It’s that time of year where you tend to look ahead to the next year. I have been doing my fair share of reading that talks about the upcoming trends of 2019. In today's vast online world, amazing user experience and creative web design aren't unique - they’re expected.
Therefore, let us talk about the UX and design trends, I think will make a major impact in 2019.
1. Website Load Speed - How much time do you think you get to make a good impression on a website, with a potential customer? If you’re talking about interacting with them online, you have less than 3 seconds. Humans tend to be flighty and impatient. In studies done by Akamai and Gomez.com, 50% of users expect that when they click on a site, it should load in 2 seconds or less and that they will abandon it, if it takes 3 or more seconds to load.
A beautiful website is much needed in present times, but if the design is too data-heavy, and it takes too long to download - you could be losing loads of revenue due. Even worse, with the Google Speed Update that went into effect in July 2018, the tech giant has begun prioritizing rankings for sites that load faster than others, and it’s likely that other search engines will soon follow.
What all of this means is that - as websites need to load faster, they also need to prioritize load speed during the design process. Web design can’t simply rely on developers to turn their work into something that will both look good and rank well - speed needs to be a design parameter too.
2. Broken Grid Layouts - In designers’ never-ending quest for more creative and engaging layouts, the grid we’ve always relied on to bring harmony and logic to our layouts has become a constraint. Which isn’t to say that broken grid layouts ditch the concept of the grid altogether - instead, they allow images and text elements to drift into and across the gutters that usually serve as hard stops in more sober layouts. Here, the usual discreet boxes of images and text begin to overlap and converge, often creating beautifully unexpected juxtapositions of bitmap and letterform.
3. More Pervasive Interactions & Animations (Micro-Interactions) - Increasingly, as you scroll through the web, information isn’t just presented for your approval, but slides up into your awareness, calling attention to itself - piece by piece. Obviously, we shouldn’t go overboard here - there’s always the potential for animations to make otherwise delightful experiences overwhelming, especially for those with cognitive disabilities or sensitivity to motion. However, done right - even a subtle animation can direct the visitor’s attention to the right content at the right time, helping ensure that they don’t miss vital lines of copy, or a conversion-driving form.
4. Video - When you’re trying to convey complex information in a visual format, a static image often just won’t do. After all, complexity tends to unfold over time. A still image of UI only tells you what’s in it, not how to use it. This is powerful for several reasons:
5. Detailed Footers Set Designs Apart - Over the years, the footer of a web design has often been overlooked or left out of the overall web design - until now. A web design trend making a splash are ‘footer boosts.’ What was once just used to provide contact information or a signup form has transitioned into a space to include additional elements of the homepage.
6. Chatbots / AI / Machine Learning - Interacting and communicating with bots has become more and more normal, in present times. Bots, or chatbots, are becoming increasingly common on websites and micro-interactions across the digital media. It’s likely that you spoke with one, the last time you called your mobile service provider. In 2019, this technology will continue to be perfected and incorporated into company websites. Soon, web interactions will become seamless. Imagine a website that already knows exactly what your customer is looking for by simply analyzing their past interactions with your company. Customer service via the web is becoming faster and more efficient, with each day - thanks to these new technologies. Don’t overlook them in your web design.