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Our Baracci Blog aims to inform our readers of current design trends, emerging web technologies and other interesting industry topics.

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Web Design Trends of 2013; Baracci Solutions Predicts! 
2013 web design trends will be all about Responsive Web Design (RWD) and have a wildcard variable: the popularity of Windows 8. Web design gurus will need to focus on creating websites that look perfect not only on the various operating systems and web browsers but also on the wide variety of mobile platforms and devices available in Montreal, in North-America and around the World.

The popularity of Microsoft’s Windows 8 will definitely lead to the creation of an important number of websites emulating the new Metro design style. The visual focus will move away from icon based designs and towards a more typographical web experience. Whether you are a Montreal website designer or an international web solutions team, you will need to prove your website design trendiness by using full-width backgrounds as well as simplified yet larger buttons, menus and headings that will allow users to browse more socially dynamic websites.

Sharp corners will replace rounded ones, highlights will be preferable to shadows and borders will be removed to create a sense of openness and fluidity. Menu bars and various navigation, ecommerce and social media buttons that scroll down the page as you navigate vertically will be preferred since they remain accessible to the users throughout their visit ensuring better user conversion rates.

2013 websites will be simple yet bold - the “white space” trend will continue throughout the year. Although the individual website design elements will need to remain plain, they will need to come alive on user contact to offer a truly dynamic, interactive and social experience.

The use of Flash elements will diminish drastically. Website design teams will prefer the use of Dynamic HTML5 elements. Web designers will also prefer single HTML5 page layouts when designing web portfolios and other specific content pages.

Since mobile web browsing seems set to surpass traditional web browsing, 2013 will see web design specialists re-evaluating the traditional website scrolling options in order to ensure that mobile web users have an equally optimized web experience. To fully reach the 2013 web audience, websites will need to automatically rearrange their various elements to ensure visual stability regardless of screen resolution – from widescreen desktops to 4 inch mobile screens.

Finally, Montreal area web design firms with their North American tech knowhow and their European flare for style and attention to detail will remain leaders in the Web Design milieu throughout 2013 as they continue to create some of the trendiest, most avant-garde and truly efficient websites and web portals.

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How to avoid #SMSOS - Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome. 
Many of us have, at one time or another, fallen victim to the Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome (clinically referred to as SMSOS). Although it usually has little social ripple when it affects an individual - unless your social media influence is based on your own personal online presence - it can have a more detrimental side effect on businesses.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this syndrome, it involves troves of people uninhibitedly jumping onto the ‘look at this brand new social media shiny object … I want it, I want it, I want it’ bandwagon. In most cases, users are plagued with maintaining a chronically underperforming social channel. In very few cases, #SMSOS victims come out of this affliction unscathed and socially stronger for it – just ask the first thousand or so Facebook users. However, this last outcome is rare in today’s virally driven social media ecosystem.

How can I avoid falling victim to this phenomenon, you ask?

Don’t worry, there is a #SMSOS vaccine and it is relatively painless: don’t be too quick to link your business to new social media ventures. Take time to ‘personally’ investigate and asses the shiny object and interact with some of its users.

Once you are satisfied that the social startup shows strong potential for growth and, more importantly, a potential for your business to gain a quality following, incorporate it to you social media strategy and carefully plan its implementation.

Abandoning a social media channel can have a negative effect on your business. It is not only a sign of “social weakness” but it can also reflect poorly on your online customer service as well as your social media knowhow and project management capabilities.

Is there a cure for #SMSOS?

If your business has contracted #SMSOS there isn’t much you can do. However, here are a few steps that your business can follow to minimize the damage.

First, launch a campaign that aims to direct users to your other, more successful, social channels.

Second, honestly inform your community of the situation, encourage members to join your business on your other social channels and thank them for having been part of the social community.

Finally, shut down your social media channel promptly once you have informed your community that you will no longer be maintaining it. Most community members don’t visit social media account pages, especially if you are no longer posting content. Moreover, you probably don’t want any new people joining the community when you are planning on deleting your social media channel.

If you are worried about missing out on a ‘social phenomenon’, don’t be: taking a few months to better assess and understand the features and functionalities of a new social startup can only help your business establish a strong social presence in the long run.

Assess, Strategize, Plan and Implement!

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