The new year is here, and with it come new web design trends that will keep things fresh and exciting online in 2017. This isn’t just a question for designers – understanding web design trends is important for marketers and advertisers as well. Anyone who is responsible for driving traffic or spreading a message online needs an understanding of what kinds of interfaces are going to be the most user friendly and beautiful.
Bold type sends a message
Your message is everything. What we’re looking for in web design is to focus our message in increasingly effective ways and this year one major way we’ll see that is with large, bold type. Web design in 2017 is going to cut the pretense in many ways, going straight to the point with bold text that literally spells out the message.
Bright color pops up
The rise of color has been tied to the rise of simplicity in design and it’s a web design trend that’s going to continue in 2017. We’re not talking neon here though, there’s something natural about bold, enthusiastic color. It invokes tropical birds and clear skies when done well. The key to using bright colors without going gauche is to focus on simplicity. Bright colors need to be paired with simple design in order to be effective.
Video tells the story
Human communication comes primarily from storytelling, and video is the closest thing to a circle of people around a fire that the internet has to offer. Storytelling through video will continue to trend this year, and we’ll see it become less of a magic trick that’s novel and more of an integrated and expected part of web design.
Animation continues to grow
There’s already a big trend toward animation, but this year we will see an even bigger uptick in that growth. In 2017, the biggest change will be that animation is going move more towards serving a purpose. We’re past the point when animation is a novelty who’s primary focus is to be fun, today’s animation has to have a higher calling. We want to increase user engagement, not give people headaches.
Stock images decline
The jig is up – users know that’s stock photography. This year there’s going to be an increasing movement against stock photography and towards originality. People become invested when they feel the content that they’re seeing is derived from an investment in them. They want to see some effort, and stock photography is viewed as an easy way out.
Humanity takes center stage
The web exists because of people, no matter how much it might seem to take on a life of its own. The end user is where it’s at, and we’re going to see even more of that in 2017. This year we’re going to see a trend towards design that engages users. That might mean better integrated comments, expanded opportunities for user generated content, and further engagement between designers and writers (more on that later).
Responsiveness through constraint
Making sure that things work no matter where they might be viewed is what responsive design is all about. The repetitive work of creating new versions for various systems is tedious and really a waste of time for designers, plus it seems like we should have moved beyond this. We have! Constraint based design creates responsiveness with repetition, or at the very least with less repetition. Designers can produce cross platform designs with much less work, which leaves more time to make design better!
The rise of SVGs
Scalability matters in 2017. Gone are the days when designers could count on images being in a static format that can be optimized for one type of screen. Today people are looking at content everywhere, on screens of incredibly varied size and quality. A central goal of web design is that it will be responsive to whatever kind of medium its presented in. That’s why web designers are going to increasingly use scalable vector graphics (SVGs). These images are created through mathematical descriptions of the shape of a given object, which means they’re totally free from the constrains of resolution. They look amazing on everything from tiny smartphones to large projectors. Looks matter online, and SVGs are a central part of making things look good no matter where they’re viewed. Did we mention you can animate them?
Content centered layouts
People go to websites not for the design (though a great design is of course a piece of it), they go for the content. If social media has taught us anything about technological integration, it’s that what people love is to connect with what’s going on. This year, look for a continued trend in flat design, further allowing the content to be the center of the experience.
Designers will take on fake news
Everyone is going to be taking on fake news in 2017, but designers will be a major part of the process. It cannot be overstated that the value of the internet lies in the ability of people to have some modicum of trust in the content that they’re engaging with. The programming behind the web is where many of the battles will be fought. We’re already seeing this with tools coming out of Google and Facebook, and designers across platforms and subject areas should be prepared to tackle issues around fake news in 2017.
Teamwork becomes the norm
Once relegated to the sidelines, web design is becoming more integrated into the overall marketing plan of companies. In 2017, web design is going to be increasingly generated through a team approach in which all sides of the user experience are taken into account. UX isn’t going anywhere, in fact it will be increasingly the focus of web design in 2017. A unified, cohesive user experience comes primarily from a unified team of collaborators who create that experience. Designers, developers, market researchers, customer service, sales, and more will all have an increasing input in web design.
Web design in 2017 is naturally going to build out on what web design in 2016 brought to the table. Don’t be fooled into thinking that web design is a static venture or even a gradual evolution, there are sweeping changes coming to web design as real world issues start to have a major influence and as technological integration in daily continues to rise at an astonishing rate. Is your web design ready for 2017? Contact us if you are ready for an update!