It wouldn’t be a new year without a new set of lists. January is a time for making educated guesses about what the year will hold. Many blogs have focused in on specific areas of web development and technology to make predictions.

At TBH Creative, we might work on an email marketing strategy for a client in the morning, social media ideas around lunch, and a responsive web redesign project in the afternoon. We’ve closely examined lots of different lists for a variety of web-related needs, and the following trends stood out as ones you can expect to see more of in 2013.
(Photo by Flickr user “digiensemble” / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Start with smart, relevant content

It’s all about streamlining. Spam is still a dirty word. Learn from social media. Remove word clutter from your copy and get to the point, but don’t forget your call to action! Many web developer bloggers are predicting that 2013 will be the year web design will start ditching frills for frills sake and get back to making user experience a priority. Clearer nav, big buttons, succinct labels… it’s all on the way. We’ll also notice web developers start to make extensive use of HTML5 and CSS3 features.

Picture the possibilities

Pinterest’s surge in popularity is not slowing down. Does your social media strategy include a way to strategically use this platform? Even if you’re not using Pinterest, be sure to secure your name and account for potential use later on.

Leverage interest in your brand and products by making sure that your content is easily adapted for social sharing—whether that sharing is happening on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or somewhere else.

Be mobile-minded

Mobile is here and it will only keep on growing. There are over five billion mobile device users worldwide and of that about 1.1 billion are smartphone users. Make sure to keep tablet and smart phone users in mind when you’re tailoring content. After all, new customers (and profits) can come from a user on any kind of device, not just desktop.

This year “mobile-friendly” scalable templates will become the norm. Format your e-mail messages to be responsive by using CSS3 “@media” tags to tell e-mail clients which layout to display depending on the screen size of the device opening your message.

Also consider adapting your call to action messages to make them more mobile-friendly. Do this by incorporating a phone number as part of the call to action text, so that users on a smart phone can recognize and click to make a call right then and there.

Get personal and test it out

This year, marketers will get creative with e-mail messaging and more more toward communicating in a friendly, authentic, and personable manner. Many companies and organizations will be following the lead of Blue State Digital’s marketing pioneers who helped President Obama’s fundraising campaign reach and beat their goals by always trying new strategies with subject lines, scheduling, and more. Don’t settle for plateauing results with your e-mail marketing strategy. Make A/B testing a priority in 2013.

Do more with scrolling

More and more websites are incorporating parallax scrolling as part of their design, giving websites a more fluid and dynamic touch. Parallax scrolling creates an illusion of depth on the screen where the background imagery moves slower than the foreground images. Nintendo launched a fun timeline of their game Mario Kart using parallax scrolling to make it happen.

Forget the page reload. While not every website will need an interface that doesn’t require reloading the page, this year we’re likely see a growth in infinite scrolling effects on dashboards, timelines, and feeds. This trend for dynamic, constantly changing websites is happening in part due to infinite scrolling’s popularity on social websites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Go big!

The big photography momentum in web design is not slowing down. In fact, it’s only gaining in popularity. On a related note, as part of the move to responsive design, experts predict we’ll continue to see more websites incorporating a “full screen” display option, too. 2013 is going to be a big year, literally.