Web design is a fast-growing industry. With the competition in the industry more competitive than ever, keeping your website design updated with the latest trends gives you a shot at attracting more traffic to your website. This early, you need to be one step ahead of the competition and look into the future.
In this article, we will look at some of the trends that will shape the digital design industry in 2017. Some of these technologies are applicable to web design, and in fact some theme and templates at Themeforest are already making use of these trends early on in the game.
Micro Mini Interactions
Back in 2015, the concept of microinteractions was the talk of the town. It was a term used to refer to product interactions based on singular tasks such as pressing a button, setting an alarm, or clicking “Like”. Opening Facebook or visiting LinkedIn allows you to engage with dozens of microinteractions, most of which are invisible or too small to be noticeable.
Apps and services are slowly becoming more granular and specific. In 2017, micro mini interactions will change the way we use our mobile phones.
Weather App Development
Weather has always been a vital component of our activities. We track it all the time and base our daily plans on the weather. While weather in the past has been steady, climate change has resulted to extreme weather conditions, requiring more vigilance in tracking the weather.
This trend is slowly being addressed by developers. Now, whether it’s a hurricane or extreme humidity, mobile phone users are likely to check their devices now more than ever to keep themselves updated with the latest weather.
While 2015 was a banner year for weather apps, the future opens up an increase in demand for these applications. With winter on the horizon, expect designers to be more focused on developing mobile weather apps.
Haptic feedback is a technology that uses the sense of touch in a user interface. A good example is the virtual keyboard, in which individual keys can be pressed to send feedback to the computer.
The breakthrough tech has become more sophisticated over the years. As more high-end mobile devices continue to become more popular, the technology is set to become more advanced in the next couple of years due to the reduced costs of Electro-Active Polymer Actuators (EAPs).
With hapnotic feedback, users now have a new way of handling apps through haptic cues — say, a pattern of subtle pulses that lead the user to a button on the page, or to a unique and comforting texture on the page veing viewed so as to prevent users from leaving the site.
The name of this new technology was first mentioned in this article, based on the concept of haptic feedback but with a subtle form of hypnosis being implemented. Although this new technology is still just in its early stage, it is expected to rise in popularity in the coming months.
One of the very first companies that have started to use this technology is Disney, which has created an algorithm related to this technological marvel.
Optimized Interstitial Anxiety
The term “interstitial anxiety” refers to a temporary delay between taking an action and receiving the response. One classic example is the slight delay (or tension) in between clicking a button on the page and viewing the destination page.
The delay is usually caused by high latency and page loading time, which may leave the user clueless and confused. When not addressed, it can lead to a poor user experience (UX) and may cause the user to avoid or stay away from your product in the future.
Designers are now using this anxiety to their advantage by creating transition elements that allude to the succeeding page or screen. For example, the user may see a short preview of the destination page so that they can anticipate instead of becoming worried about what will transpire in the next screen.
In the future, we will bear witness to digital design that is responsive and adaptable to the needs of the user. While today’s responsive web design adjusts the content of the website to fit the device screen size or resolution. In the future, web design will be able to adapt content based on the user’s age.
For some time now, online advertising companies have already customized their content according to user interest, and it’s not far-fetched to think that websites of the future will be following this trend. Expect to see websites that will provide varying content across different age groups so that they won’t be reading the same books or watching the same shows.
By 2017, there will be a proliferation of metadata that will provide age-specific adaptations for websites, including the following:
- Expansion and contraction of navigation menus will be based on the user’s competency level. For beginners, stripped-down interfaces will make it more convenient for them to browse through the site or app while using the UX elements that they are already accustomed to.
- Font-related factors will become bigger and clearer for the elderly to see.
- Color schemes may automatically be altered depending on the user’s age. Younger ones will see more vibrant colors, while older users will get to see a milder color scheme.
From Material Design To Textile Design
Since 2013, material design — a concept introduced by Google — has long been included in forecasts and predictions but only noticeable in website and app designs in 2015. Imagine how web design in 2017 would be like, using this design innovation.
Also called “quantum paper,” material design technology is basically physical paper in a digital form. According to Google VP for design Matias Duarte:
“Unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch.”
However, this design trend is not going to be the ultimate end of the analog or digital design world. And while the technology of material design had a major influence in many designers worldwide, the end may be near for material design to pave the way for textile design.
As 2016 comes to a close, you should expect to see the comeback of “skeumorphic elements” throughout the field of web design. It will include other visual metaphors above and beyond the flat and narrow scope of paper. With the rise in popularity of augmented and virtual reality (VR), many designers will soon realize that the fundamental structure of material design is vastly unprepared for the extremely demanding needs of web design in the future.
This is where textile design will come into play. It has the ability to bring together several design metaphors, visual elements, and design dimensions that will shape the web design of 2017.
Helpful links and resources:
The Future Is Near: 13 Design Predictions for 2017 (Chase Buckley)