The technology revolution is well underway, and it seems that with each passing year, the internet becomes more ingrained in our everyday lives.
But the internet is all about content, and whatever impressive new gadgets and gizmo’s may appear this year, it’s the content creators and the innovative new design methods they employ that will determine how we engage with this powerful new tool.
So here’s just a few of the emerging web design trends that are likely to become increasingly prevalent over the coming year.
Flat Design: Simplicity is key. For all the additional features that new technological innovations have made possible, in the end it’s the less cluttered User Interface that actually looks more modern.
Flat design means doing away with a lot of the 3D and shadow effects usually found on a website, in favour of a more simple, user-friendly interface. Reducing the amount of objects on the screen means the user will be able to focus more on the important features, without being distracted by unnecessary visual stimuli. Some notable examples of flat design:
More Mobile: Responsive web design, whereby a website adjusts its own settings according to the platform on which it is being viewed, has made life a lot easier for web developers. Now they can code websites that will work on both mobile and desktop devices, as opposed to having to program a separate version of the site for each.
More Video: The increasing incorporation of video into website design makes it possible to deliver a message in more effective and attention-grabbing ways than if web designers were limited solely to text.
Experimenting with Fonts: For years, most web designers have utilized the “default font”, despite the wide variety of fonts available. But nowadays, most websites can load fonts even if they aren’t present on the user’s computer. This has given web designers the freedom to experiment with different typographies.
Photography: The prevalence of high-resolution displays means that web designers are able to make greater use of large photographic images in the backgrounds of their web sites, as opposed to the graphic PNGs they used to rely on.
Many websites make use of what’s referred to as a “Hero graphic”, a large banner image on the front page of the site that provides an overview of its content. Large photographs can be especially effective when forming part of this Hero graphic.
Long Scrolling: This has emerged as an effective storytelling tool for web designers, allowing them to merge multiple web pages into a single page that changes its style and content as the user scrolls downwards. This is far more engaging for the user than having to navigate a labyrinth of links.
The Second Screen: Web users want more information, but they want it delivered to them in more interesting and interactive ways. Hence the rise of the “second screen”, which usually takes the form of a mobile device that synchronizes with the content being displayed on the primary screen. Social media integration is one of the many features that benefit from this additional interface.
The “Short Burst”: More and more web content is becoming ‘Twitterized’, with web designers realizing the benefits of delivering said content in short and easily digestible bursts rather than walls of text. Better to cater to the increasingly mobile nature of the web.
Offline Web Design: New features introduced with HTML5 allow the development of web applications that can function offline. This is achieved through use of a ‘manifest’ file that instructs the browser to store certain elements in the user’s cache.
With organizations becoming increasingly reliant on the internet; this feature will ensure that employees have constant access to the web applications that have become so essential to their work.
Matthew Flax is a freelance writer who occasionally takes time off watching YouTube videos to write about other stuff that apparently happens on the internet.