2017 is set to be an exciting year across the technologic and online frontiers. However, in an age where technology is trying to advance as fast as it can, we’re seeing strong movements towards simplicity. People moving back towards vinyl and strong inclusion of minimalist designs mean that 2017 trends are not the easiest to predict. After such a strong 2016 let us look ahead to the coming year with a cliche top 6 web design trend predictions for the year ahead.
6 – Gradients:
Our first comeback kid is the Gradient. Having been missing from the web design world for a few years, they’re quickly pushing their way back to the forefront of web design. For such a simple feature, its attention drawing powers are impressive. Even the simplest of duotone backgrounds can freshen up a page dramatically, while at the same time keeping pages clean and efficient. It works great for drawing eyes to specific content if you don’t have a huge amount of imagery to work with. Prime example of this feature include the most recent iOs icons, but let’s try to forget about the uproar that Instagram created with their choice.
5 – Video:
In a technological age dominated by SnapChat and Youtube, videos will start to play a bigger part in web design as users become more accustomed to viewing them on their mobile devices. When somewhere in the figure of 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat everyday, it can be hard for web pages to not feel left behind with their static images and wordy messages. Why not get yourself as much notice and post a cinematic masterpiece to evoke interest and get your message out there. Tread carefully however, personal experience says that auto play is a grey area. Within this lies the possibility to go one step further and add in mouse interaction on top of short clips to change the camera angle or even add a 360° video and let the user delve into the world you put in front of them.
Honourable Mention – Virtual Reality:
While Gamers will more than likely benefit most from this, it will definitely make its way into marketing and will certainly have a vast number of online applications. With more VR devices coming out at more and more affordable prices the audience to offer these interactions too is ever expanding. The gateway to these experiences can be as simple as an interactive 360° video allowing the user to look around inside a world or message you present. Something like this doesn’t even require a headset, meaning a larger possible audience, and can still have that same VR wow factor as something more complex.
4 – New Navigation Patterns
With all the tools available currently for web design why constrain yourself to a traditional vertical site. Depending on your product, service or audience, stand out from the crowd by mixing it up. Hidden, pop-out navigation bars, horizontal scrolling and simple tactics such as moving the navigation bars to the bottom or side of a page can give a site a modern and creative feel. Team together some of these ideas with other micro-interactions and it can really make your site pop. Just remember to put user-friendliness first, before you go hiding navigation buttons and making it scroll diagonally.
3 – More SVGs (Scalable Vector Graphics)
Scalable Vector Graphics provide a huge advantage for web design over traditional GIFs and JPEGs. Instead of being pixel or raster based, they are as the name suggests, made up of vectors (mathematical descriptions of an object’s size). This means that whether you’re viewing it on a 4k smart TV or a mobile phone, the graphics scale to fit and so look great on any screen and any device. It doesn’t stop there either. SVG’s don’t require any HTTP requests meaning they allow your site to run significantly faster compared to one using traditional image formats.
2 – Wearables Influence the Web
Linking in with number 3 is the expansion of wearable technology. From Samsung Gear to the Apple watch it’s now easier to browse and surf anywhere; anytime. This of course means that web design has to move and change with the technology. Sites need to be efficient at keeping up with users switching from phone to watch to tv to computer. All these different platforms displaying different resolutions and parameters make it difficult for a site to stay relevant unless the design is well thought out and inclusive. The influence of these smaller, wearable platforms lends itself to a larger typography and minimalist approach to web design.
1 – Emphasis on the content
In our number one spot lies the most important trend for any year, but sometimes one of the most ignored. You can spend hours, days or months building an interactive, cross-platform site that redefines the basic ideas of a web page, but none of that means anything if it’s filled with poppycock no one cares for. The bottom line is that all of your navigation and image extras are there to add to the content and the experience that provides, not to take away from it. You need to balance visual interactivity with intellectual content to keep people coming back.