I’m sure you’ll see a sea of information over the next month rounding up 2011 and the ‘big’ events as they happened. Instead I’m going to focus on 2011 as I saw it focussing on the web and design arena. It’s my perspective so your contribution via the comments are always welcome… here goes.
I don’t do anywhere near enough design work these days to label myself a ‘designer’ , however in 2011 I noticed that the principals, practice, and process behind becoming a designer is a more free flowing concept. Back in 2006 when I first fired up some adobe / macromedia software, the process behind learning and actually doing the stuff was very linear. Photoshop = images, Dreamweaver = web, Macromedia= more dynamic / complex web, where as today especially with the advent of handheld devices and better code, the inputs and outputs overlap in so many different ways that skills now span multiple sectors and it’s incredibly easy for a willing and eager individual to learn and find their way into design, choosing the most comfortable root for them. To that effect I encourage you to visit what I see as 2011′s best gift to new-comers in design, design-survival.com run by Richard Baird.
Well where to start… browsers, standards, the grid, mobile devices & mobile first design, technology that delivers the internet, font-kits and many more developments happened in 2011. Developing for the web has definitely exploded this year and the advancements are exciting for developers and end users. From my perspective, 2011 got us to a point where story telling on the web can truly be compelling, my best of example of that being slaveryfootprint.org, which showcases a host of HTML5 advancements as mentioned above, coming togther to not only inform, but also put forward a proposition that’s clear to follow. In 2010, something like this would have been been better done in print, today it’s better on the web.
Whilst progress is clearly happening, like all good things, it take a little while for the full impact to be realised. During 2012, we should hopefully see a whole host of end user focussed developments, for the web and the way designers across all mediums will apply themselves to the practice. My ‘one to watch’ for 2012 will be the increased uptake and implementation of web based apps and web based application development through tools such as PhoneGap and Craft. The Financial Times has had great success avoiding the native app stores, instead applying it’s resources into the future of the web.