Web design is no longer simply about having a website; it is now about the need to have a solid platform that is a website. More than 80 percent of Americans have internet access and almost 40 percent of people in the world have internet connection as of 2016. This means a wider reach for brand and website owners.
Businesses want to see more conversions to get more traffic. It is important to take in mind design trends and how users will respond to them. According to Steven Widen, web designer and president at E-Cubed Media Synthesis Inc., a company that specializes in web design, the following are a couple of web design trends that will emerge this 2017:
Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that focuses on usability. It highlights clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional or flat illustrations.
Google introduced material designing. It relies on grid-based layouts, lighting and shadow effects to create depth and responsive transitions. It is important to understand that a design of the website can also generate traffic. Material designing allows a more comfortable and confident experience that can lead to more conversions. A design that is both accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices can attract visitors.
There are a few elements in web design that one has to take note of which are space, color, typography, grids and imagery. These elements create responsive and engaging designs.
The idea of ink and paper to create realistic visual cues became the inspiration for material design.
The main idea of modern web design is to find a way to keep users engaged and generate online traffic. This is where interaction design and micro-interaction play a big role. An example of micro-interaction is Facebook’s feature of reactions where you can do much more than just “like” posts.
For a micro-interaction to be successful, it should not hinder the user’s browsing experience. For instance, the iPhone has opened up several possibilities for engaging user experience design with force touch and other gestures.
Imagine an app that lets you use a smartphone to control the thermostat in your apartment. Because of this creative and innovative feature, it feels like adjusting the knob of your thermostat without moving an inch closer to where it actually is.
Soon, other smartphone companies will follow this design turn. Once force tough becomes a common ground in most mobile devices, UX designers would be able to build apps and games that have a more realistic effect. Micro-interactions can create many other possibilities that can elevate user experience.
No user likes the experience of waiting for content to load onto the screen. Longer loading periods can trigger an anxiety amongst users that can drive them away. This is called interstitial anxiety and the remedy for this is to create transition elements that can give a sense of the “unknown.”
If a quick preview of the next page is shown, it would entice the user and instill confidence.
Interaction designers are already using this trend and it is expected to become mainstream this 2017. This trend can be linked to a study in 2015 that found there users who are willing to wait longer for web pages to load as long as there is quality content.
Though the general advice is to have a page that loads fast, the extra seconds for more complex design elements can increase engagement on websites.
It is now a necessity to have a responsive design that caters to different screen sizes and operating environments. If a user has to pinch or tap the screen on their phones to view a website, they end up having a mindset to avoid that particular website. It is best to hire an intelligent designer who understands the idea of being mobile-friendly. Google is even believed to penalize websites that are not mobile-friendly.
A great example of a website feature that nails responsiveness is Google Maps. What you see on your desktop when you use Google Maps is exactly the same as the one in the app. It offers the same level of agility and control. Buzzfeed is another brand with a responsive website. Many of Buzzfeed’s users can access the viral news site on mobile devices with such ease creating a seamless mobile experience.
It’s quite debatable whether or not 2017 will see age-responsiveness. An age-responsive website would be different for what an 8-year-old may experience compared to someone who is 80-year-old. In the U.S. internet adoption are highest for those between the ages of 18 and 29; it remains to be seen whether companies would be willing to make the extra effort for the ones outside this range.
This 2017 would be an exciting time for UX designers, as virtual reality is finally picking up the pace.