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Top 2012 web design trends – part two

trends 4Last week we examined some of the strides website design has made while advances in technology continue to expand creative options. The year 2012 has seen the introduction of some interesting new styles and programming methods, as designers and developers eagerly experiment with some of the advanced capabilities in HTML 5. Here is the second part of our list of the top seven most popular web design trends of the past year:

5. Large photo backgrounds. Large images have been coming into style for quite some time, being made popular predominantly by photographers and fashion designers. But other industries have been picking up on the trend, and large, screen-filling background images are now being used successfully by a range of companies. Large images are not just for portfolio sites anymore. They can be used to help make a big impact, create a memorable website and give pages a clean, modern feel. Law firms are starting recognize and participate in this trend. Here are some law firm examples:

6. Color and picture blocking. Solid blocking takes the design grid and emphasizes it with alternating areas of solid colors, pictures and text. Microsoft has influenced this trend with its Microsoft phone operating system and most recently with Windows 8. Like big images, solid blocking can help give websites a strong visual impact, and the contrast between colors and images encourages users to explore different areas. When done well, color blocking can help simplify pages, presenting visitors with a limited number of options. The Goldman Sachs website is a good example of this. However, it can also be a little busy when many blocks are used, as is the case with Pepsi's website. Different examples of color blocking:

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7. Infographics. Infographics can be an interesting way to convey information, processes or statistics. Law firms can create infographics from available information about relevant case law or – and perhaps more effectively – by doing informal surveys of clients and prospects and highlighting interesting findings. For example, what is the number one concern of start-up businesses? Or families engaged in estate planning? What are people searching for when they need to find a personal injury lawyer? Infographics are an effective and compelling way to share information with the added benefit of being easily shared across social media outlets. Some infographic links:

Fads may come and go, but trends have staying power. Look for some of these web design trends in 2013 and beyond.

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