Enter the year of refinement

The new year has turned and with it the seemingly endless design trend speculation posts.  I’m always rather sceptical of how unless you are Mystic Meg you can actually predict the future design trends.  Surely the entire point is they are both future and trends – trends implying they are used by more and more people.  For me though, 2012 is about one thing and that’s the web entering what I like to think of as its ‘long trousers phase’ of design as there is a new maturity in the way things are done.


  1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
  2. A general tendency or inclination.
  3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.

intr.v., trend·ed, trend·ing, trends.

  1. To extend, incline, or veer in a specified direction: The prevailing wind trends east-northeast.
  2. To show a general tendency; tend: “The gender gap was trending down” (James J. Kilpatrick).

I’ve like many others been privileged (and I do count what I’ve seen a privilege) enough to see web design develop from what was nothing more than a seed of positioning things that do things on a page.I rode out the black and red design days and with each step forward a new discipline emerged.   Every ‘webbie’ worth their salt though knows the tales of old web design – mainly because us old web designers like to tell them over and over… The point though is I truly feel this year sees this what until now has still been juvenile form take on an adult approach.

Aside from huge leaps in technology (fonts, colours and the spectrum of tools we now can use) another sign to me of maturity is specialisation.  In art there are so many mediums you can use.  I see the different roles that web designers can take like those mediums.  I also am a strong believer that nobody can be an expert in all but as a web designer you should have exposure to all.  I am a firm advocate of specialisation once you find something that fits.

2012 to me is therefore not about what is ‘hot or not’ it’s about recognising a milestone that I feel web design has reached.  Has it gone the complete journey – not at all but that’s the exciting thing.  This is just one step along the path to a career and discipline that didn’t even exist such a few years ago.


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