Technological advancements and various platforms drive new web design trends every year, providing users with an immersive experience when using both websites and applications.
According to Adobe, 38% of viewers will stop engaging with a website if the content or the layout of the website is unattractive.
Adobe’s research also found that nearly 8 in 10 of consumers would stop engaging with content that is poorly displayed on their device.
For businesses, keeping people engaged with their apps or websites is important.
This year, we saw a number of inspiring web design trends that introduced quite a lot of innovative possibilities to make websites and applications more immersive than ever. Those that turned heads in 2017 will most likely grow bigger in 2018.
Here are a few trends that are making a difference now, and will have a bigger role in the coming years.
Virtual Reality/360° Videos
VR became a game changer this year, but didn’t make much of a mark on web design. Though many websites opted to use VR to make their content more engaging, many still haven’t realized that VR is the future of UI/UX.
It’s evident from the reception Peugeot got for their promo campaign for Peugeot 208 this year. The campaign used both VR and 360° videos which viewers loved. It’s a fresh new take on advertising and engaging content.
Google’s Daydream headset also explores the possibilities of VR for everyday use. The tech giant has also invested big on the technology reportedly. Web designs integrating VR technology is one such possibility, and we might see it happen next year.
Microinteractions are those tiny instances that a user will interact with in a website. It could be anything from a ‘like’, a ‘share’, or a form field that the user would fill. Microinteractions serve the purpose of providing users with guidance and giving them an option to communicate in real-time, which in turn makes microinteractions count as critical factors in user experience.
This year, designers brainstormed about creative microinteractions, though we didn’t see most of them succeeding. We will see businesses exploring these interactions deeper next year.
Progressive Web Apps
Applications account for about 90% of mobile media time. Considering the fact that pretty much everyone uses a smart phone now and the total number of mobile app downloads (for all platforms) crossing 195 billion, many designers started exploring the possibility of combining the capabilities of apps and websites. The result was a website-app hybrid known as a Progressive Web App.
This year, many websites were upgraded to progressive web apps, adding more functionalities like offline mode, splash screens, push notifications, and page transition animation/effects.
Progressive web apps have only started rising in popularity, and by next year, we will be seeing more cognitive capabilities combined with the likes of technologies like machine learning and NLP (Natural Language Processing) so the web apps can react to user preferences.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs)
SVGs are speculated to replace conventional image formats like GIF, JPEG etc. in the coming years. As SVGs are not pixel-based, resolutions won’t be a hassle when using them. They are composed of vectors and look great in pretty much any screen size across different devices. But the greatest benefit of using SVGs is that they don’t require HTTP requests. A lot of HTTP requests can, to a certain extent, slow down a website.
Due to the transition to mobile browsing, websites are getting advanced functionalities similar to an app’s. This trend can subsequently progress to designers including voice-search options and conversational interfaces via heuristic bots in the future.
AI-powered bots gave new ideas to designers this year, and it can potentially even change the face of business interaction. Though intelligent conversational bots won’t likely influence the overall design of the website, they can still be implemented creatively to improve communication standards in websites.
They can be programmed into a Q&A page to answer users’ queries either verbally or as text. Online businesses are already exploring ways to connect to consumers through popular platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. An intelligent bot can do just that; the only difference being that they are automated. They also make interactions and communication more engaging for customers owing to the uniqueness.
Stats say that website performance dramatically influences conversion. An outdated or poorly performing website or the ones that were not designed well can in fact decrease conversions. On the other hand, a website that is up-to-date and follows the latest trends can retain the customers’ faith in the business. The trends above are apparently here to stay, and possibly going to be refined in 2018 opening up more possibilities for immersive web designs.