A call for change, monkey style.

There’s a certain same-ness that permeates web design these days. We’re all reaching for the same goals, and following the same leaders. Maybe it’s because we’re all looking at the same sources for inspiration.

Gallery sites are useful and fun, but also a bit dangerous. Watching trends fly from site to site is amusing, and a bit disheartening. I’m not excusing myself from the hangers on; I’m as guilty as most. My “monkey sense”:http://www.peterflaschner.com/?id=73 is telling me though that it’s time to start looking for answers in new places.

I think we’re about to see a shift enter our little design world. Web design has undergone a pretty dramatic change recently. The widespread uptake of standards-based design has taken hold. The rate of discovery has plateaued (witness the drop in “how-to” css posts). The “css aesthetic” has leapt beyond the web. Pulling my head up from my computer, I see two trends emerging in the next couple of months.

The first is a move towards third level functionality (first level being structure, second is style). Witness the age of the designer-coder. If you’re like me and don’t know much about scripting, time to start learning.

The second trend will be breaking the box. I predict a rash of innovative layouts that make use of third level functions to adjust themselves to various browsers viewports. I think professional blogs will look less bloggy, and web design will once again explore alternatives to 2 or 3 col layout.

I should add at this point that the good work of standards movement will *not* be compromised. Accessibility will remain an important goal.

How these trends will play out is beyond me, but I’d bet my “97th monkey”:http://www.peterflaschner.com/?id=73 status that both of these will come true. I put a challenge out to my fellow designers, and the gallery owners in particular to start pushing forward again. If you can’t do it with client work, do it with you own. That’s how the css movement took off, after all…