The use of responsive design will continue to expand
A few years ago as smartphones and tablets really began to take off, web designers reached a crossroads: adaptive or responsive design.
Adaptive websites have separate static layouts built for various screen sizes. So, if a mobile user launches an adaptive website, the browser will automatically serve the mobile version of the website. The advantage of adaptive websites is that the designer really had lot of flexibility in the design because each version of the website was custom made.
Responsive websites, on the other hand, are one single site that adjusts based on the device the user is viewing the website on. This does create some challenges in terms of design as the designer needs to keep in mind every device type at once, which is why you see a lot of modular-type websites that allow the page to shift easily. However, since there are so many different screen sizes out there, responsive websites do a nice job ensuring a good viewing experience across the board.
Responsive websites have, over the last couple of years, now become the standard for web design. In 2014, 11% of websites were adopting responsive design… In 2015, approximately 18%.. We’re still waiting for a definitive 2016 study, but it’s looking like it’s going to be in the mid 20s%… And in 2017, that number will continue to rise.
There will be an expanded use of video
As we’ve seen Internet Providers continually increase bandwidth to customers, the usage of videos on websites has gone up significantly. A study was done by Hyperfine Media which showed that approximately 96% of the top 1000 business-to-business companies were already utilizing video on their websites. That’s not much of a trend anymore, but rather leaning towards a standard.
However, the trend is the continual filtering down of that “standard” to smaller businesses. Never have there been so many tools out there to make high quality videos accessible to small businesses. And since data has shown that people prefer to learn by watching a video rather than reading through large amounts of content, the use of video production on websites will continue to take shape.
One side note… A significant usages of video that we believe we’ll see a lot of in 2017 will be interactive, full-screen videos as a means of story-telling and engagement. These videos will be the first thing you see once you land on the page.
A renewed focus on messaging
This would seem like it would be from a Website Design 101 class. However, while we’ve seen many fancy bells and whistles come and go in web design, we think there has been a renewed focus on messaging. And rightfully so. Clearly presenting what your business is about the moment people arrive at your website must be the priority in website design.
Successful businesses spend a tremendous amount of time and effort dialing in and testing messaging that works. They understand that if visitors have trouble figuring out what you can do for them quickly, they’re likely to leave and never come back.
One way, beyond conversion tracking, you can gage if your messaging is on track is by keeping an eye on the bounce rate of your website. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who come to your website and do not proceed to a second page. If you have a high percentage bounce rate, your messaging may need to be adjusted.
Cinemagraphics will find a place on websites
Cinemagraphics are often described as living pictures. They are a combination of still images and dynamic video where part of the image remains still while another is moving. They do a great job at capturing the viewers’ attention because there’s something just odd, unnatural, and yet very appealing to them.
The use of cinemagraphics has been around for a number of years, particularly popular on social networks such as Facebook. However, with tools that are now available which make it easier for designers to develop them, we suspect that we will begin seeing them more widely used on websites in 2017.
The previous 3 trends (videos, cinemagraphics, & messaging) really lead into and are components of this final one.
Web designers and marketers understand the importance of displaying information in a way that emotionally draws in potential customers. If a brand can connect emotionally to visitor, the potential for that person to become a loyal customer increases greatly. Therefore, the art of developing a story throughout your website that engages visitors will continue to take shape in 2017.
Designers and business owners together will take advantage of interactive and visual design elements to turn even the most boring topics into interesting, engaging content. Through the use of videos, graphics, and text, websites in 2017 will strive to create a story that helps people get a deeper understanding of a brand, it’s people, and the value of their mission.