Web trend forecast for 2006

Every year in December, it’s entertaining to read the lists of predictions for the coming year that show up on many peoples’ blogs. A couple that I’ve seen so far are Andy Budd’s Web Design and Development Trends for 2006 and Cameron Moll’s Bold predictions for the savvy designer, 2006 edition.

No major arguments from me against these two gentlemen’s lists, but there are a couple of things I’d like to highlight:

  • I hope that the first item on Cameron’s “out” list - Page Refreshing - remains the main way of updating the information on a web page. I don’t have a problem with using scripting to update a document’s content without refreshing the page as long as it is done in an accessible way and has a fallback for browsers with insufficient scripting support.
  • Several people mention dark grey and black backgrounds with light text as something that will be popular in 2006. I would like anyone considering to implement a colour scheme like that to please also provide a dark-on-light scheme for those of us who get a headache from reading light-on-dark text. Thanks.

Posted on December 12, 2005 in Quicklinks, Web General


  1. Someone should totally find everyone’s predictions from the last few years and collate them. That’d be cool.

    I’m rubbish at making predictions, but it’s fun innit?

  2. I for one hope that no one uses dark backgrounds with light text. That certainly makes my eyes sore.

  3. … not to mention, they get extra blurry when scrolling on LCD monitors with high refresh rates.

  4. December 13, 2005 by grumpY!

    javascript shunning will become fashionable again as amateur coders (aka web designers) hose down our resources with wasteful js.

  5. I have to agree when it comes to light on dark, very few designs using this scheme are successful in my opinion.

    As far as ajax/dynamic content for pages, there are still many issues to resolve, including accessibility. The biggest is page state: the back button and history and linking to each view/state.

  6. Working in a .NET/B2B/Local council/Web Application/EAI environment I must say that both predictions are a bit presumptuous as to the acceptance of new technologies.

    When you work on a web site with over 40000 pages and about 23000 registered users of which 20% are still using MSIE below 5.5 then it is hard to believe that even if MSIE 7 will be out in 2006 (which is not for sure yet) MSIE 5 will die.

    The same applies to AJAX and Ruby on Rails. The big money projects run on .NET and banking is largely in the hand of Java.

    I would like to see 2006 becoming a year of acceptance of web standards and user orientated design and development rather than technology driven choices.

    Right now I am writing a book for Apress on usable JavaScript and during my research I get the feeling we repeat the same mistake we did in the DHTML heydays - using a technology for its own sake rather than thinking why it makes sense to apply it.

    I think it is high time great CSS developers look at CMS and development frameworks and help those get nicer and cleaner templates, but - as the participation in the CSS Toolshed shows - this seems to be still far off.

    Personally I am losing the patience with a lot of projects - I hate seeing yet another great template butchered in the end phase of a project as the time runs out and a .NET developer uses some Visual Studio control with Microsoft generated DHTML instead of taking the time upfront to properly plan the application and see what modern technology can do for it.

    As developers, the CSS Designer/DOM Scripter/HTML guru is still not appreciated enough, and is still considered a designer rather than someone who defines the UI from both a look and feel and a functionality point of view. Maybe it is time to stretch out our ideas towards the backend and help create clean .NET/struts/Ruby On Rails building blocks rather than discussing what font face will be very hip next year. Otherwise we might find us obsolete as a high income employee sooner than we think. The framework and portal developing companies out there are not sitting on their hands and their sales rap is pretty good.

  7. I wholeheartedly agree about page refreshing, and you just made me reconsider a light-on-dark palette for a site I’m working on. Come to think of it, Ordered List is the only site I can think of with a light-on-dark design that I actually like.

    If you’d like a break from all of the serious ponderations on the future of the web, check out Greg Storey’s hilarious batch of predictions at Airbag.

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