Design plays a crucial role in engaging and converting your visitors. It is something that can immediately make your website look like it hasn’t been updated in a long time. Even if you post new updates there regularly, if people visit your website and it looks like it was made 20 years ago, people will just assume that the website is not updated, or relevant. This will only add to your bounce rate.
There is another thing with design—ask anyone what specifically makes a website look old to them and they wouldn’t really be able to answer. However, if you show them pictures of old websites and new websites and they’ll be able to easily identify which is which.
There are two reasons why this happens. One is that while consciously we don’t notice a lot of things, our subconscious does. So, you may not have noticed that some designs are from a certain era. However, deep down inside your brain that design is linked to that era. Another big reason is that these design trends tend to affect all of the internet.
Remember how until two decades ago ‘3d’ looking embossed fonts were all the rage? Some of the biggest brands in the world had shading and whatnot on their logos—including companies like Google and AT&T. But then, a decade ago the new trend was flat looking designs and pretty much every big company ended up removing the shading from their fonts and logos to make them look flat, even big companies like Pepsi.
If you do not keep up with the design trends, you end up looking like you are slow. This is why, it is always important to keep up with the latest design trends. Here are some of the design trends that are emerging right now. In a year or two you will see these design trends everywhere.
Cinemagraphs have quietly been taking over the internet. Many people don’t realize the difference between normal GIFs and Cinemagraphs. A Cinemagraph is usually a GIF, though it can be in many other formats. The key difference is that in a Cinemagraph you have a repeating motion, and there is only a selective motion.
A good example would be a Cinemagraph of woman standing in a field with her hair flowing. Only her hair moves with the wind, nothing else in the picture. The video is also perfectly looped so you cannot tell when it ends and begins again.
Think of the paintings in Harry Potter that could move—that is the look Cinemagraphs are going for. They have become popular due to a couple of factors. The first is that they look gorgeous. They allow you to use GIFs in a non-tacky manner, something which hasn’t really been possible in the last decade. Another is the popularity of the new GIFv and other related formats.
Under normal GIFs each frame was stored, which is why some of them ended up being 5-10 megabytes big, which isn’t suitable for use on websites at all. GIFv files and other HTML5 supported animated picture formats, however, include encoding techniques similar to what you see in videos. What happens is that only the pixels that change from the previous frame in the animation are stored, which can dramatically decrease the file size.
So, in a Cinemagraph, all parts of the picture that do not move will be saved once, and then only the flame’s animation will be stored. A GIF of a Cinemagraph may be as large as 10mb. However, the exact same animation in a new format can be as small as 256kb, which is perfect for use on the internet.
Mobile Websites that are Apps
This may just be the single biggest development to happen in the world of mobile web design so far. Google unveiled a new API as well as a new vision, to solve a problem a lot of us have. Often you visit a website on your phone and it tells you to install the app for full functionality, because the mobile website cannot do what you want it to do.
Google realizes that mobile websites serve a different purpose than normal websites, and sometimes they need to interact with other features of the phones. So, Google will allow there to be things called ‘Web Apps’. When you visit a website such as Instagram, it will launch the Instagram app (if Instagram makes a website app) as if it were already installed on your system.
The apps will be ‘sliced’ into different parts, so every time you click a button, the next screen will be loaded. Meanwhile, if you give permission, the web app will easily be able to take a picture through your phone’s camera, or dial a number, or use your GPS to locate you, just like an installed app would be able to do. This will revolutionize mobile design and will allow companies to add features to their websites which simply weren’t possible before.
The above list of innovative trends is by no means exhaustive as there are many other design trends coming up. One thing that you may have noticed is that websites look cleaner these days than ever before. This is because the current design trend is to make the website as easy to read as possible. This means white background and big, black fonts. This trend was started by newspaper websites, many of which have redesigned themselves within the past year to look more like a newspaper.
We will also see the infusion of more media on websites—thanks to ever increasing internet speeds all over the world. Google’s fantastic new update on its translation engine which allows almost 100% perfect translations will also give designers more functions. Now, you can add a button to automatically translate your website in any language the reader wants, and the translations are actually good. We will be posting more updates on innovative design trends in the coming future. So, keep following us if you’re interested in them.
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