Being a pioneer in the field of web design and web development in Dubai in addition to Mobile Apps, and digital marketing, Dow Group considers a differentiating digital customer experience to remain at the top of elements that contributes to its success. Well, as part of its future of digital focus, below is a discussion of major Web Design trends for 2017, to be followed later with another article that tackles Web Development trends.
Well, born of experimentation and innovation, trends are the driving factors for change, which (for the most part) push an industry forward for the better. An issue that is so much the case for web design and web development in Dubai.
The web is a unique environment which is constantly changing and evolving, and with that in mind, hereafter is what’s believed are 7 important trends to be looking towards over the next 12 months.
1. More brands adopt a mobile-first approach
As the name suggests, mobile-first design is the process of designing for mobile (or smallest screened devices) first, then working up to the bigger ones. The mobile-first approach to design isn’t new to 2016 and has been around for a few years now, but with mobile-phones now officially named as the primary devices used for browsing the web, more companies are realizing the importance of having a site that effectively delivers content on a smaller screen, and are rushing to get onboard.
Design and visuals aside, the mobile-first model and the restrictions it brings is a useful way for brands to really consider what their core content and message is that they want to communicate. Smartphones (for the most part) come with significantly smaller screens than tablets and desktops, which limit the amount of content a user can easily view at once. This forces brands to do-away with any information or content which isn’t 100% necessary, allowing them to add it in, along with the additional visual bells and whistles for users as they switch up to larger screened devices.
2. Wider implementation of responsive design
We know what you’re thinking – first mobile first, and now responsive design? Neither of these are new for 2016! Well, although responsive design is also something which has been around for a few years, what we predict to see over the coming year is an even bigger uptake in the number of brands, both big and small, who are building responsive-based sites.
For those who don’t know what responsive design is; it’s essentially an approach to building a site using CSS media queries and flexible grids/layouts to create a single, dynamic site which adjusts and re-jigs its content to the best display on various sized devices. It works hand-in-hand with mobile first, as mobile first designs the experience and the look, and responsive implements it.
One of the bonuses of responsive design is that it allows businesses to pay for just a single site build which effectively delivers content on mobile and tablet, all the way to laptops to big-screened desktops.
Cost-effectiveness aside, the reason we anticipate even more brand’s employing this is because of an update to Google’s ranking algorithm which dropped in April last year. To sum it up, Google’s update now boosts the rankings of sites which optimizes its content to mobile devices and users. Any site which isn’t optimized for mobile is set to see a major shakeup in where it ranks online.
3. Widespread utilization of rapid prototyping tools
Although not a design trend per se, rapid prototyping tools are definitely one of the most useful breakthroughs to hit the web-design world over the last year or so and are a must-have tool for any web, UI and UX designer.
Rapid prototyping tools from services such as, UXpin, Webflow, and InVision (amongst many others) all allow designers to quickly create working low and high fidelity prototypes of sites and services to gauge their usability and aesthetic, all without writing a single line of code. Many also allow you to design in the browser and then actually launch the site itself right from the tool.
Their ease-of-use and functionality gives an instant like-for-like experience of how the finished product would look and work in the browser, saving precious hours, resources and any possible setbacks.
What’s also beneficial in their application is what comes from the client side. Gone are the days of showing client static wire-frames and mockups, explaining in great detail every subtle animation and transition. Your clients get to see exactly how it works and looks, without any long, complicated conversations about user experience or transition speeds.
4. UI Patterns and Framework
The mobile-first and responsive approach to web design, as well as the increasing popularity of WordPress and pre-designed themes, has had a somewhat noticeable impact how many desktop sites work and look today.
What we’re starting to see more and more are both UI and UX patterns emerge across the web where many sites look and function in very similar ways as they learn from one another to hone their user’s experience.
We won’t delve into the argument that all sites are now beginning to look too identical, but instead look at how these consistent UI and UX patterns are leading the web to become a more consistently user-friendly place to be.
With so much online competition today for brands across all sectors, they can’t afford to take major risks in their user’s journey, and if these tried-and-tested patterns and principles work, it makes sense to use them (where appropriate!) to enhance their site.
5. Focus on originality and the decline of stock imagery
As discussed above, the rise of UI patterns which now places UX as the most important aspect of design, means that many sites now look and work in similar ways, and brands now need to do away with stock imagery, videos and icons and be completely bespoke in order to stand out from the crowd.
Customers and users today seek authenticity from the brands they use, and stock pictures of creatives sat around a screen, or business men smiling just won’t cut it anymore.
In order for a brand to really strike a connection with its audience, they’ll need carefully considered and completely bespoke visuals which are more representative of who they really are. These include; bespoke illustration, big, bold, beautiful typography, and authentic photography.
6. Animations advance
As browsers and languages become more advanced, we’re seeing more websites move away from the use of static imagery to new ways that can engage users and be unique in their approach to communicating.
Story-telling and personality is something more and more brands are working on in hopes to capture their user’s attention, and animation, in part thanks to developments with HTML5, CSS and jQuery, is starting to play a bigger role in this.
Animations, following on from illustration above, come in all different shape, sizes and styles, and can all serve different purposes. Animations can range from tiny loading-devices which entertains the user while waiting for content to load, to an interesting hover-state used as a UX device to show a user they’re hovering over a link.
They can also be used on a much larger scale, as rich, full-screen animations, which can integrated to work with scrolling, navigation or be used as the focal point of the entire site. Animation is another useful mechanic for brand’s to create meaningful micro-interactions between themselves and their users.
7. Video becomes king
They say a picture paints a thousand words, but a video does that tenfold. Much like with animation, a moving image on a page instantly captures the user attention, drawing them in so brands are able to get across their carefully constructed narrative and message.
Video, although by no means new, is long-established and versatile medium, useful for story-telling and marketing alike, and has several advantages over traditional photography. Where static imagery is flat and motionless, video is altogether more dynamic, using sound and movement to appeal to the senses and hold attention for longer.
There are 100’s of ‘trends’ going on in any creativity industry at any one time, and it’s hard to pin-point every single one, but it is believed that the above are some of the more core ones to be focusing on in web design and web development in Dubai this year.
Source: Articles on https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk