It takes only 50 milliseconds for any user to form an opinion about a website. Let this sink in for a moment.
Do you think your website can impress anyone in this minuscule timeframe?
Well, it needs to if you want to stand out in this competitive digital landscape.
Web design is essential for your digital storefront as it plays an integral role both in the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).
Your website design has the power to hook potential customers, gather high-quality leads, and boost your conversions, driving sales and revenue. Hence, you need to invest in it.
As businesses grapple with the demands of the digital customer, web design continues to evolve and if you want to succeed you need to stay on top of the changing web design trends. Period.
Wondering what lies ahead as far as website design is concerned.
Together, let’s take a sneak peek into the future:
The Smartphone Paradigm
The smartphone is an incredibly relevant piece of equipment in the world today. From your emails to your pictures to your social media and whatnot, everything is on your phone, which is why the smartphone is also incredibly important for web designers.
In the second quarter of 2020, the percentage of web traffic from mobile phones stood at 51.53%.
That is more than half of all traffic!
This dominance has forced designers to always think about web design in terms of mobile-first. But now, it seems, smartphones have a new outlier – the foldable smartphone!
What began as a feud between Samsung and Huawei has now become the forerunner of innovation in mobile phone technology. All major smartphone manufacturers (including Apple) have plans to reveal foldable phones in the future.
With this shift in screen-size, designers will have to reassess their definition of mobile-first. The new screen-size is like tablets, but not entirely. Yet it is bigger than an average smartphone.
Once it goes into mass production, much of how web design works will have to change.
Wearable Tech and How it Changes Web Design
Screen size is not just going one way, though. If foldable phones stand to make screens bigger, wearable technology stands to make it smaller.
If you think this is a small segment, think again. The wearable technology market was valued at $32.63 billion in 2019, and it is expected to grow at 15.9%!
But if you think smartwatches are all there is to wearable tech, think again! There is much more that comes under the definition of wearable technology. It includes:
- Smartwatches: perhaps the most commonly known wearable technology. Major players include Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi.
- Smart Jewellery: This includes everything from smart bracelets to jewellery. Major players include Fitbit, Michael Kors, Ringly Luxe, and Mira.
- Fitness Trackers: Predominantly used to help monitor your fitness and comes with relevant metrics for doing so. Major players include FitBit, Amazfit, Huawei, and Xiaomi.
- Smart Clothing: This is simply clothing with embedded chips that can help monitor your health. Major players include AiQ, DuPont, Wearable X, and Sensoria.
- Head-Mounted Displays: these are devices that are mostly used in AR and VR. Major players include Google, BAE Systems, Sony, and Seiko.
Many of these wearable technologies support an android/iOS operating system and can be used to browse the internet. As their use grows with an expanding market, and the technology penetrates third-world countries, this screen size will have to be given due consideration too.
Complementing Virtual Reality
Head-Mounted Displays stand apart among all other wearable technology because of its scope. Unlike most other wearable tech, head-mounted displays revolve around the immersive world of VR and AR.
While VR offers a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world, AR adds a digital element to your live view. In that context, the question is:
Why must VR and AR impact the world of web design?
While AR may not be as crucial in this context, navigating the world of the internet through the lens of VR is not a far-fetched idea.
In fact, there are already browsers that support VR!
With this technology you navigate through a virtual lobby through virtual doorways into actual 3D spaces with videos and pictures. Furthermore, VR APIs are largely available for standard browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Oculus, and Edge!
I wouldn’t be too naïve to predict that this market will grow soon, and web design will have to change to add flair to it while getting the conversions that drive businesses.
The Glitter of 5G
With 2019 came the fifth-generation technology of broadband cellular networks, often referred to as 5G. 5G is expected to change how we sift the internet forever.
Why is 5G such a big deal?
It is expected that the 5G network will elevate the current speed of the internet by up to 20 times! This technology that guarantees lightning speed is expected to carry close to 35% of all mobile data worldwide by 2024!
So, a considerable proportion of websites could open at blazing speeds as soon as 2024. And if you didn’t already know, a delay as small as 100 milliseconds could reduce your conversion rates by 7%!
With 5G speeds, designers could be sure that their sites will open instantly. This speed gives them more leverage in terms of rich content on the website. Previously, using this content could have killed loading speeds, but not with 5G.
So, expect to see more HD videos in web design and aesthetic backgrounds with heavy animation effects once 5G takes root. 5G might also contribute to the adoption of VR browsers that require immense broadband speeds.
The Rise of Big Data!
Statistics suggest that there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every single day!
While most of it is unstructured, the little organized data that is available is used to optimize customer experiences. Personalization in websites, be it through content or the recommendation engine, is worked out from this data.
As the amount of data that organizations gather increases, web designs will soon have to accommodate data-driven insights to drive conversions. You might even get to see surprisingly personalized elements in the design.
Where Everything Converges – the Designer’s Toolbox
Through all this, designers need an updated set of tools to cope with all the changes coming their way. Even at present, the number of developer tools is steadily (and rather steeply) rising.
The tools can do everything from making cross-platform integrations easier to enabling real-time updates to design. But most important is the shift in programming languages. React and CSS are picking up to make web design more manageable and less expensive.
Without the evolving toolbox, the evolution of web design will suffer. Therefore, this is where it all converges. At the web designer’s toolbox and the web designers themselves!
Hi! My name is Carter Stroup. I am the founder, president, web and SEO professional at Render Results. I have been a web developer for over four years and currently hold five professional certifications. My number one goal is to provide custom websites for an affordable price to help grow small businesses.