A lot has changed over the last few years, but the biggest changes of all have all been somehow related to technology. These big changes are largely due to new handsets and devices, to advances in augmented reality or cloud computing, or to changes in the kinds of interfaces we’re used to interacting with. The internet has well and truly taken centre stage over the last decade and that only looks set to continue as we head forward.
For web designers that’s exciting because it means an ever growing market and more and more possibilities, but at the same time it can also be somewhat daunting as it means you’ll have to make sure you stay up to date and keep modernising and updating your work to keep it relevant.
As 2013 draws ever closer then, it’s pertinent to think what this might bring for web design, and how it might change. And while I’m no Nostradamus, having worked in the industry over the last decade and taken a big interest in the tech industry since before even then, I consider myself well poised to make some predictions. Here’s what I think will happen based on the technology that’s around the corner and the recent history of the web.
Minimalism has taken over web design in recent times as a clean looking aesthetic that’s understated, clear and efficient. This is showing no signs of slowing down, and the new Microsoft ‘Metro’ look only takes this further. Expect this to continue and for web designers to take cues from that aforementioned design sensibility.
Over the last two years touch screens have taken over as pretty much the number one form of input for browsing the web. While the keyboard and mouse reigns in the office, most of us commercial users opt to check Facebook and read the news on our phone or tablet on the way into work. Web design has yet to really reflect this but it will – expect large buttons and
The web is currently very static, and as many formats are abandoning Flash support this might continue for a while. However that said, HTML 5 allows for some more dynamic looking pages and a few sites are starting to take advantage of this by using animated backgrounds and other more stylistic features. The trick is to keep things minimal and avoid making any movement distracting but there is certainly a lot of potential here for development.
While animations may or may not happen, we can certainly expect to see larger and more high definition images start to find their way onto the web. 4G means that soon even mobile devices will be able to load huge sites in seconds, while ever increasing resolutions means that smaller images don’t look as good as they once did.
Neon Colours and Transparencies
While whites have been very popular for a while now, and orange was for a while a very modern colour, neon colours and transparencies such as those used in the ‘Chameleon’ launcher for Android are more and more popular and I expect this to start affecting web design. Think ‘Tokyo’ if it was a website rather than a city.
This might not happen and it’s a long shot, but I think a 3D web browser could potentially look great and this is something I hope will make it to televisions and 3DS at least. Though it’s unlikely to affect mainstream web users unless it can serve some actual purpose.