We see it year on year, web design trends, SEO Trends, Marketing Trends, Social Media Trends the list goes on and on. As our industry continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible its natural that people and companies will monitor these trends and advancements.

As we all know the worldwide web will not and does not stand still, there is constant change, evolutions and developments and here are a few to keep an eye on in 2017.

Mobile First Design

This Is something we’ve been keeping an eye on over the last 3 – 6 months. Over the last couple of years we have seen a significant shift in web users primary device choice being a mobile. Any sites that neglect this are going to pay the price, we know that being responsive was on Google’s hit list for a while and now with Mobile First Design you should be taking this more and more seriously.

Mobile First Design ensures that you communicate and design your content to work within the parameters of a smaller mobile screen before you scale up to tablets, laptops and over sized screens.

Mobile first is really making brands and businesses prioritise their content and ensure they are communicating their message effectively to the end user.

Quite clearly mobile first isn’t anything new, but like all trends it takes a while for many to catch up. We still see sites online that aren’t even responsive!

Quite simply mobile design can’t be an afterthought anymore, It needs prioritising to the top of the list, and many would argue it must be the start of any new design project.

Responsive Web Design – Work In Progress…

Responsive Web Design a 2017 design trend I hear you vent with anger! Nothing new we know, but as we’ve already touched on there are still so many brands and businesses that are running an un-responsive website.

We’ve done numerous posts in the past regarding responsive web design so we won’t cover that in today’s post. However, if you are reading this and are a little unsure what we are talking about be sure to check out some of our posts here.

We saw a number of our clients get rattled by the whole ‘moible-geddon’ Google update. There was certainly a shift and many clients recognised the need to update their website to a responsive solution.

Responsive websites make mobile browsing so much easier. Sites with optimised content and elegantly designed user focused websites will certainly be reaping the rewards. It should also be noted that user behaviours have changed. It has been noted that up 80% of users will leave a website if it is not responsive.

Keeping your users happy is so important, review your current offering and ask yourself two simple questions.

Is It responsive?
Are we catering for our customers needs?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, then it may be time for us to have a chat.

Introducing the new kids on the block

Over the last year or so we’ve seen a massive increase in rapid prototyping tools. To name just a few, Sketch, Invision, UXpin, Adobe XD. (there are many more)

These tools have been born from an understanding of user experience. They have become a must have tool for designers looking to design functional and successful user interfaces and websites.

These tools allow us to create working low and high fidelity prototypes. They allow us to asses the usability and aesthetic of our project work. These tools also come with the great benefit that we don’t have to write any code through out this design phase.

They are easy to use, incredibly functional and provide instantaneous results. The result being a finished product, that can be presented in browser and are functional.

Presenting the client pages of wireframes is surely now a thing of the past. With these tools we can create dynamic presentations of the final product which they are able to interact with and get a real understanding of what we’ve designed.

Design to be different? … Not exactly

There has been an on-going argument for some time now that every website we see on the website is looking more and more the same.

Responsive and mobile first design has had some impact on this, but all may not be what It seems.

User Interface and User Experience Patterns have become recognisable and many brands will adopt similar practices. The result being sites start to look a lot alike, however it is clear they learn from one another and refine their UX accordingly.

The worldwide web is clearly becoming a very user focused place to be which can only be a great thing, this should hopefully help to balance the argument that websites are becoming to ‘Samey’.

Online is an increasingly competitive arena and it is clear that some brands are unwilling to take risk. If these principles and patterns that we continually see time and time again are working, then why re-invent the wheel?

Online browsing experiences are going to become more united, and it’s clear that we will see more brands implementing similar UX and UI patterns. Users won’t be fooled with design trickery and gimmicks, following UX design patterns may be a safe option but it is certainly the most sensible.

Big is Beautiful and Bold is Big??

Many will remember in days gone past that we had a limited amount of fonts that could be used on the web. Significant advancements in web development and device resolutions means that we have limitless amounts of fonts available to us to design with.

Typography will have its rightfully deserved place within web design. Depending on what you like you will be able to choose from big bold fonts, or more intricate hand crafted fonts whatever your style, there will certainly no limits on choice.

Digital Typography is here and here to stay.

Content is King …. Isn’t it?

Content is most certainly king, however there is a new king in town in the form of video. A well edited video is able to engage a user and capture their attention from the offset.

Video is again clearly nothing new, however more and more is being made about brand story telling and video provides a medium which allows you to do this with ease. Videos can connect with more of the users senses, it is more dynamic and it certainly can retain the users attention for longer.

We have seen more and more social platforms offering live streaming services and its to no surprise that those willing to engage with such practice are leading the way and embracing the technology.

Like anything digital development and evolution is expected, video is just another one of those trends that will continue to develop online content and enhance UX.

To conclude these are merely just a handful of trends that we’ve picked up on in the last year. Like we have outlined in this post, some of these things may not be ground breaking but there is still an awful a lot of businesses out there that need to catch up.

Change is always welcome and usually leads to better things, the digital world we live in is fast paced and dynamic, it’s worth keeping up because if you fall behind you may find yourself a long way from the front of the pack.