A desktop computer sitting on top of a table

I know I don’t write much lately. I’m having a little trouble finding the inspiration to complete the 20 or so in-depth articles stored in my “drafts” directory, some being written since March. And I code, a lot, actually. I just got my first big patch accepted by the Typo development team, and submitted a second – nearly 4MB all inclusive – this afternoon. I would love to complete the administration overhaul before the next stable release is released, and there is less work missing than time to achieve it.

Maurice Svay asked me earlier what my predictions were in terms of web design for 2007. Very good question well worth a ticket.

A preponderant place given to content

It is interesting to see how much our relationship with the web has changed over the past 5 years. Aggregation, in particular, has made us realize rightly that the value of a website lies in all the content published. The web design of 2007 should therefore further accentuate this trend by highlighting the relevant elements in particular.

The font size has already increased compared to what was done 4 years ago, and we should see it evolve towards an average of 13 or 14 pixels. As a reminder, browsers consider the standard size to be 16 pixels.

Readability requiring a strong contrast between the text and the background, we can bet that the gradations of white and light gray still have a bright future ahead of them. The trend of returning sites in white on black or white on dark gray should also be confirmed.

One to two columns maxi

Already in decline in recent years, layouts on three and four columns will continue to become scarce in favor of almost exclusive themes in one and two columns.

Why that ? Very (too) marked “portals” and “web of the 90s”, the designs in 3 and 4 columns no longer suit the structure of the majority of sites in circulation today, and more often than not become nests for advertising.

The number of entry points on a given page and the depth of sites tend to decrease. Navigation is greatly simplified, and the user finds his way more easily.

2007 will be widgets or not

It is likely that site navigation will become highly customizable through the proper use of widgets. The place of the different sections of the menu of two-column sites will change according to the wishes of the visitor who will have his preferences preserved from one visit to another.

Little fluidity

Few liquid or semi-liquid layouts in 2007 (a liquid layout is a layout that adapts to the size of the screen). I see 3 reasons for this:

  • Screens are getting larger and larger, and lines 1400 pixels wide are painful to read.
  • Designers don’t think in terms of liquid layouts, which are harder to do than fixed-size designs.
  • CSS properties min-widthand max-widthare not supported by the majority of browsers on the market, which makes their use more than haphazard, and javascript workarounds are not a satisfactory solution in terms of accessibility.

For the past few years, the trend has been for screen-centric sites, and that trend is unlikely to change.

Peace, luxury, calm and voluptuousness

Round-edged sites will remain the rule in 2007 as they try to make us forget that CSS works according to a model of nested square boxes. When used properly, the round edge conveys a certain sense of calm and serenity, ideal for leaning into quality content.

Incentive ergonomics

Everything will be done to encourage the visitor not to leave the site too quickly. The railways, while giving a geographical indication, encourage people to look at other parts of the site. Executives offering content similar to the one visited will be placed in key places in order to encourage consumers to buy similar or related products. In short, everything will be done to extend your visit before the checkout, by highlighting relevant content.

Your turn now

And you what do you think ?