Happy New Year! Now that 2016 is in the books, everyone is looking ahead to the upcoming year. In web design, this means looking at trends from the past two or three years, which set the direction for some stunning design innovations in 2017. Here are some of the big ones.
1. Big Type, Bold Statements
Websites are starting to use fewer words to get their point across, preferring it short and sweet rather than long and explanatory. This is allowing room for bigger and more creative fonts, and many of them are custom fonts rather than the typical ones we’re used to.
Composition refers to how everything is laid out, and the direction web design is headed points to simple, minimalist designs and layouts for 2017. This is not to say that websites will no longer contain information, but accessing it will be streamlined, either through longer scrolling or innovative navigation menus. This is all in response to the growing number of people using the web on mobile phones.
3. More Scalable Vector Graphics
Scalable Vector Graphics, or SVGs, are a way of manipulating a graphic to resize it for different uses (say, cell phone screens versus tablets versus desktop computers). In the past, this was done by stretching and shrinking more traditional formats such as .JPEG and .GIF, but vector graphics have an advantage over these because they bypass pixels to present a crisp, clear graphic no matter what the device. Predictions for 2017 see the use of these growing in response to broader use.
4. Dynamic Color
Color schemes and palettes are moving in the direction of being less aggressive and bright. Some designers are using natural greens, browns, and pinks while other designers are going for pastels. Subtlety is the color of 2017.
5. AnimationsAnimations have always been part of web design, because they’re eye-catching and fun. This will continue in 2017, especially as .GIFs become more mainstream. More attention will be focused on them this year, especially as new tools are developed to work with them.
Web design has always been about attracting potential clients, and what better way to do that than by making it as appealing to individuals as a site can? Designers are looking this year toward making content personalized users, allowing them to filter their experience in new ways. This has already been a challenge, but this year more and more designers are taking it on.
7. Virtual Reality
While gamers will be among the first to benefit from this, web designers are challenged with incorporating virtual reality into websites. The objective is to take the user’s experience to the next level by making the site highly interactive and the visuals sweeping and immersive.
8. New Navigation Menu Conventions
Navigation menus will undergo changes in the coming year. Traditional menus are on the top or down the side of a site, but more designers have been creating new menus that will eventually replace the old conventions. These include splash menus, constraint menus, and especially visual menus with pictures that link to the text information.
9. Smoother Transitions During Load Time
Web designers call the transition during a page’s load time “interstitial anxiety,” referring to the anticipation of the user while the page loads. Transitions during this phase are not just about fast load times this year. They’re also about presenting content to users while they wait, so the user has something pleasing or interesting to the eye as the page is loading.
10. Age-Oriented Design
An important aspect of a user’s experience with the web is whether or not the content is usable to them. Websites are usually made with an “average” audience in mind, but more websites now will be designing with age in mind. This means muted colors, larger letters, and simplicity for elderly users, and bright colors, cartoonish fonts, and lots of animations for younger users.
These are just a few of the exciting innovations in web design this year, changes which can bring a stylish look to any website. Designers are looking at making sites that are informative but also pleasing to the eye, leading it around the page to maximize the user’s experience. Ease of use is a target goal this year, and designers are working hard to come up with new ways to make that happen.
Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.