We are already a month into the New Year, and it may be time to do a revamp on your web design to stay current for 2018. Some of the trends we’ll be looking at in this article have already been up and coming within the last couple of years. Some have been around for a while, and at least one is cutting edge for today. It probably won’t take off for a few more years, but is already making headlines in its infancy. So, here is a checklist of a few things I’ll go over:
- Mobile First
- Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)
- Scalable Vector Graphics
In today’s world, since there are distractions everywhere, it is not easy to get people’s attention. So, we’ll start off the checklist with an attention grabber, cinemagraphs. Not quite a picture and not exactly a video, cinemagraphs are part traditional, still photographs with a little bit of motion in them. The first thing that comes to mind are the old GIF images, which were limited to only 256 colors. Essentially, cinemagraphs are GIF files as well. Software such as Photoshop and Flixel are used by taking a high-quality photograph and video of the same frame and blending them together.
Usually, the motion in a cinemagraph is in the background. Leaves falling from trees or hair blowing in the wind are good examples of cinemagraphs. There is something captivating about having motion in an otherwise still frame. Those few seconds users spend looking at a cinemagraph could be all you need to get them drawn into your product or service. Throw in the fact that cinemagraphs load faster than traditional videos, and now you have a great tool to use as a web developer, graphic designer, or web marketer. Now this is a technology that has been around for a while, 2011 to be exact. Even though this is not exactly cutting edge, it is a trend that is expected to see more widespread use in 2018.
In previous blogs, where I mention the importance of mobile web design, I pointed out that responsive design was a happy medium between having a website that tailors to the needs of mobile web design while also being viewed well on desktops. However, responsive design may not always give a visitor to a mobile website the best user experience. I also mentioned many times before that mobile online traffic has officially surpassed desktop.
So, I’m going to contradict myself a little here because a new trend for 2018 is to go back to dedicated mobile platforms. With the mobile first approach in mind, web developers are going back to mobile templates in their web designs. That doesn’t mean responsive design is disappearing. Web developers will still benefit from responsive design’s ability to fit a wide variety of screens, and it’s up to web developers to know which process to use by determining what type of user frequents a website most through analytics.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the trend I mentioned that may not yet see widespread use as of 2018, but will be up and coming in the next few years AI is such a broad topic, so let’s narrow it down a bit and focus on machine learning. We are already familiar with social media sites like Facebook that have the ability to tag you and people you know in photos. Well, that is one aspect of what machine learning is, the ability of social media sites to recognize online images. Expect this technology to only get more widespread use in the future as web developers and marketers use machine learning to track how images are shared on social media sites.
An honorable mention, also related to AI, is language processing. The same technology used with voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa can be used on websites to help customers make purchases.
Scalable Vector Graphics
Retina displays are becoming more and more popular nowadays, and what a better way to display those images on these types of screens than with scalable vector graphics or SVGs. SVGs are resolution independent, which means they work better with Retina screens compared to JPEG and PNG images. Unlike raster images, which use pixels, SVGs can be scaled to any size, and will not lose image quality.
This is something for web developers to consider along with responsive design and the importance of having to accommodate to different screen sizes. One downfall to using SVGs is lack of support on older web browsers.
I’ve covered this topic before in other blogs, so I will only skim the surface, but I feel like it’s too important to completely leave out. With security threats on the rise such as ransomware attacks and the hijacking of personal data, keeping websites up to date with the latest patches and application testing is more important now than ever before.
One way to combat data breaches is through the use of blockchain technology. Instead of data being stored in centralized servers, an easy target for hackers, with blockchain technology everything is spread out across a network in a form of a ledger protected by encryption. Cybersecurity doesn’t really fit in well with the trends list, but is something that should always be on web developers’ minds.
So, there you have it. A brief checklist of trends in web design to revamp your website, and keep it looking up to date for the New Year. There are so many more related to typography, images, and layouts, but I will cover those in future blogs.
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CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).