Web design must evolve and grow if companies want to get ahead of the competition in the online market. Web developers are constantly on the lookout for trends and changes that will significantly improve the user experience and allow their clients to get ahead of the pack.
As a result, you’ll see new trends emerge every year. Many of these trends will go through a sort of trial phase to test their effectiveness and determine if they’ll stick around or die out before the end of the year. Others will become web standards that will change the face of website design forever.
Regardless of the outcome of design trends, any business owner or developer needs to understand what’s coming in the future.
Here are some of the top predictions for the upcoming year.
1. Greater Definition by Niche
There has been some distinction between niche websites in the past, but not enough to make a major difference for most industries. Right now, the majority of websites look very similar. They use box templates that create the same structure, and sites must carefully read and observe the content to understand what the point of the site is.
In the future, we’re going to see more uniqueness in websites according to their niche. As real estate agents build their websites, they’ll begin using more striking and authentic photos to promote their listings. As ecommerce sites build their platforms, they’ll begin changing their colors, images, and even the structure of their sites to better reflect what they’re selling.
2. Clearer and More Concise Messaging
Minimalist design began a few years ago, and it continues to define the way we build websites. Along with the simplicity of the structure we see in sites, consumers are also asking for more concision in the messages themselves.
The change will first manifest on home and landing pages, so we know immediately what the purpose of the site is, thanks to a concise description and well-chosen image. Rather than going through several motions like some sites have you do, the gist of a site will be laid out clearly within the first click. This is a transition we’ve already witnessed in websites, but it will become more dominant in 2017.
3. Material Design and Motion
With material design from Google, it’s easier for developers to create a more unified experience on any platform or device. The focus and meaning follow a hierarchy with bold graphics and effects to show transitions and depths around text and images. There’s also more motion through animation, scrolling, and video.
To see these changes in effect, check out any of Google’s applications. Google wanted their users to have a unified experience no matter how they were accessing the content, so they created material design for a variety of their applications, including YouTube, Google Maps, Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Docs. You’ll see the differences already in place, and more to come, as they advance this design feature.
As the name suggests, microinteractions refer to the way consumers interact on websites and mobile applications in very small and detailed ways. It’s a focus on the entire user experience to make things run more smoothly and help website developers understand what consumers want.
For example, to achieve a better experience for consumers, a developer might change the scrolling speed on a website so that it better matches the consumer’s reading speed. Every click, tap, pinch, and scroll can have a huge impact on the overall user experience.
5. Augmented Reality and Immersive Full-Screen Videos
Whether consumers are looking at products, tutorials, or informative content on your website, videos and virtual reality are the future. They help give consumers a better sense of the purpose of your site and the products you’re selling in 60-90 seconds.
Virtual reality will likely become a bigger part of the commercial website as well. As consumers become more receptive to the virtual reality concept, websites will need to shift their design platform to keep up.
In 2017, virtual reality will get its start, and if predictive models are accurate, it won’t be the end of this revolutionary experience.