The year is almost over, which means it’s time to look ahead. Over time, the online landscape has altered considerably, but that’s nothing compared to the up-and-coming trends that will shape the web design industry in the coming year.
That may sound like a lofty claim now, but it becomes increasingly apparent when you look at some of the ideas on the horizon. Here are five trends waiting for us in 2018.
The grid-based design concept has been around forever, but it isn’t exactly popular — or hasn’t been. In recent years, however, that’s changed quite a bit. Modern platforms like WordPress now use grid design techniques in their templates. Furthermore, back in March, CSS grid introduced a wide variety of contemporary and stylistic options.
As this basic, yet functional technique becomes more widespread, you can expect to see more designers and developers on board. Whether you call it “whitespace” or “negative space,” matters little, but you know the convenience and appeal of having this design concept ingrained in your web builds. The neutral space accents the more bold and headlining elements, while looking classy and elegant.
Visuals are remarkably crucial for any form of design, especially on the web and for mobile users. In fact, it's why so many social networks emphasize images and video. But something rather exciting is happening, too — typography is becoming more and more stunning, regarding how it complements a minimal technique and added whitespace.
Especially concerning performance, you can make a page look breathtaking with as few resources as possible, provided you rely on modern typography. It’s likely that we’ll see brighter, more vivid fonts and colors used going forward — at least through 2018. According to Nielson, small font sizes and low contrast colors are the most significant complaints among web users when trying to read online content. This problem can easily be offset by bright, attractive fonts and typography.
For B2B more than anything else, content and statements are more important than visuals. In retail and e-commerce, you spend time showing off products and services via well-polished images and video. Many B2B clients aren’t concerned with the marketing side of things and don't want to be convinced by merely looking at something. They want results, data and research showing what you have to offer is going to prove useful. Those details, in turn, will be presented through text and modern typography.
Animations and visual effects have long been a staple of modern web design. One trend we’re seeing more of, however, is animation triggered and fueled by a user’s scrolling. More specifically, as someone scrolls up or down a page, it causes various elements to begin moving, shifting or changing. This draws their eyes to the moving element and creates a more engaging experience for the viewer.
Apple’s stunning Mac Pro page uses this strategy in full view, especially on mobile. During the journey or experience, you get to see the breakdown of their latest Mac Pro model regarding features, specs and hardware. You get a distinct idea of how much love went into the development of this product.
When it first started making the rounds, many considered responsive design to be a new-age “trend” or pattern of sorts. Now, that’s been completely altered, in no small part thanks to the widespread adoption of mobile hardware.
Responsive design is now more of a principle, requirement or stepping stone. Because mobile now garners more web views than desktop, it's essential to tailor all your online experiences for those users. Responsive design ensures your site and elements will scale correctly for the device and resolution a visitor is using to browse your content. Users should be able to access your site from any device without display issues.
On the consumer side of the market, this has been happening for some time. But now, we’ll start to see B2B partners and brands getting involved with responsive design. They’ll be looking to target on-the-go professionals who do most of their work and research via mobile devices.
There’s no reason to debate whether machine learning, modern AI and big data systems are — and will continue to be — influential in the business and enterprise world. There’s no question that these technologies are only going to continue improving on that front.
Right now, it’s more a matter of how long you take to incorporate these modern technologies into your company’s tactics. That requires adapting your processes, strategies and business plans to meet modern automation and machine learning systems.
TheGrid, for example, can offer a variety of AI-based web designs and templates. These platforms are also being used in customer service and support, inventory management, business intelligence, predictive analytics and much more.
Over the coming year, these technologies will grow to be more efficient, accurate and active, which means the B2B and B2C industries will see a significant shift in the way business processes are handled — particularly regarding automation.