Web Design Trends for 2017
:: By Manas Kumar, Top Notch Dezigns ::
Websites are one of the most crucial parts of any business, and it’s imperative brands keep up with the latest trends and technology surrounding Web development in order to meet visitors’ expectations.
The following are a few examples of the features you can expect from updated websites in 2017 (in no particular order).
1. Age-based responsive design
Currently, we see Web pages change their outlook in accordance with the size and resolution of the device, but sooner or later these pages have to adopt to the visitor’s age as well. The reason is simple. You cannot expect an 8-year-old to read news formatted for a 30-year-old.
By the end of 2017, you can expect Web pages to respond according to the age of the user for sites that cater to multiple age groups. The pages may change the look of the navigation bar to a stripped-down version for the beginners while it may remain a bit complicated for the expert users. For elderly users, the font size may also vary. The young ones can expect to see more vibrant colors while the middle-aged and elderly ones will see a much simpler version of the Web page. Using age-based responsive design requires, of course, a commitment to collecting and using customer data to improve their experience and identify user personas.
2. Mobile browsing to increase
As smartphone technology advances quickly, more users will divert their attention to mobile devices rather than buying a big computer. This will increase the need for mobile-based apps and website versions in the future. In 2016, websites that did not adapt to mobile devices were punished by users (in the form of bounces) and the search engines (in the form of lower rankings). In 2017, these effects will be felt further.
3. Use of space gets more creative
As we advanced in Web technology, designers often felt that the website should look simple and sleek – leading to minimalistic design. The trend is again changing and customers, as well as users, are looking for more vivid and soothing designs instead of just looking at a simple page where everything is flat and monotone.
4. Lazy Loading
It is a concept that allows part of the page to load as soon as it is requested. The user does not have to wait for the whole page to load. This not only saves a lot of time and data, but also allows the website owner to save bandwidth. This trend may increase in the coming year and more websites will use it to reduce loading time for the users – to the betterment of search rankings and user-experience metrics.
5. Custom graphics
Since bandwidth became cheap and easily accessible, stock illustrations, images and videos are becoming more prominent on sites. In the last couple of years, however, website looked for something unique. With more designers and artists coming forward to use the Internet as a platform for selling their work, custom graphics will likely become more prominent in 2017.
6. Haptic feedback
Haptic feedback refers to the sense of touch in a user interface (UI). When you press a key on a virtual keyboard, it sends out the tactile feedback to the system. Haptic technology is becoming far superior in the mobile devices, which will help designers and developers to form a system that encourages the use of calls-to-action (CTAs), especially on e-commerce websites.
7. User on-boarding
When a user visits a website, he or she should see an opening introduction about the product or the services – that’s on-boarding (think of it like a movie trailer or an introduction video for a new employee). If the design is creative and holds the user from beginning to the end, it can work toward securing that conversion.
8. Integration of AI in the websites
Plenty of artificial intelligence (AI) platforms are being tested in different UIs. Siri, Echo and Cortana are some of the AI systems that are slowly getting hold of websites and pulling information from them and providing it to the users, and then there’s live chats being conducted by bots. Today it is easier to ask SIRI for a menu of the nearest restaurant while working rather than looking at its menu. This AI will help the developers to slowly embed more features on their websites that are compatible with these systems. They will also have to think about how they organize that content so it’s easily readable by AI systems and voice search.
9. SEO's continued influence
In the end, every website owner wants to stay ahead of the competition. Websites have to be optimized according to the latest trend and rules narrated by the search engines so that it can stay on the top of the search results. In 2017, the search engines will get more intelligent and it will get harder to fool them with Black Hat techniques. Website design has to be fluid and properly structured to get more visitors.
Keep On Learning
Designers – and the brands that employ them – cannot have their head in the mud when it comes to the trends impacting user expectations and how visible their sites will be on the increasingly sophisticated search engine result pages. Rather, you as a designer should be productive and advocate for better design.
Manas Kumar is the CTO, digital marketer and Web analyst of Top Notch Dezigns, a Web design firm.