Where is website design and development headed?
Designing and building a website that will have staying power now and into the future safeguards an investment from becoming obsolete. Decision-makers are wise to account for emerging web trends and, where possible, implement those trends into current projects.
There are 3 areas in which website design and development, as well as emerging technologies, are progressing, albeit at different rates.
Let’s explore those areas.
Current and future website design emphasizes ease of navigation, intuitive user experiences (UX) and user interfaces (UI), mobile-first, and content-centric layouts. Gone are the days of experimental and radical website designs.
Internet users have unlimited options these days and will quickly abandon a site if it doesn’t display and perform well on all devices. Users expect to know exactly what they are viewing and quickly navigate to a site’s most relevant features to them. If a user has to ‘look’ for content on a website, they will look elsewhere.
Current and future website design and development trends will closely mirror app UX/UI as that’s what consumers are becoming accustomed to. As Google says, “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” As a result, Material Design and Flat Design are the website design and development trends of today and the future.
Oddly enough, website functionality hasn’t seen much evolution in recent years. While there has been in explosion in apps due to the mobile device market and new social media platforms created, website functionality hasn’t seen major innovation.
Where website functionality is trending is to the integration of 3rd party Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs allow websites to connect securely with 3rd party platforms for the exchanging of data and other information. The most valuable websites today and into the future seamlessly integrate with 3rd party databases for relevant information that the user seeks.
This seamless integration also allows website managers to more efficiently move and share data from their vendors’ platforms.
Lesser known functionality developments include push notifications and geo-tracking, although adoption rates and conversions are still being questioned.
Performance is seeing the most aggressive innovation because users desire, above all else, a high performing website. With the adoption of mobile devices and changes to Google’s algorithm, many websites have had to retrofit for these changes.
Website design and development today and the future must work flawlessly out of the box and that requires exceptional download speeds, mobile display rendition, and implementing new programming technologies. The aforementioned requirements are and should be unseen by the frontend user. These requirements are found within the code.
Performance is such a critical area that Google recently introduced the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which will power websites into the future.
Performance has 2 significant benefits. Google will prioritize high performing sites in search results and the user will enjoy a bleeding-edge experience.
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