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Anyone share my concerns about where website design is heading? It all seems to be becoming a bit… samey.

Is it due to lists like ‘Top 20 Web Design Trends’, or something else…

You can use CSS2 now, finally!

The impact of the breaking of Internet Explorer’s dominance of the market in 2008, should not be underestimated. It finally allowed the important pioneering work by Opera browser founder and all-round hero, Håkon Wium Lie, to come to fruition.

Microsoft’s refusal to fully adopt CSS2, in version 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Internet Explorer, meant the true power of style sheets(and RWD) got delayed by 10 years.

Web 2.0 – Do It Yourself

Placing all formatting in one CSS file (and using PHP’s ability to dynamically retrieve the latest content), has made building and maintaining websites less labour-intensive.

Developers can now create customised page template layouts (or use an all encompassing pre-built ‘theme’). Sitting on CMS platforms like WordPress (remember Drupal Read More) finally make Web 2.0 a reality.

Recommendation to Front End Developers

Standard grids cope well with any size screen, but they lack hierarchy and impact. Work with graphic designers who have no idea of the challenges of web development. Resist the temptation to educate them on what’s ‘impossible’.

This will push you to write bespoke media queries to adapt layouts for smaller screens, you’d normally avoid. You’ll find some of the constraints you put on yourself are artificial and make you a better coder.

It doesn’t work on my phone

The rise in Web 2.0 has coincided with the output device challenge! Alongside standard 17.5″ desktop monitors there’s

  • super-sized monitors(21″+)
  • fun-sized netbooks(10.5″)
  • mobile tablets that can be viewed portrait and landscape.

Then there’s the smartphones…

  • Blackberry Torch/ Bold: 480px(pixels) x 360px
  • Android: 480px x 800px
  • iPhone 4/4s: 640px x 960px
  • Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rezound: 720px x 1280px

Lazy Standard Grid Page Layouts

These challenges seem to be what’s led to so many similar layout designs in 2012. You know the sort of thing… Splitting rows into equal columns of halves, thirds and quarters.

It’s not offensive, but it’s rather dull. A bit like a Phil Collins album. It doesn’t have to be like this.