Good website design reflects current trends. What we expect from graphic design changes over time. Color blends are influenced by marketing trends along with websites that grow into a pop culture phenomenon. Social media has exploded, but so has simple layout and playful color combinations.

Pop culture

It’s more than just an aside note. It influences everything in marketing. Marketing has become an experience – the look must immediately capture our imagination; music plays to our emotions, colors accent the experience and add to the overall feeling we get. We’re bombarded by marketing images and have become quite a savvy public that know what we like and what we don’t like. Overexposure is a common complaint but through that excessive noise, we’ve come to better define what is good and what is not.

Simple, Adventurous, Fun

Marketing is continually pushing those limits of what to expect – using new bands to add depth to the images. When I look back at the TV commercial’s I’ve actually paid attention to, it’s always those that add new music to enhance the experience: Vampire Weekend, and The Black Keys stand out in my mind as to the music that has captured my attention. They have sounds that give me different sense – Vampire Weekend evokes community, being surrounded by friends, and laid-back fun. Whereas the Black Keys gives me a sense of strong character, as if there’s an exciting adventure ahead and I’m ready to go. Amazon Kindle has found different artists with a similar sound. Marcus Ashley, Annie Little and Bibio all used in different commercials, each has a whimsical sound that evokes a sense of simple times in our lives.

And the images are bright, vivid, adding a playfulness that screams I’m optimistic for the future. These are the commercial’s I’ve paid attention to.

Websites have taken on a new look over time. Marketing websites have big, bold banners with colors that grab your attention. Navigation is becoming more intuitive – we’re finding if it isn’t, you’re left out in the cold, with your visitors not able to properly navigate to find your message.

Social media has given us a sense of community. Looking over their websites, I see a very common theme. Display information in a way that is easily understood and digested. Simple colors, simple graphics don’t distract from the message.

Design is morphing as we find what works and what doesn’t.

It appears that we’ve come to a time where “Less is More”. I heard this statement describing the Golden Globe Awards. America is coming to understand priorities, and what is important to our future, and to our happiness. It’s become part of our consciousness. Less is more, meaning we’re more appreciative of what we have and are secure in who we are. The future may be undecided, but we’re ready to go and exceed all expectations.

All this screams for web design to reflect what’s going on in the world around us. Simple design has always been the rage, expect it to continue in the next year: clean color that reflects your organization, simple layout that allows your visitors to experience your products and services, with color added to play on our emotions. Simple graphics and images add depth to the experience. Typography, or playing with the character fonts, give a sense of style and add flair simply without going overboard, building it into how the message is delivered.

This is what I see happening in web design in 2011. It’s going to be a good year – I’m optimistic about it. And web design will reflect that.