Stock photos still play a major role in digital communication, whether it’s an eCommerce store, portfolio or blog. People use images to engage more with users and illustrate the message they are trying to send.
For a long time, the web has been suffering from cheesy and fake looking stock photography with super happy people wearing perfect smiles and suits.
Thanks to communities, like Unsplash, Picjumbo, Death to the Stock Photo, because designers can now utilize beautiful and, most importantly, natural looking photos for their web designs or blog posts. We’ve seen many websites using photos from Unsplash and it simply looks amazing.
Websites generally are storytelling tools and storytelling can be more effective when visuals and motion are involved so the ideas and emotions can be transferred to the visitor easier.
We’ve seen businesses implementing video in their websites. In 2016, this trend will grow even more with the endless possibilities of 3D graphics and HD quality videos to build that impression of real life experience. According to ClickZ people love video as statistics show mind blowing numbers of video consumption online.
Users prefer content in a visual format, which explains why online content video views have finally topped 50 billion views each month.
YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18–34 than any cable network. Users upload 100 hours of video to YouTube every minute.
The downside of this trend, however, is extended load time. Many websites solve this problem by beautifully designed loading screens but it doesn’t change the fact that people still have to wait for the full experience to load.
Personal branding exists whether you focus on it or not. Your identity and your image (how you are perceived by other people) are very different. The main focus of personal branding is to align vision and mission so you are perceived as you’d like to be instead of people speculating and having different opinions about you.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
Web usage patterns are changing and statistics cannot be ignored if you want to succeed in today’s market. Every third website visitor now uses a mobile device and websites that do not offer mobile optimised versions are causing an unpleasant experience and eventually losses money as users tend to abandon the website if it doesn’t render well on mobile device.
“The number of people using mobile devices outstripped people on desktop computers in 2014.” – Jim Edwards
Adopt a mobile first approach when designing or redesigning your website to ensure that you maximize your potential and reach more of your target audience. This means you have to be brief, focused on the content and performance which takes advantage of advanced features, like mobility, GPS, touch screen and more, that desktops aren’t able to offer.
In 2017, we’ll be seeing the continuous growth of mobile web design development and spectacular innovations based on the ever changing market behavior. Read more about Mobile First, an adaptive, future-friendly solution for website design.
Modular or grid based design, also known as cards/tiles design approach, is not new in the web design scene, but it started to get more traction as it is reusable and very responsive-friendly with the tiles stack nicely on different screens and form a flexible layout that looks nice and clean on any screen size.
Modular design, or “modularity in design”, is a design approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts called modules or skids, that can be independently created and then used in different systems.
A modular system can be characterized by functional partitioning into discrete scalable, reusable modules, rigorous use of well-defined modular interfaces, and making use of industry standards for interfaces. – Wikipedia
One of the best known examples of modular design is the Microsoft Metro style which doesn’t seem to be very successful, though. However, many web apps like Pinterest, Instagram, Designspiration are utilizing the grid based design very successfully.
It simply makes more sense from the UX perspective – Rebecca Gordon’s research “Everybody Scrolls” shows that users love scrolling.
Scrolling is winning over clicking due to the changing web browsing patterns. As mentioned earlier, mobile device usage growth has influenced the way websites are designed nowadays. With smaller screens and super natural touch scrolling movement, people prefer to scroll around instead of clicking on the links and waiting for the content to appear.
Research conducted by Huge shows that despite the layout structure nearly 90% of visitors will scroll until the bottom.
One pagers gained momentum a couple of years ago but now it has started to make even more sense and people seem to enjoy it as it presents huge chunks of information at once in a nicely designed step by step flow.
Flat design was quickly adopted by designers and big tech companies like Apple that basically killed skeumorphism very quickly. Some of the advantages of using the new paradigm are that flat design forces designers to focus more on content, pick the right colors to help users navigate through designs, and use white space with care.
68% [of web designers] think that flat web design will still be around five years from now.
The popularity of Google Material Design philosophy is being embraced by many designers and developers that lead to cleaner and more organized digital products which can be used without the users having to learn the complex curve. Research conducted by Usabilla shows that web designers are in favor of the flat design movement.
If you’ve been following the web design scene for some time you may have felt what is coming next. There are no significant changes in 2017 but some trends that started getting traction in 2014 will continue growing and affecting more people while others will slowly fade away.
However, web design is evolving very quickly and, most importantly, it adapts to people’s behavior and technology advancements. In this article I’ve touched some trends that will be on the spotlight for the rest of the year and the resources I’ve provided will help you to quickly get into the game.