No matter how much we complain about it, time just keeps rolling along, bringing with it a wealth of new technologies, a never-ending stream of unwanted trends, and an endless array of vogue color schemes we’re supposed to stay up to date with. In our minds, it’s a terrible amount of work for a bunch of old dogs, but that doesn’t mean we slack off on our job. No, we’ve combed through our various sources, and with our sharpest minds on the full prowl, we’ve managed to compile a brief list of some of the more prevalent design styles we expect to see in the coming year. If you’re looking to stay on the cutting-edge, there’s no better place to begin than with our thoughts below!

1.    Interactivity: As animations and web design get a little easier thanks to intuitive programs like WordPress and Adobe Muse—or whatever it will be called in 2012—we’re seeing an extreme focus on website responsiveness. This means your website should buck and moan with every touch, producing sliding animations, drop-down menus, rolling pictures, etc. Gone are the days when a single, static website would suffice. They’ve instead been replaced by one heap of an entertainment ball: And to be honest, we don’t really miss the bygone days of boring, pre-Web 2.0 Internet.

2.    Big and Banner: We’re also seeing a lot of focus on graphics that are large and banner-oriented. Typically, we’re seeing a lot of this design at the forefront of a webpage, right at the header. As an example, we saw a brilliantly done ski website the other day that blasted the user with a massive photo of a downhill plunge, without any other introduction. In other words, big bold hooks are what’s driving the market these days, and if you don’t have some kind of audacious intro to snag your viewers with, you may find yourself left in the dark.

3. Slab Typefaces: On a similar note, we’re seeing more slab-style typefaces than we ever have before. These are those massive, fat fonts with no serif and a lot of attitude. We suppose these just go well with the aforementioned big graphics, and if you’re looking to grab a user’s attention, there’s really no better font to do it.