Web development is in constant evolution. Thanks to advances in technology and Internet capabilities, websites can be taken further than ever before. However, it’s not just the technology that causes techniques to evolve. In fact, the mentality of humanity plays a crucial role in development as well.
From a business perspective, many organizations try to take advantage of the most current trends. This is to ensure a profitable experience for all. Because the Internet is full of competition, it’s safe to assume others are making their websites more appealing to the masses whether it’s on a tablet or desktop computer system.
Below are five important development trends for websites everyone should be aware of for 2017. Whether it’s for a monetized blog or operating a reseller hosting program to make money on the side, design can make all the difference on the Internet.
1. Minimalist Designs
A common trend among many is through the use of minimalist design. This is the process of developing a website that centers purely around user input. Designers remove elements and content that are not necessary to streamline the website as a whole.
This does two important things: gives the user a more focused experience and makes the site faster to load.
Removing various elements in a website reduces the resources necessary to deliver pages to computers and mobile devices. Since hand-held units often don’t have the resolution necessary to see the site as it appears for computers, a minimalist approach may be more appealing for Android users.
Although some will argue that a minimalist design loses its flare for visual appeal, the effect it has made on the Internet is staggering. In fact, many organizations successfully put this practice into reality as it improves traffic as well as visitor retention. Of course, this is also dependent on the type of content and industry that powers the website in the first place.
2. Designing for Experience, Not Just Appearance
Designers of the future are building websites to give visitors more of an experience to remember. Instead of the basic framework of a plain website, there are more elements that are interactive and engaging. This includes things like links that are easy to identify from both computer and mobile device alike.
Parallax designs are when the background scrolls at a different rate than the foreground on a website. This format is being seen more often, especially on landing pages. It gives more of an interaction to boost the user experience.
Cinemagraphs are images that have some form of movement within. They are becoming more popular as the image tends to use far less bandwidth than video counterparts and have more versatility. For mobile users, this can be good for both performance of the site and the individual’s data plan.
Storytelling is becoming another poplar trend by developers. Whether it’s a tale centered around the development of new technology or a graphic novel accentuating a business, stories keep audiences glued to the screen.
3. User Interface Improvements to Engage the Audience
The evolution of the Internet and design also contributes to how the layout of a website is developed. Instead of basic links in a navigation bar, more people are creating a user interface that is more interactive. The experience seems more like controlling an app than an actual website.
Part of this is due to the fact that more people are accessing websites through mobile technology than desktop computers. Buttons and links need to be large enough to touch with a finger on a smaller screen while still having visual appeal on a larger one.
Responsive design isn’t merely about making sure pictures fit on a hand-held unit or that the site looks “pretty” on an Android device. It also involves functionality and ease of use on those units.
It’s all about delivering that experience mentioned earlier and how it impacts the overall flow of the website. Any experience like this should be shared for both computer systems and mobile technology.
4. Scrolling through Long Websites
In the early 2000’s, many experts explained how long-scrolling websites needed to be avoided. Today, this practice is quite common thanks to social media and flat website design. Even those who use heat mapping on their websites notice an improvement of the number of people who view the bottom of the page.
One of the reasons why long-scrolling websites have become so popular may be because of mobile technology. From a user’s perspective, it is much easier to simply scroll through content on a long webpage than to try to navigate on a smartphone. For many, it’s easier to simply use a thumb to scroll through content than try and click various buttons for more information.
Because scrolling websites are growing quite common in the world today, a lot of designers are moving towards lazy loading for content.
5. Lazy Loading
A common trend growing by developers is that of lazy loading. This is when assets of a website are only loaded when they are absolutely necessary. This increases the efficiency as well as speed of a site. This platform will work on any type of platform whether a user is on a shared server or using a reseller hosting account.
In a traditional website, all graphics and content on any specific page is loaded all at once. If there is a lot of material on that page, it could take quite a while for everything to render. Lazy loading is the solution to that while giving the site a superior experience when it comes to loading times.
This form of development helps those on slower Internet connections or older mobile devices. Instead of trying to pull the information all at once, a slower Android or PC can have an excellent browsing experience because the resources are not loaded simultaneously.
Keep a Thumb on the Pulse of Website Practices
Reseller hosting, eCommerce, advertising space and other forms of making money through a website will be affected by upcoming trends. It’s up to the site owner to stay ahead of these and plan for the future. As the competition for visitor traffic is so intense online, any advantage may mean the difference for sales and leads. Don’t assume the design of a 10-year old site is good enough to survive the upcoming years, especially when viewed from a mobile device.