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The year 2017 is finally here. For experts and professionals in the field of web design and development, it’s the time to re-assess design techniques and development methods to see which ones worked in the past year and to figure out the best way to build a website in the ensuing months and years.
There have been plenty of web design trends that have come and gone in the past decade. But as technology continues to improve, influencing the behavior of Internet users, it is crucial to continue to find more effective and practical ways to develop a website to ensure adaptability, responsiveness, and compatibility with whatever platform everyone will be using next.
The Status Quo on Web Design
For decades, web designers and developers have come up with great designs and way-of-life enhancements to web pages that have enabled users to surf the web quicker and easier. Improvements like social media buttons, comments sections, headers, sidebars, signup boxes, banner and sidebar ads, pop-ups, and calls to action; all these are great additions to an otherwise bland web design trend of the 90s and early 2000s.
But here’s the thing:
As great as these enhancements are, they have made our web pages look cluttered and at times difficult to navigate. Even though user-experience is at an all-time high when it comes to navigating websites, with each new release of mobile devices and wearable gadgets, the need to reinvent and rethink the way websites are designed has become more apparent.
When Internet users began using their mobile phones and tablets to surf online, web developers and designers started to figure out how to make a website mobile-friendly, since Internet usage was starting to lean towards this trend. Today, the process of designing a website with mobile adaptability in mind has become a standard for every developer and designer in the industry.
The following are several web design trends worth considering as developers, SEO specialists, and content marketing experts face 2017 head on:
7 Useful Things to Consider about How to Build a Website in 2017
1. Content as the centerpiece of web pages.
As the issue of oversaturation and cluttering becomes more apparent in web pages, we may notice a slight shift towards the basics in web design for 2017. This means less focus on the aesthetics and more emphasis on the content of the pages itself.
Internet users today don’t pay much attention on the decorative or artistic aspects of web pages. Granted that aesthetics can give a website a legit and professional look, but that’s not the only thing that makes a good website.
A website can have some of the most beautiful creative design components, a great color palette, and the most advanced features and applications available. But if a user finds it difficult to go through the content or even find the home button, it will certainly impact user experience in a negative way.
In 2017, web design should work to allow content to become the centerpiece of web pages.
2. Sophisticated graphic layouts that are rooted in basic design principles.
In the past several years, web designers and developers have been constrained to the limitations of the tools they’re using, at least when it comes to the visual and creative aspects. But with new web design software becoming available and new innovations being implemented, there’s no way of knowing how layout design will evolve next.
However, there is one thing that web designers should remember; no matter how complex layout designs will become, it should always be rooted in graphic design principles.
The most important challenge that web designers have to face is figuring out how to incorporate new innovative web layouts in a responsive design landscape. Nowadays, websites have to be responsive to any platform or device.
What is a responsive website?
A responsive website is a website that can adapt to any device screen size. This means the site is as easy to view and use on a mobile phone as it is on any tablet or desktop computer. There is no pinching or horizontal scrolling required to view the entire content of a web page.
A responsive design enables the page to instinctively adjust to the resolution of the device used to navigate the website, resulting in a clear view of the page regardless of the platform, whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, or a desktop/laptop computer.
3. Simple and easy to navigate homepages.
If your 2016 web design was heavy on graphics and complex homepage styles, you may want to start moving away from that design process. In 2017, homepages are going to be simple and easy to navigate, highlighting the content rather than style.
As of late, it’s already quite apparent that a few web designers have caught on to the shifting tide and started coming up with simple homepages. This year, KISS (keep it simple stupid) will become the mantra of web designers as far as homepages are concerned.
For those of you who are worried about what this could mean for your search engine optimization (SEO) process, a simple design homepage doesn’t necessarily indicate that there’s no more room to implement your SEO techniques.
4. More innovative navigation patterns.
In 2017, you may also notice a slight change in navigation patterns. Although this has more to do with aesthetics, it doesn’t hurt to make navigation patterns more innovative and fun for the user. Tabs, links, and other components that are used to navigate your website do not have to be glued at the top of the design layout.
In the recent years, we’ve seen a wide range of navigation styles implemented in hundreds of websites, from hidden or pop-out nav styles to navigation being placed on the side or bottom of web pages. Regardless of which style you want to adopt in your design, just make sure that it goes with user behavior and that it’s responsive, intuitive, and easy to find.
5. It is time to adopt the wearable-first mentality when it comes to web design.
When smartphones and tablets were introduced, web designers had to implement the mobile-first mentality when it comes to developing their websites. As mobile devices and gadgets became common, and consumers began using them as the primary device for surfing the Web, the impact mobile devices made on web design was undeniable. To this day, the mobile-first mentality is still a crucial component in web design.
But a new age has come; the age of wearables or smart wearable gadgets. As more and more people use wearables, opting for a wearable-first approach in designing not just the website but the apps that go with them is slowly becoming a crucial factor.
As wearables become more and more prominent, its significance will impact both app and web design methods.
6. The use of more scalable vector graphics or SVG in web pages.
Most web designers today still use traditional image formats such as jpeg, PNG, and GIF when placing images on websites and pages. But the advent of scalable vector graphics (SVG) may forever change graphics design, especially in terms of responsive web pages.
SVG provides web designers and developers a number of advantages over the older image formats. Unlike jpeg or PNG, the SVG image format is not pixel-based. An SVG image is mainly composed of scalable vectors – a mathematical description of the shapes of objects in the image, resulting in graphics that do not rely on resolution.
This means the image will always be crisp and clear regardless of screen size and device type. The SVG format will become crucial in making website graphics more scalable and responsive in a mobile-first approach web design.
7. More emphasis on animated visuals and graphics.
Animation may become a common sight on websites in 2017. Animated visuals and graphics have long played a role in many different digital interfaces. There’s no reason for it to go away or slow down, as more and more visual tools become available, which will allow web designers to develop more complex animations that engage users and put a smile on their faces.
It is important, however, that animation designs are brand-oriented. Whatever animated visuals you decide to apply on your website, they should be done in a way that they speak positively about the brand and image you’re trying to portray to your audience. This concept will be more crucial in the SEO aspect of web design and development.
There are more web design trends you might want to look out for in 2017. It’s up to you whether or not you want to implement these trends to your upcoming web development projects. Are there any more web design methods you think will become a popular trend in 2017?