Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation. The SVG specification is an open standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since 1999. SVG images and their behaviors are defined in XML text files.
As we look forward to 2017 — a year that hopefully won’t be plagued by the passing of so many of the world’s greatest artists and performers — the big question on every designer’s mind has to be: what will define design in 2017?
So with that in mind, I decided to ask Webflow’s own designers what trends they think will dominate the world of digital design in 2017. (And wrote up a little commentary on their thoughts.)
First, let’s hear from Webflow’s Chief Design Officer, Sergie Magdalin.
Layouts that let content shine
The arrangement of design elements within a given structure should allow the reader to easily focus on the message, without slowing down the speed of his reading
The last few years have seen a sea change in how people view design’s role in business. Design has shifted from a late-in-the-process “optimization” stage where designers swooped in to sprinkle on some “pretty” like mystical fairy dust to a real competitive advantage.
It’s been an amazing evolution to watch.
And a fascinating element of that evolution has been the shift back toward a focus on content: the meat on the bones of the web. Designers worldwide have realized that people visit websites for their content — whether it’s raging tweetstorms, thoughtful long-reads, or the latest “user-generated” meme — and that design’s ultimate role is to present content in an intuitive, efficient, and “delightful” way.
That’s one reason for the shift away from skeuomorphic design toward “flatter,” more minimalist design approaches, as seen in Google’s Material aesthetic, and really, across the web and our various devices.
Of course, as Newton’s third law states, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Many designers feel that the flat design trend has taken the “soul” out of design. We expect to see this conversation continue across 2017, but look forward to it becoming a productive dialogue that never loses sight of the heart of our design work: the content.
Better collaboration between designers, and between designers and developers
As design has taken a greater and more influential role in shaping businesses, more and more attention has been paid to designers’ collaboration with both their fellow designers, and their developer colleagues.
The emphasis on designer collaboration has arisen in part from the massiveness of the web and mobile apps we’re building these days. Gigantic platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn require not only huge design teams working on disparate aspects of the platform, but also better ways for designers to stay on the same page — and that means more collaboration, and better communication.
All kinds of tools have arisen to help facilitate that collaboration, from the shared templates and dashboards in Webflow’s Team plan to the real-time, shared canvas of Figma — and you can bet 2017 will bring both improvements to those platforms, and all-new options.
On the designer-developer collaboration front, lots of attention has been focused on the all-important handoff stage. Where designers used to hand off massive packages of static images and specs, they’re now sharing dynamic visualizations enabled by tools like InVision, Marvel, and UXPin — or doing one better by exporting real, production-ready code from Webflow.
Flexbox, or the Flexible Box Layout, is a new layout mode in CSS3 designed for laying out complex applications and web pages.
In CSS 2.1, four layout modes were defined which determine the size and position of boxes based on their relationships with their sibling and ancestor boxes: the block layout designed for laying out documents, and that lays elements on a page vertically; the inline layout designed for laying out text horizontally inside block-level containers; the table layout designed for laying out two-dimensional data in a tabular format; and the positioned layout designed for very explicit positioning without much regard for other elements in the document.
Flexbox is similar to the block layout, except that it lacks many of the properties that can be used in a block layout, such as floats and columns. But then again it has more flexibility for distributing space and aligning content in ways that web applications and complex web pages often need. It solves many other layout problems that we have been fighting against and trying to solve for a very long time—such as vertical centering, for example, among many others.
Flexbox allows you to lay out elements in a container, arrange and (re)order them, align them, and distribute the space between (and/or around) them, regardless of their size. It allows you to make them literally flexible—items inside a container can be stretched and shrunk to accommodate the available space, and can be sized in proportionally to each other, and any available space between or around them can be distributed among them based on a proportion that you get to specify.
Using flexbox, you can also lay elements out inside a container in either directions: horizontal or vertical, called the flex directions; you’re not bound to just one direction as in other layout modes. This allows for the creation of more adaptive and responsive layouts that adapt to the layout changes on different screen sizes and orientations.
Summary of Flexbox Properties
Creating a Flexible Layout: The Flex Container and Items
The first step to start using Flexbox is to create a flex container. Children of a flex container are called the flex items, and are laid out inside the flex container using the Flexbox properties. Some of the Flexbox properties apply to the container, others are applied to the flex items.
A flex container is created by setting the display property of an element to either flex or inline-flex.
display: flex creates a block-level flex container; display: inline-flex creates an inline-level flex container. The flex container becomes a flex context for its direct descendants.
Children of a flex container, the flex items, are laid out using the Flexbox layout. Any element outside a flex container is not affected by the Flexbox layout defined on it, and will be rendered as it normally would in the page.
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