can just agree with Andrei Gonzales. nothing new, nothing special

    0
  95. 95

    This looks awesome! i have to bookmark this post as a design reference for future projects. :)

    0
  96. 96

    I am not sure why you are trying to set a trend from sites built last year.
    These are not trends that are 2009 these are old things that have been done.
    Not impressed with this site as much as I used to be. Just seems to be lists of other sites.
    QUALITY not QUANTITY..

    0
  97. 97

    Really Thank you for fantastic informations

    0
  98. 98

    These are very good designs but they aren’t new. These are the kind of people that have my respect tho as opposed to all those cookie cutter sites. Good post, but…eh. Most of these are 07/08

    0
  99. 99

    Hi..

    The site has a good collection of web site designs, but i agree with Kendra as these designs are outdated and most of them are of last year.

    So if one want to have updates on web design trends you must visit websites, blogs, read books, magazines and articles like this one and also explore new design agencies. Basically its like an research through which one would be updating his knowledge and also knowing about the various trends in web designing.

    0
  100. 100

    Hi..

    The site has a good collection of web site designs, but i agree with Kendra as these designs are outdated and most of them are of last year.

    So if one want to have updates on web design trends you must visit websites, blogs, read books, magazines and articles like this one and also explore new design agencies sites.Basically its like an research through which one would be updating his knowledge and also knowing about the various trends in web designing.

    Thanks
    John

    0
  101. 101

    nice ideas. Design trends do change every year so hopefully 2009 will have some great emerging ideas. Thanks for the post.

    0
  102. 102

    Super cool

    0
  103. 103

    Let’s not forget about rounded corner… ;)

    images, javascript, and get ready for CSS 3…

    0
  104. 104

    Thanks for this. Indeed very helpful. :)

    0
  105. 105

    while it is true that most of the things have been seen and done before, it’s is not to say that this a bad thing. things just get better by getting inspired by others, and pick what’s most useful for oneself. the wheel doesn’t always have to be reinvented to create something new and beautiful. and like in fashion, architecture, furniture and everything else, trends do exist also in web design.

    I would maybe add the trend of “watery”… kind of “underwater design”, if that hasn’t been mentioned elsewehere… seen quite a few designs like that lately and loved it!

    0
  106. 106

    What’s with all the negative energy surrounding the trends posts? With the year merely days old, how can anybody expect SM to have assembled a relevant list of trends that have emerged strictly during 2009 or, what is more, essentially “prophesy” about 2009′s design trends as if enough time has even passed by this year for a new pattern of thinking to have been documented? SM stated themselves at the beginning of this post that these articles are their “review of the most promising developments and techniques in web design that may become big in 2009.”
    Naturally, this post includes flavours of previous years. All current and future trends generally have their foundation in past trends. What will really take off still remains to be seen.

    It disappoints me to see how some commenters seem to think they are too well Web-traveled and too highly developed a designer for all this.

    If you are determined to criticize, the least you can do is contribute something to the discussion by suggesting what you feel the actual trends of 2009 are… or what future direction the design community should be following, in your opinion, instead of just acting bored.

    Oh, and by the way, I have no ties to SM.

    0
  107. 107

    John @ Six Figure Report

    January 31, 2009 2:57 am

    Amazing, you guys are the best!!!!!!!!!!! sent it to my designer for review :)

    0
  108. 108

    To everyone noting how the designs in this post are “2006″ or “not new” — no kidding. These are trends, not innovative new designs. The point being that all of these things have been seen before, but we will be seeing a lot more of it this coming year.

    0
  109. 109

    OMG! That’s exactly what I was searching for! Thanks!

    0
  110. 110

    This article made me want to get up and cheer… yay for being a web designer in 09′!! So inspired!!

    0
  111. 111

    Muy buena WEB !!!

    0
  112. 112

    That us a really good article – Ill be checking back for more from now on!

    0
  113. 113

    Continually on point! I like these posts because you can see what trends you DON’T want to follow as well. Since some trends are played out.

    0
  114. 114

    There are 2 great articles on this that I found a few months back. As a result of reading them, I redesigned my site and simply love it. The new behavior seems to delight users, from other designers to grandma. On my site, there is NOTHING to click when you first land there. No navigation. Just a simple scroll. I think the psychology of not searching for things to click allows the user to focus on what you are saying, and not on where to find what you are saying. This solution doesn’t fit every kind of website, but for the vast majority of brochure style websites, this would make design and production much easier…and certainly more profitable if you are smart about it!

    Here are the articles:

    http://typesites.com/black-estate/

    This first article is about a wine site…beautiful typography. I’m sure many Smashing readers have been to typesites.com before. If not, it’s one you’ll want to bookmark if you are into typography.

    …and…

    http://www.underconsideration.com/speakup/archives/005396.html

    The second article is amazing. Some SUPER long pages there for sure. I think it’s also the longest blog post in blog history :)

    My redesign, if you care to visit and see how it came out, is at www dot bonfx dot com. I’ll leave it to you type that in :) so as not to make this an advert.

    But do visit the other articles!

    0
  115. 115

    How about 10 or etc. Web Design Trends In Social Networks For 2009? Or Recognizing Great Social Network Designs?

    0
  116. 116

    Great stuff! Am inspired…

    0
  117. 117

    Is it just me or did this only go into detail about 1-8?

    0
  118. 118

    Have to keep up on those design trends.

    0
  119. 119

    Arekibo Web Design

    February 26, 2009 2:29 pm

    Wonderful post, one to recommend to peers and team I work with. Thank you

    0
  120. 120

    Very nice post here! Love it!
    Jeremy
    http://www.bathrobewarrior.com

    0
  121. 121

    Nice. Didn’t realize we were part of a trend; we also went the one-page route:

    sprockethouse.com

    0
  122. 122

    How about mega drop-down navigation? Studies show that it’s been getting some great reviews…

    -1
  123. 123

    Seems this site has done a bit of a rip off of your top trends: http://www.bluhalo.com/blog/view/208/web-design-trends-for-2009

    0
  124. 124

    Very enlightening and also lets you know if you’re on the right track Thanks a million!

    0
  125. 125

    Gwóźdź web designer

    April 23, 2009 11:21 am

    Thanks for sharing this trends. Very useful knowledge, superb inspiration. Some of trends come from 2008, only the strongest one :-) Cheers.

    0
  126. 126

    This was a great post.

    0
  127. 127

    Well I noticed a growing trend of ultra-clean, typography based layouts with limited use of colours – which is exactly my cup of tea.

    0
  128. 128

    it’s interesting

    0
  129. 129

    It soon dawns on Nick that he can hear women’s thoughts. ,

    0
  130. 130

    Excellent article, not exactly what it says on the box but still a great summary of the current state of web design.
    Still, the comments gave an opportunity for those from the Ab Fab School of Design to look down their noses.

    0
  131. 131

    OMG! I Love this :D

    Thank´s so much.

    0
  132. 132

    Thanks for the wonderful information.

    0
  133. 133

    ice signed llc adjust

    0
  134. 134

    findings present keep energy 2007

    0
  135. 135

    u r doing awesome. Ur icon , templets are too cool and Ur icon. bcz they have nice colour combation. it’s post too helpfull for designers. i’m also a webdesigner. thank for it post.

    0
  136. 136

    Its good to keep track on the latest trends of web designing. Good resourceful site.

    0
  137. 137

    I could have given you a better answer for this but i would say its better way is to survey instead of spending times on reading affiliate programs. Stick with us every month possibly I will be writing a new article on how to improve the industry rather than spending time on reading the improvement materials for seo trends.

    0
  138. 138

    Very good article and nice web design tools
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