In a constantly changing industry, it can be difficult to predict trends for the future. For designers, this means heightened responsibility during transition periods. Designers have to be able to create client pleasing designs based on what has been popular this year, while also constantly learning new tricks to innovate for what is to come. Hopefully, these predictions can help you be prepared for some trends that should become popular within the next year.
- Responsive Web Design – At this point, this prediction is more of a foregone conclusion, as new kinds of mobile and desktop devices are constantly being released into the market. Each device has a unique screen size, proportion, and resolution. To create specific websites for each device would cost you a fortune in time and money, and responsive web designs eliminate all of these problems by responding to the size of the device accessing the page. Designers won’t need too make new layouts for different devices, when a single layout will work smoothly with all devices.
- Designed Typography – There have never been more fonts and variations for designers to work with than there is today, and choosing what typography to use is always an important decision. In the next year, it seems this will only become more important and typography may finally cement its place as an essential part of design. Typography is the foundation of any website, and it is time it received recognition.
- Vertical Scrolling – Optimizing websites will continue to lead to crucial decisions for layouts. Many websites are still using vertical and horizontal scrolling, but through the next year vertical scrolling will become dominant. Vertical scrolling is convenient and easy. It also allows implementation of vertically scrolling buttons and header menus. All of these features combined make for user friendly navigation across your entire website.
- Big Buttons – More and more sites keep optimizing for “touch and tap” on mobile devices, which means buttons are getting bigger. Originally, these large buttons were being used to try to streamline pages and make them more visually pleasing, but they also make using pages on mobile devices infinitely easier. The only drawback is these large buttons require more graphics, which slow down sites. Hopefully designers can find ways around this, or this prediction may never come to full fruition.
- Branding Will Take a Hike – All business want their brand to be recognizable, and the year ahead of us seems more likely to focus on designing the brand, rather than trying to build a website based on the newest trends. Designers will choose things that complement the brand rather than choosing features that seem popular at the moment. It will become more important for designers to focus on translating a webpage business through the webpage and represent the brand’s image.
- Parallax Scrolling Will Rise – Parallax scrolling has been around for some time now, but it has mainly been used in video games This year, it seems likely to finally transition to the web. This feature allows designers to control the depth of design objects on the webpage being designed.
While these are only predictions, many of these seem undeniably likely to come true. By studying what looks likely to become popular, you can be on the cutting edge of web design, rather than always playing catch up.
For examples of these predictions, check out Ali Qayyum’s article at Smashing Hub.