How many of these trends will your website tick off in 2017?
The start of the year always brings with it a host of new predictions and trends that are eagerly adopted by digital designers and developers as they compete for the best cutting-edge websites, but which trends are the ones that are really going to make a difference to the people that really count – the users? Here are the 10 trends that the iFactory team has identified as being the ones that matter to your customers.
GIFs are going to get serious
There’s already a noticeable increase in the number of animations being used in web design and in 2017, expect to see animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) being used less just for entertainment and novelty purposes and more for illustrating how products work, instructions to build something, etc. GIFs have an advantage over video in that they are much faster loading and usually quicker to produce.
GIFs are going to get more sophisticated and we’ll see SVG and CSS being used to achieve some exciting new user-focussed design elements.
Does this mean the end of the 2D infographic? We don’t think so. Infographics still have their place as attractive, easy-to-digest ways of displaying data that are much more engaging that bar charts. The next phase of data visualisation is here and we’re going to see increasingly complex data being visualised but that isn’t going to translate to more complex visualisations. Instead, we’re going to see tidier, more pared back design styles that enhance the user experience – consistent with another big trend for the year ahead.
This trend can really be seen as an over-arching theme across all the others. The trend towards clean, uncluttered websites began last year and we’re going to see more of it as web designers end their fixation with getting all content and features ‘above the fold’. More minimal design styles have become easier to create now that users are comfortable with more scrolling – as a result of mobile-first and responsive design.
Responsive web design
Responsive web design has been key for a number of years now and now that Google has announced their mobile-first indexing approach, responsive web design that performs exactly as it’s intended to, across desktop, tablet and smartphone, is crucial. Not only does responsive design put your user first, enabling them to easily access your site, Google evaluates how your website performs on mobile first, and priorities that for the purpose of page ranking. Responsive web design will help SEO.
Scrolling not clicking
Closely linked to the last two trends, users are happier than ever to scroll rather than click to find what they need on your website. This is partly due to the limited nature of what can fit on a smart phone screen. As smartphones continue to become our favourite way to view web content, expect more websites to opt for scrolling over clicking to view additional content.
Duotones and Gradients
Duotones and gradients are going to be used to create imagery that doesn’t’ overpower your key content and navigation. HD hero images will still have their place, but consistent with the need for responsive design and the trend towards minimalism, we’re going to see more use of duotones in 2017.
Not just any material design, Google’s Material Design, which refers to the system that Google is constantly evolving that promotes a consistent, unified user experience across platforms. Elements that comply with Google’s Material Design guidelines include using grids, colour, imagery, responsive animations and typography. Material design refers to the way these elements work together to create a visual hierarchy on your website that helps the user find what they need.
As the critical content of a website takes centre stage, there’s going to be increased emphasis on typography that is bold and bright. Tying into the trends of minimalism and material design, the typography should make your website easier to read.
In 2017, we’ll see fancy fonts replaced with simple, clear typography – heavily influenced by the recently revamped range of Google Fonts, which we also expect to see a lot more of in the year ahead.
Even if we don’t see a rush towards websites using total virtual reality technology, the influence of VR is going to be everywhere. Elements such as 360-degree video along with more immersive digital experiences may not use pure VR technology, but with more VR devices on the market, at a range of price points, this trend towards hyper-realistic, immersive, VR-like web experiences is going to grow.
High quality, original imagery
By high quality, we don’t just mean high resolution. We mean creative, original imagery that is a million miles away from the same old stock photography we’ve been seeing for years. There has never been a greater range of high quality imagery available so there’s no excuse for those bland, boring photos.
How’s your website going to embrace the web design trends for 2017? If your digital design needs a refresh, now is the perfect time to contact us to book a meeting and discuss your digital marketing priorities for the year ahead and how we can make them happen.