5 Most Popular Web Trends 2011

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Steve Jobs with iPadOnline technology and marketing techniques are progressing at a ridiculous pace. Here are 5 of the most popular trends we’ve seen this year.

1.    Flash is dead! Its HTML5 and CSS all the way, baby

When Apple dropped support for Flash on its mobile devices, they completely shook up the web industry. The bottom line is, if you want your website to be viewable on an iPad (and who doesn’t) it needs to be built using standard web technologies. If you want animation components and slideshows etc., they have to be delivered using HTML and Javascript.

HTML5 will look the same as Flash in terms of sliders and transitions but still definitely has shortcomings in cross-browser implementation. The old browsers won’t know how to display the new code, so you will have to make sure your site still works OK for them.

Here’s an example of a site we built using HTML5 with animation and flash like behaviour: http://www.guavalime.com.au

2.    Let’s Go Mobile!

As a chaser to the first trend, getting your website viewable on mobile devices is now a priority. We recently reviewed the website stats of a high traffic client and discovered that a massive 29% of users where using a mobile phone to view their site. That number is too big to ignore.

Review your site and prepare a ‘Mobile Stylesheet’. It’s a relatively simple job to simplify the content and navigation to suit the small screen and improve the user experience.

Can you extend your website with an iPhone app? Yes, of course you can. One of our clients Broadcast Health has done just that with an iPhone app that cleverly links to their website content.

3.    Write Tight

A few years ago, there was a trend to stuff every single thing about your business on your website, only to check usage statistics in 3 months to find that only 20% of your content is actually being viewed. Those days are long gone and as a result, we are seeing the simplification of delivery of content at all levels.

  • Do you really need a 3 or 4 tiered navigation structure?
  • Can you condense your 6-step application form to 2 steps?
  • Is your in-page content snappy and tight?
  • Can your business processes be described with graphics rather than text?

4.    Socially Aware

The tsunami of social media has well and truly engulfed mainstream business websites as a ‘must have’ component. Having said that, only a very small percentage is actually using it to its fullest potential. Our recommendation is ‘don’t get left behind’, start building a corporate presence in the social hotspots and build a connected audience.
Companies that understand the benefit of social media are already launching custom Facebook applications and competitions and connecting with their audience on a completely different level than what was possible a few years ago (check out our new Facebook poll on browser usage, for example).

5.    Moving to the Cloud

There has always been a developing trend over the last few years of businesses moving their core systems online. Cloud computing has been the driving force. Now more than ever, we are seeing the longer term cost benefit of moving online.
Yes, it requires investment, but the rewards can be significant. Here are a few examples…

  • Not for profits accepting donations online, saving huge amounts of admin time
  • Sales teams interacting with one core database with real-time reporting to head office
  • Accounting and law firms improving efficiency with client and document portals
  • Online invoice payments across all business types
  • Membership areas that engage and provide key information, increasing membership value
  • Integrating all your business systems for better productivity and accountability

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