Webdesign predictions 2007

As 2006 comes to a close, it is time to review the webdesign predictions for 2007.

I’m hoping for a decline in the number of blogs, or a general departure from the format to something different. The blog format isn’t perfect, it would be great to see some more experimenting. The return of web standards evangelism would be nice; as a bit of a backlash to the ‘real world’-standards you kept hearing in 2006; people are getting sloppy again. It isn’t difficult too find content management systems that output valid code any more, and it is often not difficult to change the output. The Validator is God, and should return to the front lines. 2007 should be the year of the Webstandards Project. Let’s hope they’re a bit more vocal the coming year.

Design

The most common thing you will hear is the advent of more seventies-style designs. This retro trend was first seen in 2004, but with the combined knowledge of CSS on the internets nowadays, it should make for a quite interesting design direction, with lots of room for experiment. I’m hoping some big designers will pick up on this. Jon Hicks already made the move.

The introduction of Windows Vista will probably have an impact on visual design of websites, just like when Apple’s OSX was released.

I hereby declare minimalism dead. Dutch design is all right, just don’t take it too far in 2007. We need to find more interesting ways to visualize our websites in 2007. Sure, don’t forget the content is the most important bit on the site, but there are lots of ways to make it interesting. Try to use images and illustrations to make the text more interesting. It works.

Social

The expected backlash of social networks. The current batch will be overthrown by newer, better services, just like Hyves took the place of Cu2 in the Netherlands. It isn’t hard to improve on the current sites, but will the newcomers have the staying power?

People will get tired of networking sites. There are just too many of them. They will either die out, leaving a couple, or the format will be re-invented in something workable. They won’t really see the number of users decline; most services forgot to add profile-termination functionality to their settings anyway. Perhaps MicroFormats will make a big entrance and will be the base for decentralized social networking. We can only hope.