Has the time come to challenge the top place of glassy look in today’s web notion for haute couture? What could possibly act cooler than a glassy button on your web site?



Admit it, even if you never had it, at one point or another you secretly craved for one. One of those fat, professional looking glassy buttons that scream out loud style & grace and are said to sky-rocket click through rates. Everyone’s got it - for the last couple of years, web interface has been all about this glassy feel – ironically enough, with the fall of the glassy CRT monitor, the material seemed to find its way even further into the fabric of web experiences.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
So, the glassy button turned into an easy way to add “style” to a web-site. Spurred under the brilliant creative of the Apple design team, the glass frenzy took over from the Mac interface to mainstream web design and is now a proud feature of all sites – big and small, professional and profane. While its widespread use helped turn it into a standard for web feel, it has taken away from its appeal as a novel, exciting interface element – the glassy button is no longer the latest fashion, it turns into a norm.

So what’s the next big thing?
Here at telerik, we believe we’re spotting a new trend emerging for web interfaces. It seems like all the factors are in place to push textured metal as the next big thing on the net:
  1. Apple has been pushing the material forward for a long time, so metal is a no-news for the web designer. Limited as it is in numbers of actual users, Apple is THE trend-setter on the web: with its easy reach to designers and innovators and its reputation for design, Mac starts the waves… 
  2. Microsoft has finally embraced it. We’ve seen metal all over the new Office 12 interfaces, used in novel ways, which I must admit, won me over at first sight. So the material will be streamed to the mass market next year and will start forming people’s expectations about PC interface. 
  3. Glass just goes with metal. It is the combination of choice for modern architecture, so why shouldn’t the marriage be a success on the screen as well? Again at the frontline, Apple has stirred the spirits with its latest glass staircase addition to high profile Apple stores. Seems like everyone is all over the idea, so it is only a matter of time until the offline craze goes online.

What’s in it for me?
Here’s your chance for a hero-of-the-day experience. With Apple selling the idea to trend-setters and Microsoft pushing in to mass market, metal will be huge next year. With a pronounced frenzy in the offline world in full fury, it is a no-risk certified preference, waiting for web designers to capitalize upon. As was the case with the glassy feel, early adopters will reap the benefits of perceived innovation & trend-setting, before the crowd moves in.

Need I mention we will be adding a line of textured metal skins across the product line just in time?


rahnev
About the Author

Stefan Rahnev

Stefan Rahnev (@StDiR) is Product Manager for Telerik Kendo UI living in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been working for the company since 2005, when he started out as a regular support officer. His next steps at Telerik took him through the positions of Technical Support Director, co-team leader in one of the ASP.NET AJAX teams and unit manager for UI for ASP.NET AJAX and Kendo UI. Stefan’s main interests are web development, agile processes planning and management, client services and psychology.

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