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2012 WEB DESIGN BASICS & TRENDS
Although I know very little about Web design and search engine optimization, I’m still a forensic psychologist with a doctoral degree and recognize there’s a direct correlation between a structured investigation and collating relevant information on a topic or field of study. I offer the following information to my friends, colleagues and anyone who will be designing or updating their website or blog. After many hours of research, below are my conclusory findings. Under the concept of educated consumerism, I painstakingly made sure the hyperlinks all lead to reputable professionals and organizations with expertise in digital technology, design, trends and search engin e optimization.

2012 is a year of bold lines, modern layouts and easy style. Consider these design patterns for all pages: 1. Typography is changing. Dynamic choices are slowly finding their way to pages: line heights are being rearranged and shading has deepened. Designers are becoming aware of the true potential of their choices (and what affects can be wrought by simply providing stronger fonts. 2. Singular Layouts are appearing now. Strip down the content and offer only the necessities. All other add-ons, graphics and effects are taken away. It’s a vital online customer service: providing the wanted ease. 3. Illustrated Points. Designers are starting to rely on illustrations. These rough lines and brushstrokes allow each page to be unique, rather than simply pasting a picture into the source code. 4. Social Connections. Networking is an all too essential word. The world is connected by virtuality. Social network add-ons are becoming one of the most popular trends available. 5. QR or Quick Response Code. It is a matrix barcode (or 2-dimensional code) which encompasses text, URL or other information that is readable by camera telephones, Smart phones and by QR barcode readers. 6. Bokeh backgrounds. Using a Bokeh background in your website really brings out your content DIV. 7. Massive images. The internet is getting faster and massive image help with mobile device recognition. http://creattica.com/

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8. More minimalism. Less is more. 9. Decluttering. Websites will start rationalizing the most important features and boot low-click or low-converting links to prevent clutter. A good example is just having Facebook share and Retweet and not drown in the sea of social links: 10. Graphs and Infographics. A quality graph adds so much uniqueness to your website that users appreciate. 11. Texture combined with pastel colors. 12. Embedded Typography. Last year was quite a boost, but it will continue to grow this year. Typography will play a major role in web design, especially less image based graphics and more like @font-face and others found at Google Font Directory. 13. Infographics. 14. New languages and design tools such as HTML5, CSS3, etc. give designers new features to experiment with. However, the aesthetics of the Web have changed as well, not to mention the ways people interact with it. 15. Focus on Mobile. Mobile browsing has been on the rise for quite some time, but 2011-2012 is going to mark the year for many sites where it reaches a critical mass, becoming a visitor base that is deserving of special attention on the design front. 16. Emphasis Back on Content. SEO in Web design has always been a hot topic for debate, but with a pair of recent Google updates targeting content farms and other sites with low-quality content, Google has put the focus back squarely on content. 17. Integration is Key. Already much of Web design today is not just about what takes place on the dot com. Rather, companies and individuals alike have Facebook, Twitter and various othe r presences on the Web that they integrate with their main site. However, integration is more than just sticking a few icons on your site, it’s about creating a consistent look, feel and branding across the entire site’s various “homes.” 18. Typography and Readability. Though readability has always been a key issue in Web design, the increased usage of mobile readers such as tablets and mobile phones have made Web reading more of a casual affair and, combined with applications like Readability, the pressure is on for Web designers to provide the smoothest, most readable experience possible.

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19. CSS vs. Flash: It used to be very Flash-focused, but we notice that SEO concerns have changed the game in favor of CSS/XHTML-compatible websites. 20. One noticeable trend that does seem to be emerging is a shift towards simplicity and SEO. 21. Effective, Simple and User Centered Designed. 22. Doc Nucc loves this site minus the flames and music. Awesome Purple. http://www.kaiserinteractive.com/ 23. New coding standards like HTML5 and CSS3 are turning web design into something more like print design. With all of this change comes massive opportunity for growth, but only for those who are prepared. 24. The static website is dying. Long live Content Management Systems! 22. Using free blank themes such as BLANK, Whiteboard and Starkers for Wordpress; designers can start with a clean slate and build their designs around the workings of the CMS. 23. Accessibility & Usability. Usability has been a buzz word in the web design industry for a long time now, so long in fact that even clients have cottoned on to it and are expecting these standards and how they should be easy to use and coded semantically. 24. Designers all over the world are spending time getting their designs pixel perfect and beautiful down to every detail. Some common trends are heavy use of textures to achieve authentic looking effects, indenting text into backgrounds to create a sense of depth, more creative use of type, and big and bold web elements. 25. HTML5 & CSS3. Semantic markup really takes off later this year and into next year. HTML5 and CSS3 are going to be adapted much more widely thanks to a handy little javascript include even IE6 can read HTML5, and all the modern browsers (that is Firefox, Safari, Chrome & Internet Explorer 9) are now implementing CSS3 effects such as boxshadow, border-radius and transform. 26. Resolution-Adaptive Design. 27. A single website that can adapt dynamically to the device it’s being viewed on depending on factors such as screen resolution, orientation, device size, internet connection strength and hopefully more factors. 28. Machine Personalization. Personalized design is a concept in which websites will adapt to suit consumers browsing habits or preferences. For example, if a user clicks on a specific heading multiple times, it can automatically be given a higher design priority and improve the browsing experience for that user. Hints of this can already been seen on sites like iGoogle and the BBC. If you want to see how the future could really take off, have a good look at Genetify. 29. The Death of Flash. HTML5 is now able to perform most of the same tasks as flash much more efficiently, with far less effort and some of the more advanced tasks with too (with far more effort at the moment but hey it's still early days). 30. One of the biggest changes over the next year at least is going to be in font-replacement. 31. Vast number of websites have their mobile variations and with resolution-adaptive web design it will go even further, because the

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number of users browsing websites through their cell phones & similar devices is increasing rapidly. 32. Web sites and applications, which function in 3D, will also be far more widespread in the future. 33. Navigation features of your website are also one of the most important factors that would surely influence your overall website design to an extent.

Dr. Michael Nuccitelli is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1994 from the Adler School in Chicago, Illinois. In 2006, he received the Certified Forensic Consultant, C.F.C., designation from the American College of Forensic Examiners (ACFEI.) Dr. Nuccitelli is a New York State resident residing 65 miles North of Manhattan. Over the last 25 years, Dr. Nuccitelli has wo rked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities with various clinical populations. Concurrent with his employment in mental health, Dr. Nuccitelli was a practicing psychologist for 10 years and worked in the area of forensic psychology conducting evaluations and providing consulting services for attorneys and court systems. Presently, he is a consultant providing his expertise to the community, attorneys and media. Dr. Nuccitelli has many career and academic experiences. His areas of expertise include forensic psychology, theoretical criminology, digital/computer forensics, human sexuality, psychiatric illness and psychological issues. He is an avid follower of national news and enjoys interfacing with the media. Dr. Nuccitelli enjoys investigating his construct he has designed and trademarked called iPredator™. He is presently working with the American College of Forensic Examiners to become the resource and hub for the public seeking information on digital/computer forensics, internet predators, cyber security and training programs for the professional sector and law enforcement. Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C. NYS Licensed Psychologist Email: drnucc@hotmail.com Blo g: http://darkpsychology.co/ Sc ribd: http://www.scribd.com/iPredator Fac e book: The iPredator

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