Top web design trends to watch out for in 2017

Web Trends 2017

Web design is an ever-changing landscape. Constant advances, new trends and changing concepts year on year, mean it can be difficult to keep up with the latest developments.

However, it’s imperative for those wanting to stay ahead of the competition to prepare for upcoming trends as early as possible. The past few years have seen some of the bigger browsers giving stronger support to the HTML5 and CSS3 standard, pushing the capabilities of the web industry thanks to an increase in new ideas and technology. With that in mind, here are our predictions of what you can expect to see more of this year.

1. Increasing use of responsive design.

Responsive web design is nothing new. It’s been around for quite some time, and quickly proved that a single site delivering the same content across multiple devices is an efficient, cost-effective solution and a great way to keep your brand consistent across all platforms. However, with Google making big changes to their ranking algorithm (now scoring websites that have content optimised for mobile devices higher) we expect to see both small and large brands putting more focus on making the most of responsive design.

2. Mobile first adoption.

Mobile now represents over 50% of traffic to websites – that’s not including visitors from tablet devices! – so dealing with mobile can no longer be an afterthought. As an agency, we are now shifting to a mobile first approach, from design right through to strategy. With smaller screen sizes comes the need to reorganise and remove information that would be displayed on larger screens. This will force businesses to reconsider what their core content is, and how they can convey this effectively to all users.

3. Grid & Card UI.

The attention span of the average user is becoming shorter and shorter. Grid and card layouts allow us to display large amounts of content, in a manageable and searchable way, that users can easily navigate. Many tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Pinterest, have already adopted this practice as card-based layouts fall into responsive design so well. We expect to see an increasing use of these design features by many more businesses and brands this year.

4. Frameworks & patterns.

Consistent use of standard user interface patterns has created a more unified and steady user experience across all platforms. Combined with the arrival and integration of responsive design, we have started to shape the way today’s websites feel and act. Sticking to similar frameworks will ensure users are happy and familiar with design practices into the future.

5. More parallax scrolling.

The basic technique involves moving the background and the foreground at different speeds as you scroll down the page to give a 3D or layered effect. Designers have found increasingly creative and exciting ways to deliver content using parallax, however, over-use can make user experience cluttered and slow. Parallax should only be used if it really adds value – when used correctly it can be a really interesting way to display and sort through different types of content, including text, images and video.

6. Bolder colours.

With advances in screen technologies producing higher resolutions and denser colour palettes than ever before, we will start to see brands moving away from what is believed to be “safe”, and experimenting instead with rich colours, vibrant over-saturated hues and deeper gradients. The more adventurous brands are already dipping their toes with the likes of Instagram and The Next Web both opting for more vibrant gradient logos.

7. Advanced animation.

With the developments in front-end technologies, designers are now keen to create more engaging content and better levels of usability. Animations can range from micro-interactions that help distract users while a page loads, to more engaging hover animations, navigation cues or full-page visuals that are integrated into other technologies such as parallax. Companies are moving away from standard, static images and towards more detailed animation and video to keep their users interested.

8. Landing page first.

We’ve talked about how your homepage might not be as important as you think before, but this year we expect to see a lot more companies devaluing their homepage and looking towards building specific landing pages. These refined variant pages are better suited to target specific user audiences and will allow businesses to fine tune their sales pitch to better get their message across.

9. Video and storytelling.

Websites who align their content in a storytelling manner tend to perform better than those who don’t. With over 69% of users preferring to watch a video about a product or service than to read about it, we can be sure to see more and more brands using video as their chosen content delivery method. Unlike text, video requires little to no effort to consume. Services such as video chat and live streaming were quickly adopted by the social media giants, and along with brands using video for storytelling, product placement and other marketing practices, it won’t be long before video takes over the majority of internet traffic.

10. Interactive content.

There’s content you can read, content you can watch, and then there’s the more popular variety of content that you can actually interact with. This means getting your users to actively participate – instead of just passively consuming. Interactive content can include surveys, info-graphics, polls, assessments or contests, making users feel they are a part of your brand and keeping them fully engaged.

11. Short-lived content.

Generation Z are fast-thinkers and are known to process information a lot quicker than older generations. This is why we’ve seen a rise in short-lived content, most famously used by Snapchat, and now Instagram Stories. This quick, time-limited content engages the audience, and keeps them coming back to discover the next instalment of your campaign or story.

12. Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is something that’s been simmering quietly for a while now, put simply it’s about connecting devices via the internet, and letting them communicate with us, our apps, and each other – from thermostats that you control from your phone, to the fridge freezer that tells you when you’re low on milk. Marketers and brands will certainly be keeping this growing trend in mind for the coming year, and will look for new and exciting ways to integrate with the everyday lives of consumers.


As a new year dawns

Technology is moving faster than ever before, with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality sure to make bold statements this year, alongside data-driven marketing, social ‘buy’ buttons and chatbots. The internet is always in a state of flux and we want to help you prepare for whatever 2017 may bring, to keep you one step ahead.