In a blink of an eye, 2016 is already half over. In the course of the past 7 months, we’ve witnessed the realization of web design trends predicted back in 2015, but noticed a number of possible innovations for the next year as well. As behavioural habits practised within the online community continue to evolve, so does the web, making it quite easy to discern and foresee the future of web design. Here are our top 5 trends expected to reshape and improve the online world in 2017.
1. Effortless Coding Promises Richer UX
Since the introduction of Google Polymer, designers can at last look forward to decreased complexity of web-components, as well as their effortless addition via HTML. Not only will the entire process be quite streamlined for masters behind the design, but this improvement will introduce a better version of UX as well.
Currently, this seems like a much-awaited prelude to a definite realization of Semantic Web, which will, once it does happen, drastically refine UI for Augmented Reality and allow Artificial Intelligence to become the main communication choice on the web in the future.
2. Unique Imagery Instead Of Stockpiles
Crucial for brand promotion, imagery has continued to linger on stock photography in 2016 as well, and the audience is not entirely happy. Instead of repetitiveness, customers and users expect uniqueness of approach and fierceness in creativity, which is why designers will need to make a clean slate and start working on bespoke material.
Everything from illustrations to typography is anticipated to be more authentic and mostly custom drawn. Being the most striking visual component of a website, photography will never quite become extinct, but it will hopefully make a shift towards professionally shot images and make more space for custom drawn imagery and cinemagraphs.
With every element becoming more bespoke, brands will have a unique chance to create their authentic identity rather than using the same stock photos that can be found elsewhere on the web.
3. Storytelling through Motion
Being the one feature that has been proven as extremely effective in terms of marketing, vlogging and brand presentation, content videos are currently one of the best solutions for implementing captivating narratives into a website.
Due to an inexhaustible versatility of this medium, videos have a number of advantages when compared to traditional photography – dynamism of sound and movement, as well as endless possibilities for combining them into a unique format capable of conveying a brand message and telling a story make videos a definite winner in the scene. Although already huge, this trend is expected to dominate the web by the end of 2018, as predicted by Hubspot.
4. Scrolling Into the Future
For the past couple of years, the scene has become flooded with parallax scrolls. As mobile responsiveness continues to dictate the choices and techniques in web design, it is highly likely that content linking will significantly diminish in 2017 and be replaced with more convenient solutions. Combined with Scrolljacking, this feature might just become the one web design trend to look for next year, as well as a leading go-to solution when user-friendly responsiveness and accessibility are in question.
5. Further Simplification of UI
The increased popularity of user-friendly UI and UX patterns has been spurred by the widespread usage of WordPress and encouraged by mobile responsiveness some time ago, and is highly unlikely to diminish in the future. Often critiqued for its universal design that makes a whole array of websites look quite the same, these patterns will probably be submitted to slight alterations, mostly in details and colours.
Nevertheless, the users’ needs for effortless navigation and scannability, as well as the brand’s needs for easily manageable content will most certainly continue to support card- and grid-based UIs. Even though some might argue the creativeness and uniqueness of such design, it remains the perfect example of how functionalism beats inventiveness in the web design world.
What’s Staying the Same?
When it comes to the overall aesthetics of modern websites, the flat design is still something that users find appealing. Some changes might be introduced through custom drawn illustrations, which will somewhat refine the minimalistic concept and make it richer. However insignificant, these changes may contribute to further development of semi-flat designs, which are anticipated to increase in popularity next year.
As a solution powerful enough to make your brand identity really stand out from the crowd, web design is certainly something to keep track of. That being said, getting to know the trends ahead of their time gives you the opportunity to make your mark as a torchbearer and, consequently, lure in new audiences and increase your traffic.