I’ve been thinking about what might lie ahead for web designers in 2009. Here are a few -educated guesses- predictions.
h2. Hand drawn web sites
Hand drawn will continue to remain a popular web design style through much of 2009, but will start to die off later in the year as designers start to see it as being very ‘2008.’
h2. Mobile web design
Mobile web use will still be a small percentage for most web sites. However, it will continue to grow and highly trafficked web sites will be expected to have an ‘iPhone version.’
Web designers who wish to remain on the cutting edge will enable their sites for mobile use by creating streamlined versions for mobile devices, even those these devices will increasingly have fully functional web browsers.
h2. Social media
In 2009 it won’t be enough to simply create a web site for a client.
Web designers will need to implement a farther reaching strategy that includes the main social media web sites. For example, creating Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages for a customer or product.
They will also be required to set up ways to automatically distribute content to and from this network of sites as well.
Signs of over-saturation in the use of these techniques will start to show towards the end of the year with a backlash regarding their use arising from some designers.
However, they will continue to be hugely popular.
h2. Online video
Site owners will increasingly want to engage their visitors with video which will be delivered via Flash.
Web designers will need to know how to create pages and channels on popular online video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
They will also need to know how to deploy video on their own web sites, employing the sorts of social media features that users expect such as ratings, comments and sharing.
h2. Interaction design
With more and more people using web apps and interactive widgets, designers who are expert (or even competent) at interaction or UI design will be highly in demand.
Indeed, as web sites in general become more interactive they will become much more difficult to design and build as the user experience becomes vastly more complex.
During the design process, web designers will need to be able to show not just how something looks, but how it works.