With each year, new technologies emerge, some fade and occasionally older technologies are reinvented for a different purpose. Design styles come and go and can define a particular year.
Here are some of our predictions for the web trends of 2017
More of a focus on User Experience (UX) for mobile, analytical data and prototyping
Big brands have been using big data techniques to fine tune their marketing for many years but with so many tools now available, any business can (and should) take advantage of these techniques. Knowing who your user base is, how they interact with your brand and what they want is vital. Greater use of analytics, user testing and prototyping will continue for brands who want to dominate this year. With mobile devices now the biggest platform for using the web, a mobile first approach is important, with less superfluous graphics and clutter. Designers will need to use layout, colour and typography intelligently to create fluid and interesting experiences with less distractions.
Bold, unconventional & monochromatic colour palettes
Last year saw bright colour palettes emerging, using gradients and impactful highlights. This will continue with confident and unusual palettes being used. The unusual colour pairings will look almost like they shouldn’t be placed together but if used well, will instantly make the application stand out from the crowd. In addition, to contrast the bright colours of 2016, monochromatic colour palettes will also be used to create simple, minimal, clean interfaces.
Big bold type
Using large typography to highlight key messages in banners and headings will become more frequent. With more long form content and bite-sized mobile content experiences becoming more widespread, large text will help the user to find the content they are looking for quickly, while also supporting the overall design.
Breaking out of the grid
The grid has become the de facto norm for laying out responsive content. This year will see the grid being hidden more and more by breaking content out of the normal columns and rows to create more fluid looking layouts that still conform to the same grid rules.
Custom graphics / illustrations / animated gifs
With more stock illustration libraries being available and the same graphics used again and again across multiple websites, the importance of creating custom graphics, layouts and illustrations to stand out is bigger than ever. Custom illustrations will be used to describe a company’s services, or subjects better than stock illustrations and infographics and look more fit or purpose.
Better stock photography
Hopefully we are finally seeing an end to cheesy stock photography. With the rise of Instagram, mobile apps to manipulate photos and filters widely available, people are used to a better quality of photography, making traditional stock photos stand out more as a lazy choice for designers and businesses. Real people, engaging in real tasks using unconventional camera angles and compositions will instantly make a brand feel more modern and relevant.
Some of the effects this technology is capable of can lift a brand to a completely new category. WebGL doesn’t require plugins to be installed and can function across any device. This is a technology that will only get better and wider used for brands that can afford to produce custom 3D artwork.
Even the smallest interactions can provide a better experience for users and provide feedback on the function they have performed or what is about to happen. Designers who focus on the small details, using subtle animations and highlighting interactions between states, will produce some of the best experiences for users. Providing clear and well written content and giving users options when something goes right, wrong or even when no action is performed will help to guide them and make them want to return again and again.
The page fold is long dead and scrolling on every device is the norm. With this being the case, designers will use scrolling to perform interactions and display content in unconventional ways.
If the trends for a given year are just applied without consideration, the project is in danger of looking fresh for 6 months and very quickly becoming dated. The trick is to use them wisely to create a delightful experience for your users and regularly review how they are interacting with your brand.
At Mercurytide we believe in making web design work for everyone, creating a truly fantastic web experience. That's why we have developed a range of web design services to rapidly deliver everything you'd expect, but with a fully customised solution for your business.
If you have any questions about the points I've raised, or want a more in-depth chat about all things web design, please get in touch.
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