Tags : Facebook

Facebook- a web design friend or foe?

Tags : Facebook

Web design has seen a lot of fads come and go. If you perform a quick Google search on web design tips and tricks you would find an endless array of blogs and articles, from colour schemes to search engine optimisation. The industry has ridden the wave through the .com crash, the Y2K bug scare, and other monumental developments in the social media realm.

Social media has been around for some time now. We’ve seen the rise and demise of My Space, Flash, and other online innovations that have spread like wildfire, and died down just as fast.

Facebook is one social channel that has come, seen, and conquered.

It is fresh, addictive, simple, and yet oh so complex.

Everyone wants a Facebook ‘like’. Everyone wants people to tell their friends about their site on Facebook, and more and more, we see websites having a Facebook app version, because, it’s just ‘in’.

People have seen how successful Facebook has been over the years and just want to get in on the action. That, together with many other innovations are changing the web design platform and keeping designers on their toes to make sure they continue to give the people what they want. Take for instance only a few of the reasons for change over time below…

Facebook’s edge…

500 million+ active users cumulatively spending over 700 billion minutes each month on Facebook. Web pioneers don’t want to wake a sleeping dragon- they are beginning to follow the UI strategy Facebook has created to avoid frustrating this huge Facebook user population.

“Vertical page navigation on the left; User navigation top right; Content centre; Ads and extras on the right. This is also the layout we are used to from the Google results page too.”

There’s no such thing as standards anymore…

Since we can remember, it’s been all about the standard default monitor resolution of 1024 pixel x 768 pixels. Minus a smidgen of space for browser scroll-bars and buffer space, you’re left with a generous canvas width of 960 pixels.

The issue here… nothing stays ‘standard’ for long in the World Wide Web. People are opting for wide screens now, which again is changing the needs and wants of the web design audience out there.

Static is out and adaptive is in! ‘Responsive design’ is the latest and greatest solution to the varying screen resolutions out there. As the browser resizes and the screen resolution changes, the CSS displays a flexible new layout of the site.


Ever wonder why sites seemed similar and easy to read over the last 20 years? That’s because web designers found what was good and stuck to it. Does the term ‘web-safe fonts’ ring any bells? This is, was, the selection of fonts available on most computers, which has constrained web design for two decades. Many companies made a change to their marketing for consistency across shop front and online fonts, however, in 2010, dynamic font replacement became the standard practice. Cufón and Google fonts have opened up many doors for web-designers granting them access to a much wider selection.

Apple’s pie…

How is it that Apple always gets a huge slab of that pie? Time and time again, web designers are directed to www.apple.com for an exemplary clean and glossy site to model designs after. Well, Apple does it part, it not only affects the lives of designers by releasing new devices with new resolutions, but also improves the resolutions of its old devices. Apple’s iPhone 4 has resolution of 326ppi higher than most magazines.

Oh yeh… and who killed Flash? That one is a team effort… iPads and iPhones don’t display Adobe Flash files, so web designers need to come up with alternatives for these pages. Plus, Flash does not get picked up by search engines which totally writes off the search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy.

So, where are we now? We are where we have always been. Working hard through new technologies, innovative ideas, and hurdles we try and jump even higher over. The web design world is real and thriving, different times calling on different measures, fads, waves, and ‘in things’, all of which are keeping designers on their toes and users wanting more and more.