The worldwide web is a vast space that is always changing. No matter how successful your business is, if you’re not adapting to these changes then you could easily fall behind. If your business is capable of taking on any of these trends, it’s imperative that you do. The web design and digital marketing trends for 2017 have already started to take root. Read through to learn what your business can do to improve the user experience.
Over the past couple of years, Google has been pushing for mobile-friendly web design. In April of 2015, they updated their algorithm to give priority to websites that displayed well on mobile devices. Google then announced the split in their search index, meaning searches done on mobile devices would be given priority over searches done on laptops or desktops. Basically, what all of this means is that if your site is not mobile-friendly, then Google will demote its search rankings.
Responsive design is crucial for the mobile-first approach. Simply put, responsive design enables all of the content on your website to adjust to being displayed on different-sized screens. Using responsive design, you don’t need to worry about having a mobile version of your website. You only pay for one site build and that site will be able to display perfectly on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
As mentioned before, responsive design is the ability for a website to adjust to whatever size screen it is being displayed on. Age-responsive design is the ability of a website to adjust to the age of the user viewing the site. You can’t expect a teenager and an elderly person to look at a website and have the same experience. That would be like expecting a 14-year-old boy to enjoy The Golden Girls as much as his grandmother.
With an age-responsive design, a website will be able to adjust to the age of the user viewing it. Navigation menus will expand or contract based on the competency of the user. Utilizing the user’s metadata and previous web history, the site will be able to determine the web experience level of the user. Beginners will be given a stripped-down interface, making it easier for them to navigate throughout the site.
The user’s age may also determine the font size displayed on the screen. For those who find themselves zooming in to read text, font sizes and letter spacing will adjust to make it easier on the elderly with impaired vision.
Lastly, color schemes will adjust to the user’s age as well. Younger users will see more vibrant colors while older users will experience more subtle color hues, making it easier on the eyes. All of these age-responsive design features are being put in place to enhance the user experience for everyone.
In 2015, it was micro-interactions that everyone was talking about. Microinteractions are when you interact with a product with one single task, such as “liking” something on Facebook. Microinteractions are all over every social media page you use. We previously wrote a blog about how Facebook reactions expanded the “Like” button to include six new options.
These Facebook reactions can be categorized as micro-mini interactions, which are micro-interactions that are broken down into even more, smaller interactions. Over the past year, Facebook has taken the micro-interaction of a “Like” and broke it down into several different micro-mini interactions. You can now like it, love it, laugh about it, be angry about it, et cetera. Expect to see more interactions like this happening throughout 2017.
Material Design to Textile Design
Material design, also known as quantum paper, is a design language that evolved from physical paper and ink. It incorporates many visual metaphors from their real-life counterparts. A chief designer at Google, Matias Duarte, explained material design by saying, “unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch.”
While the material design has had a major influence on web designers over the past couple of years, its time may be coming to end. In 2017, expect to see more skeuomorphism, which is a design concept that makes items you are representing resemble their real-life equivalents. With virtual reality gaining more and more popularity, designers will soon realize that material design lacks the fundamental architecture to handle the future web design. Web designers will start to turn to textile design, which enables you to bring together several design metaphors, dimensions, and visual elements to create a seamless design.
Haptic feedback uses the sense of touch in a user interface to send feedback to the device you are using. If you’ve used a touch screen then you have experienced haptic feedback. Every time you type out a text on your touch screen smartphone, the virtual keyboard uses haptic feedback to tell the phone which letters you are pressing.
Haptic feedback is the combination of haptic feedback and hypnosis, which is when you temporarily lose control of voluntary action and become responsive to suggestions or direction. For example, if you’ve been sitting on the checkout page for a long time while online shopping, without taking action, then there will be some kind of cue leading you to press the checkout button. These cues could be a set of subtle vibrations.
Another way to use haptic feedback would be to use comforting textures on the screen to keep someone from leaving the site if they have been idling for a while. This technology is still in the beginning phases, but in the coming months it is sure to become a popular feature in the web design community.
Optimized Interstitial Anxiety
Interstitial anxiety occurs in the moments waiting for a page to load. Everyone knows this feeling. You click on a link and a blank white page comes up causing the anxiety of will it or won’t it load. This is not ideal to have happened on your website. In many cases, this will cause the user to try to reload your page, continuously getting frustrated until the page finally loads. However, some people will not be so patient. If your page isn’t loading fast enough, the user may give up entirely and try to find a different site that will load quickly for them. Either way, it’s not good for user experience and could result in people avoiding your website altogether.
Web designers have found a way to remedy this problem by using it to their advantage. By implementing transition elements that allude to the page that is loading, they give the user an idea of what to expect on the next screen so that they may start planning their next action. This assures that users are not left in the dark wondering if the page will load or not.
User experience is all about the fluid transitions from one page to another as actions are taken by the user. Using optimized interstitial anxiety, designers will make the most seamless transition between pages on a site, ensuring that no one is forced to stare at a blank white page for what seems like an eternity.
Social and Content Marketing Merge
Social media marketing and content marketing should no longer be thought of as two different entities. Instead, social marketing should be intertwined with every aspect of your business. Before, social marketing was focused on getting as much engagement as possible. While engagement is important, it shouldn’t be your starting point. This is why experts are saying to shift social marketing to focus on the content that you are creating.
The content you do create should not be generic or else there is a good chance it will be ignored. Your content should be personalized to your business. You want to sell your brand, what makes you different, and why people should use your services or buy your products. Social media sites like Facebook are a place where people interact; it’s a social space. Having a strong social media presence in which you produce content consistently will force people to start talking about you.
As discussed in a recent article about new Facebook features, the new recommendation tool ranks businesses based on Facebook reviews. So just like when someone searches for services on Google, Facebook will now display search results based on Facebook rankings and reviews. Your rankings and reviews can only be increased by consistently producing fresh content that attracts customers to your business. It’s time for businesses to focus their social marketing on effective content creation; customer engagement will follow organically if you do.
Video is Taking Over
If you were given the option to either watch a video explaining how to do something or read a manual telling you how to do something, which would you choose? Most would go with the first option of watching a video. It’s much easier to pay attention to a quick video than it is to read a dense instruction manual.
Video has an advantage over text and even images. Unlike images, video uses movement and sounds to appeal to the different senses of the viewer. What this means is that videos do a much better job at engaging the viewer and holding their attention much longer. Because of this, videos will continue to become a go-to tool that businesses use to market their business.
Over the past year, the new Facebook Live feature has made it easy for businesses to share live events while engaging with their audience at the same time. This is a great way to market your business. Facebook Live can be used to live stream a company event, the unveiling of a product, or have some fun with a live poll asking your Facebook followers to vote on a certain topic, like which kind of puppy to have as the office pet.
However you choose to use it, Facebook Live is a simple, yet effective way to engage with your audience in a way that attracts them to your business.
Web Design & Digital Marketing Trends for the New Year
From mobile optimization to textile design, the web design and digital marketing trends for 2017 are important for every business to know. By staying up to date with these trends, your business will be able to deliver an excellent user experience to anyone who visits your website.
Creative Click Media can help your business not only be aware of these trends but implement them as soon as possible. We have a team of expert web designers and digital marketers that will bring your website to life, drive traffic, and raise your search rankings. Get started today to make sure your website is on par with the latest trends.