So much has been said about the changing world of web design. Over the last 10 years, the Horizon Awards has seen a movement away from tables based layouts and flash animation as an entire site interface to the increasing popularity of jQuery motion and mobile responsive css frameworks. As we look forward to the 2012 Horizon Interactive Awards competition, we will undoubtedly see designers and developers continuing to push the envelope with a blend of creative graphic interfaces and advanced coding techniques to create immersive and engaging user experiences.
Content is and always will be king.
We’re always glad to see is the renewed emphasis on engaging content. It is, after all, the reason users visit web sites in the first place. With the convergence of many forms of media, from stunning photography to video to social media interactive components, user experiences have continued to be improved by site owners staying focused on not only enhancing brand image but providing useful content that keeps users coming back to their sites for multiple visits.
Responsive Web Design.
While there are many ways to provide a great experience for multiple environments, including mobile smart phones and tablets, the increasing popularity of responsive css has made actually creating those experiences much more of a forethought rather than an afterthought. Many times, the user is even unaware that the site is built to optimize the site content for many browser sizes/platforms without having to build multiple websites. When we think of design, we don’t necessarily think of this “technical” aspect as being part of the equation... however, times are changing. Many of the best web sites around will utilize a responsive framework and the “design” is more focused on providing slick interfaces at different resolutions to display the same content. Users will undoubtedly appreciate this detail as they will decide which sites are most useful to them based almost entirely on how well the site performs for their specific device. In a sense, it is a shift from the designer/developer dictating what the site will look like and do to the user determining their experience based on the device/resolution that it is being viewed on.
Video - a picture is worth a thousand words.
We know this is a cliché but it is true. A moving picture is worth a thousand words. Not only can video communicate a message often more effectively than written text, it can also be used as a valuable marketing tool to generate new viewers who are tuned in to watching videos on their smartphones and tablets. We have recently learned that there are over 40 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every hour of every day. That is a tremendous amount of content that can, if done correctly, provide a valuable resource to capturing new customer leads and extending brand experiences beyond the website. What the Horizon Interactive Awards has seen over the past few years is a convergence of video into the overall website interface to provide a comprehensive and immersive web experience. Many of the past Horizon Awards winners have utilized creative interfaces to display multi-media content that is artfully injected into what would otherwise be flat text or html pages.
What to watch for in the 2012 Horizon Awards Competition
We think this year’s top sites will be a great blend of up to date responsive code, engaging content and creative use of video and other interactive components into one well branded solution. Needless to say, we’re always excited to see how designers and developers continue to push the envelope to deliver creative and engaging websites and we’ll do our part to highlight that great work in what will undoubtedly be the most creative web design awards competitions to date.
Have a great site? We want to see it in this year’s competition - You may enter your projects anytime between now and December 21, 2012 by using our online entry system - www.horizoninteractiveawards.com