At this time of year the web is always full of articles discussing ‘trends for the next year’. Website design is no exception, though I always feel that what many describe as trends are in fact established conventions - ‘use of white space’, ‘strong typography’, ‘big images’ to name a few.
But there are some ideas and techniques that grow in popularity as the browsers add support for new or more sophisticated technologies, and the devices that run those browsers get ever more powerful.
So, what can we expect to see more of in 2020? Here are a few suggestions…
All the major software providers are pushing Augmented Reality, or AR, as the next big thing. The idea of combining the real world, through location data or visual data (eg. your smartphone camera), with digital content is certainly enticing. Overlaying interactive 3D models in live video feeds is probably the most well known example. Adobe recently released their ‘Aero’ app as part of a suite of app upgrades to support AR. Of course, there still needs to be a compelling use case for this new technology - and that’s maybe the toughest obstacle to overcome. Let’s see what happens in the ‘real world’ this year :)
More scroll-based interface animation
Whether on a touch device or a desktop computer scrolling a web page is still the most common way to navigate through content. It’s very common for designs to introduce reveals, animations, auto-playing videos, parallax effects based on user scrolling. This shows no sign of disappearing in 2020. If anything, I would expect to see more, especially more ‘headless’ (no user controls) video integrated into web page designs.
It’s an inescapable fact that Google, the big player in search engines, is focusing more and more on pagespeed (loading, rendering, processing) as a key metric in its page ranking system. Web developers will need to keep improving techniques and infrastructure in order to keep those (hopefully) high page rankings.
Light & Dark mode support
This is an interesting one as it touches on that ‘branding vs interface’ area of web design. All the major operating systems now offer support for ‘light’ and ‘dark’ modes. Browsers are now also becoming able to access this setting use different stylesheets accordingly. Is your brand ready, or even suitable, for use on both light and dark backgrounds? One to start thinking about.
So there are a few thoughts from me.Have a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!