2016 was a tumultuous year for all sorts of reasons, but rather than wallow in the dire news of yesteryear, we’d much rather look forward. And, happily, when it comes to web design, there’s an awful lot to look forward to in 2017.
We think this year will be remembered as a pivotal chapter in the story of web design. Recent updates to Google’s algorithm have again highlighted why mobile-ready websites are vitally important, and emerging trends look set to ring changes like never before. For the first time in our memory we were getting customers from Northampton and beyond questioning their Web Design and whether they were now going to be penalised for not having 'Google friendly' website.
These trends will shape the websites of today and the future, and in this post, we’ve picked out five that we think are the most important:
1. The rise of minimalism
For proof that minimalism in web design will become more prominent this year, look no further than Medium. The blogging platform developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has gone from strength to strength and has successfully tempted many big-name authors and thought leaders to abandon their own blogs in favour of a community-driven platform.
Much of Medium’s success is doubtless down to the brilliance in its design. Blog posts always look fabulous, no matter the content contained within or the design prowess of the author. This is largely down to the judicious use of white space and minimal clutter.
Expect to see more Medium-inspired web design practices arrive in the coming months.
2. Progressive web apps
Progressive web apps may just be the thing to finally blur the line between native and web-based software, and with the sheer number of devices and operating systems now on the market, that can only be a good thing for both developers and users.
3. No more stock imagery
2017 should finally signal the end of the terrible stock imagery that often adorns websites.
Obviously, if you employ the services of a web design company like New Edge, your website won’t suffer from such additions, but with so many home-made business websites flooding the internet, news that people are fast turning to imaging tools that enable them to create unique, beautiful graphical content is very welcome indeed.
Free services like Canva will never replace a professional graphic designer but they will at a least ensure stock imagery (which has fast become the clipart of the 21st century) becomes a thing of the past.
4. No animation for animation’s sake
We’ve probably all had enough of websites that feature parallax scrolling, and it seems as though web designers have, too.
Animation should only ever benefit the user experience and animations that are purely present to show off the technical prowess of the web designer usually do far more damage than good.
In 2017, expect to see a reduction in fancy web animations and an increase in those that guide users along the most effective journey - quickly.
5. Fewer menus and no more hamburgers?
Users of Spotify will have noticed that the music streaming service has recently removed the hamburger icon from its smartphone app. You may also have spotted on your web travels that website menus are becoming far less cluttered.
These are welcome changes to user interface design, and are likely to continue apace this year. Again, this trend comes from a desire to declutter and ensure that users are given as few options and distractions as possible.
Excited? We are! This year promises to be a seminal one for the web and, regardless of what’s happening in the news, we can at least be assured of a digital realm that is fast, gorgeous and ultimately focussed on the user.