Good that you switched from your Facebook tab, ended that conversation on WhatsApp, took a break from endlessly scrolling through your Twitter feed or you are here probably tired of swiping right on Tinder with no luck. People are hooked to these websites and apps for not just the information it gives but also for the way it is being given. The UI/UX lead Arun KS from Appiness Interactive lists down some of the trends in web world and his take on them.
Such websites achieve ‘stardom’ due to multiple reasons – be it the position of the ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ button, the easy photo upload options, the ability to switch from one section of the app/website to another or even the quick access to closing the app. Most of these apps and websites have now been existent for a few years and they follow the phrase ‘change is the only constant’. They strive to live up to the current design trends or arguably set the trends themselves. The web world is similar to the fashion industry, if it is in trend and if you are not following them, you will be made fun of or even worse – you’ll not be talked about. Let’s understand these new trends one by one:
01 The Hamburger Menu.
Arguably the most widely used (or overused) way to represent menu items. The web world in true sense has seen the rise and fall of the hamburger menu, once a favourite amongst all apps is now a way to hide information, which is less important. Although many criticise the use of hamburger menu, there’s no doubt that it’s widespread use makes its function easily understandable for users. It creates a cleaner, neater and more aesthetically appealing website and it saves lots of space, but it is not the correct move for all sites.
02 Long Scrolling Over Licking.
Many of the new age websites, utilise scrolling as the main method of navigation over clicking. Placing the important content above the fold is a myth now. More than that, almost everyone is accustomed to long scrolls thanks to mobile devices. This works very well for sites that want to lure users through storytelling, and you can still mimic a multi-page site by breaking the scroll into clear sections. But blindly following the trend is not advisable. Several aspects have to be considered before choosing between long scrolling and clicking like the content, mindset of targeted audience, brand strategy etc.
03 Card Layouts.
Once found only in a few websites like Pinterest, now card layout is slowly becoming the ideal way to represent information in a clean way. From e-commerce website to photo sharing websites card layout is the chosen way to showcase large amounts of content. With responsive designs becoming a buzzword, card layout has become even more practical. The shape and size of the cards make it easier to fit and rearrange for different devices. These rectangular pieces of vital information are here to stay.
04 Visual Storytelling & Infographics.
From the Stone Age man has always been inclined towards visually represented stories and much hasn’t changed. Infographics are anything, which represents information using design elements to represent content; from early man drawing to road signs, everything falls under infographics. In the world of internet, infographics are used as a way to disseminate large amounts of information. Companies of all sizes are using infographics to make their brands stand out, educate audiences about their company and improve their search engine rankings. Infographics have spread across the internet like a virus but we have no complaints. But remember to use high-quality images and out of the box content to stand out from the crowd.
05 Boulder Colours and Typography.
In the age where Comic Sans is made fun of openly on the internet, anybody who uses ordinary or less appealing fonts for branding stands no chance of being included in this new web world. People unlike before are educated about typography and anything unappealing to the eye indirectly means the product/site is not worth spending time on. It’s not only about using fancy web fonts but finding the right colours to go with it.
Typography must be the right marriage of fonts and colours. Airbnb, Medium, Uber, Spotify etc. are few startups who have realised the importance of this and let their websites go under the knife to give it a facelift.
Open any award winning website and animations would most probably be the first thing that will greet you. From loading animations to hover animations and from motion animations to scrolling animations, website these days are animated for a reason – the sole reason being interactive user experience. Human beings love animation – some subtle some prominent, animations are such a vital part of websites now that they can make or break your website.
07 Responsive/Adaptive Design.
The word ‘mobile first’ has taken over digital world that it could soon replace ‘good morning’ amongst designers. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then Google rankings should not matter to you – it literally crushes sites that are not mobile friendly. Responsive design is not an upcoming trend – it is the trend if not the norm. As we said earlier with card layouts becoming popular making responsive websites makes even more sense. So if you have plans of designing a website make sure ‘mobile first’ is the word you should utter first.
08 Material Design.
Google defines material design as ‘design by seeking to build experiences that surprise and enlighten our users in equal measures.’ Material design is basically giving depth to the design to engage more user interaction. All the covered trends can be or are a part of material design – hamburger menus, card layout, typography, shadows, etc. When Google launched the idea of material design, it was only a matter of time that it become the norm – it is the norm now.
Published in Issue 31
This Web and App special issue brings forward some very talented digital and web world designers along with experts from top few digital/ UI & UX studios of India. Also, Visakh Viswambharan, founder of Appiness Interactive answered a very common client question, ‘ Why not templates?’ in our Vantage View article.
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