Do you remember the first websites from the mid-1990s? Some of them are still online, such as the Internet Explorer is Evil site, which was built in 1996. It relied heavily on Flash animation and tacky images.Modern websites don't look anything like that today. Technology has evolved. New technology has led to new customer expectations.Here are some technology trends that are changing the future of web design in 2017.
Wearable Technology Affect Customer Experience and Web Design Optimization In the past, web developers had a single focus – creating a great user experience. They only had to make sure that the website they were building was engaging and communicated their message appropriately. Today, people are using multiple devices at the same time. They are also using wearable devices, such as Fitbit, which influence their behavior. Web developers need to consider how all of these devices influence the customer experience. Mobile Devices Force Brands to Trim Websites In 2015, the number of mobile Internet users exceeded desktop users for the first time. Since a growing number of people are accessing the Internet from their mobile devices, web developers need to make sure their sites provide a good mobile user experience. They are facing one major challenge - mobile data plan limits. Websites with lots of graphics take longer to loan on mobile devices than desktops. According to UX expert Rick Wittington, mobile users will abandon sites that take over 10 seconds to load. If you are redesigning a website, it's important to test it on multiple devices. If it loads too slowly on the average smartphone, then you will probably need to remove some of your graphics and consider using fewer applets. Video Will Play an Even More Important Role in Web Design Video has become a powerful medium in recent years. According to new research from Contently, people spend more time watching online videos than they spend on social media. Video will be even more important in the future. The Cisco Visual Networking Index shows that online video traffic will increase over 400% by 2020. Web designers can't afford to ignore this trend. They need to provide reliable way to host and stream videos. Since video can increase bandwidth and load times, they may need to trim the images from the rest of their site. Lower Attention Spans Lead to Simpler Designs I already mentioned that lower the increased popularity of mobile devices is leading to leaner websites. Another factor is also driving this change – lower attention spans. New technology has made customers less patient. This is partially due to their experiences on social media and a society that places even more of a focus on instant gratification. In 2017, customers will be even less forgiving of websites that take a long time to load.
Bottom Line A lot of variables are influencing the role of web design. The biggest takeaway is this – websites need to be leaner. They need to load quickly. In the early days of the web, many brands tried to show off by creating very image intensive sites with a lot of Flash animation. Today, they need to create simpler sites that load quickly.