Along with the start of spring, designers look for new opportunities that would distinguish their work from the competition. What’s new and what will return this year?
The medium still strengthens its position in the world of webdesign. Faster Internet and better technological solutions make it much easier to rely on videos embedded on websites. Moreover, movies became a good tool not only to attract readers’ attention, but for storytelling. Video clips became particularly useful in e-commerce, where they’re used to provide important information about the product. WordPress picked up on this quickly and made it simple for users to showcase videos, which is one of the big reasons to use WordPress for your website design. A video can convey the most important features of the product and demonstrate its operation. In the case of market segments, where sales depend on visual features, movies turns out to be invaluable. For example, you can present the material and texture of a product, which is particularly important in clothing industry. Good product presentation using a video makes customers feel that they got to know the product better and make them likely to make a purchase.
Movies are already trending online, but my intuition says that they will soon become even more popular.
This trend has prevailed from the last year. Selecting a font in a project it is not just about the choice of typeface, but also about what we want to convey to our users and what kind of story we want to tell. Particular fonts can evoke emotions themselves and give a certain tone to our project. Poster designers have known about it, nowadays web designers learn this as well. Especially valuable in achieving the goal are high-quality screens with high pixel density, as well as access to free tools that help to find and match typefaces with each other. Graphic fonts will probably also make a comeback. Now we can expect to see more large and bold fonts, which deviate from the traditional grid.
Whereas animation began to become increasingly popular among designers, it’s microinteractions that allowed them to develop fully. Microinteractions are small elements that inform the user about changes in a pleasant way, or simply make the daily use of any site or application more enjoyable. Combined with other small gestures, they introduce an element of surprise and captivate its recipients.
The downfall of stock photos
Let’s be honest – stock photos are pretty bad. You can see an evident decrease in interest and use of stock photos. Designers, and above all customers, start recognizing the great value of high-quality pictures taken during a dedicated session or purchased from professional photographers. However, a lot of time still needs to pass before stock photos disappear from the Internet completely. Their biggest advantage is simply their price, but they’re being phased out by free collections and banks of high-quality images.
The use of illustrations on websites is also growing. Dedicated graphics can reflect the character of a brand better than most photos. Selecting an appropriate visual language can convey the nature of a brand and differentiate it from the competition.
Videos and animations have already proved to be useful in the past year. This year, they are evolving. It’s not just about adding a video or a nice animation to the idea. We already know how to design and use them; now we can begin telling stories. Storytelling is a very important tool in the work of marketing and sales departments. However, nothing tells the story better than a good video, animations, and your own images.
It’s a fresh trend that only blazes trails in webdesign. Basically, it’s about creating pages that combine the best of two worlds – websites and native mobile applications. Progressive websites provide users with a full range of experience known from applications while maintaining the convenience of websites. At the same time, it’s another way to ensure full responsiveness on a range of mobile devices.
The benefits of PWA are already used by, among others, AliExpress, which boasted an impressive conversion increase by 104% and doubled the number of page views during a single session. It seems that progressive websites are the future, even though they can’t be fully used in iOS. However, in this case, Apple will have to give way and adapt to the new trend.
Currently, Financial Times, Flipboard and a number of other applications and games also use progressive websites.
Gradients return to fashion, a fact that can no longer be denied. Designers more and more often abandon standard, safe colors and experiment with more garish colors, stronger contrasts and gradients. Manufacturers of hi-tech equipment, laptops and mobile phones outdo each other trying to offer the best and most vibrant colors for the screens of their devices. Now also designers want to use it in their work with more saturated colors in their designs. It’s increasingly popular to combine contrasting colors in order to attract attention. For many brands, new colors are also a way to show changes and present itself from a completely different side, e.g. as more modern or youth-oriented.
Breaking the grid
When nobody knew how to create sites for the newly invented Internet, inspiration was taken from the closest source – the press. Online grid draws on methods from newspapers and magazines. But that’s the past. Websites today are no longer the same as 10 years ago. Responsive design made the traditional, rigid grid less important. Previously, CSS limited possibilities of how a website can look like. But that’s also the past. Designers want to get out from ubiquitous tables and content closed in rectangular containers. In order to stand out, they attempt a more flexible, standard-breaking style of design.
We could see some of the above trends already emerging last year. Techniques such as Responsive Web Design are no longer trends, they simply became a designing standard.
Rich colors, beautiful typography and videos embedded on websites are all a way of attracting users’ attention. It’s also a good way to differentiate yourself from the competition that still uses conservative and secure web solutions. In 2017, we will mainly observe design getting out of its comfort zone and trying to break conventions.