Web trends for 2017
In the mobile era, everything we look for online is directly at our fingertips – literally, we just have to tap and scroll on our phones in order to find it. Even on desktops, we’re addicted to our mouse wheel or trackpad, and that is mostly due to using ‘long’ social media websites that allow us to endlessly scroll, such as Facebook and Twitter. As websites get longer and longer, images stretch the width of the screen and the rules of typography are changing to meet the needs of these new layouts.
To sum things up, websites are no longer focusing on providing detailed information to their visitors, but are instead choosing to convey their message in the most efficient and immediate way. All the content is still there, it’s just displayed in a more streamlined way.
As an example, check out how short and dense with information South Cambridgeshire’s old website was compared to the new one we implemented just under a year ago. You can literally see that websites are getting longer!
Animation is becoming more and more common on websites. We’re not talking over the top flash animations, but rather subtle animations to give more meaning to mundane interactions. For instance, you can often find loading and 404 animations.
Other key features of websites that we will see more of heading into 2017 are bold flat colours, bespoke photography and illustrations, bold typography and more storytelling.
For accessibility, Socitm, the association of IT and digital professionals working across local public services, has announced its policies and priorities for 2017. They have signalled that they want more shared systems, so we may see more organisations banding together for collaborative websites. Outreach to allow those less comfortable with the web is also a priority for this organisation, so sites that help to nurture new users more than ever could be on the horizon.
Finally, perhaps a nod to years further in the future, but this could be a year in which the worlds of websites and VR collide. Designing a site that uses virtual reality and designing using VR systems themselves will surely occur more frequently in the future. This will require a whole new set of practices and tools that simply don’t exist yet. Still, it’s fun to deliberate!